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Seahawks 3rd Down Notebook: Week 2, Green Bay Packers

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay game was an interesting departure from the St. Louis game for the Seahawks offense on 3rd down. Against the Rams, the Seahawks found themselves in 3rd and 1 five separate times, and were able to convert those via running the ball every time.

The median down and distance for Seattle versus the Rams was 3.5 yards. Against the Packers, the median down and distance jumped up to 10 yards, but the Seahawks were still able to find some success at times despite this. How were they able to do that? They stayed out of 3rd down for much of the 2nd half of the game in Green Bay.

Let's look at what happened on 3rd down.

1st Half: Low Chance

The Seahawks found themselves in three very long down and distances in the 1st half, and were not able to convert these low probability situations:

3rd and 12: Marshawn Lynch run for -3 yards

3rd and 16: Incomplete to Jermaine Kearse

3rd and 21: Russell Wilson scramble for 3 yards

That being said, they found themselves in two "makeable" situations in the 1st Half.

1st Half: Makable

3rd and 3- On Drive 2: RW throws incomplete to Luke WIllson, and this was the right read by Russell Wilson, but Luke just slips; blame the cleats.

3rd and 3- On Drive 5: Running on 3rd and 3 seems a bit odd, even with Marshawn Lynch, but I think this one was also a play to the clock, as they wanted to squeeze time off for Aaron Rodgers right before half. Clay Matthews and Mike Daniels blow up the play, but the Seahawks took that trade as they didn't want the clock to go dead on an incomplete pass.

2nd Half:

The Seahawks had five drives in the 2nd half, and were moving the ball well for the most part. On their opening drive in the 3rd Quarter, Russell Wilson hit Tyler Lockett for 16 yards on a 3rd and 11 (a key swing play in the game) and connected with Fred Jackson for a touchdown on 3rd and Goal (3rd and 5) on a Texas Route.

On the next four drives, the Seahawks avoided 3rd down almost altogether. Russell Wilson was moving the ball via his arm and legs, and generally was in rhythm. If Wilson had connected with Doug Baldwin on the seam route on 3rd and 10 on Drive 8, the game may have been won right there.

On Drive 7: The Seahawks went 54 yards in 5 plays that ended with a touchdown pass to Baldwin. The Seahawks were never in 3rd down during the drive.

On Drive 9: The Seahawks had moved the ball about 25 yards before the interception on the screen pass, and had not faced a 3rd down.

On Drive 10: The Seahawks had moved the ball 38 yards and had yet to face 3rd down as well.


In general, I really like Russell Wilson's decision making on 3rd down in this game. In the 5 "makeable" situations where RW sets up to pass, I think he makes the right call on every play:

(1) 3rd and 8: Complete to Baldwin for 32

(2) 3rd and 3: Incomplete to Luke Willson on (not his fault Willson slips; some complain that Jimmy is open on this play as well, but Willson is the shorter pass distance and he was past the line to gain)

(3) 3rd and 11: Hits Tyler Lockett for 16

(4) 3rd and 5: Hits Fred Jackson for a touchdown

(5) 3rd and 10: Misses on pass to Baldwin, but it was the right throw on the right defense, they just didn't hook up.

The Chart: