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Seahawks 3rd Down Notebook: Week 3, Chicago Bears

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Steve Dykes/Getty Images

The Seahawks suffered through a very poor 3rd down performance in the 1st half versus the Bears, but began to win these situations more frequently in the second half.

The stat sheet records a poor 5-of-16 performance (31%) for the day, even if you take out the kneel-down on the final drive (3rd and 8) the Seahawks were 5 of 15 (33%) on 3rd down, well short of where the Seahawks need to be (over 40%) as an offense. 

On the positive side, the Seahawks were able to take back some of these shortcomings by successfully converting two 4th and 1 opportunities. If you factor those two wins and remove the kneel-down, you get a more respectable 41% success rate (7 of 17).

1ST HALF

Let's walk through the situations in the first half (Seahawks were 0-for-6 on 3rd down):

3rd and 9: Wilson gets pressured and the check-down to Fred Jackson salvages 5 yards.

3rd and 4: Not sure what Wilson is trying to do here -- it almost seems like running for the first down may have been perhaps one of his early reads, but he gets tripped up at the line of scrimmage for a "sack".

3rd and 1: Lynch stuffed for -1

3rd and 11: Seahawks probably felt they had a low chance to hit on this one, and Wilson runs for 5.

3rd and 1: Lynch stuffed for no gain.

(4th and 1): After being stuffed for a 2nd time on 3rd and 1, Lynch leaves his "frog stance as a fullback/upback" and runs to the flat for a simple catch where he bobbles the ball but retains it, gains nine, stiff-arms the Bears defender, then pulls his hamstring.

3rd and 3 (Goal to go): Wilson throws incomplete to Matthews on the left side

2ND HALF

In the second half, the Seahawks begin to pick it up:

3rd and 25: No chance, but Wilson and Jermaine Kearse salvage 13 yards of field position

3rd and 3: Deep right side complete to Baldwin for 22 yards (the first 3rd down conversion of the game!)

3rd and 5: Wilson to Graham for a TD (30 yards)

3rd and 4: Incomplete short right

3rd and 6: Wilson hits Baldwin short middle for 7 yards off a Bears blitz

3rd and 4: Wilson hits Kearse for what should be an easy first down, but Kearse runs to the sideline and is tackled short

4th and 1: The next play, Houdini Wilson avoids a sure sack and finds Jimmy Graham on the Pick-and-Roll for 6 yards

3rd and 11: Wilson runs for 8 yards

3rd and 1: Complete to Fred Jackson for 4 yards

3rd and 2: Complete left flat to Baldwin for 6 yards

3rd and 8: Kneel-down

1

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I believe the Seahawks can beat the Lions on Monday Night Football, but they will need a 3rd down performance closer to the 2nd half of the Bears game rather than the 1st half.  I also can understand why Doug Baldwin mentioned the Seahawks failure in 3rd and 3-6 yards to go -- in the game they were 3-of-7 in those situations, but they really need to be closer to the 4/5 of 7 mark.

The situation where Kearse failed to get the 1st down on a 3rd and 4 stands out, but on the initial 3rd and 4 on Drive 2 (right after the Richard Sherman punt return), it almost seems like the Seahawks designed a QB keeper up the middle and were playing for the field goal if it didn't work.  The Seahawks may not be able to be that conservative as the games get tougher going forward.