As we do every week, here are a few notes and tidbits on the Seahawks' win over the Vikings from Pro Football Focus' Jim Seki. His notes in italics, and my comments follow.
-- Excluding his Week 12 game that was his first one in a while, from Week 13 on, Jeremy Lane only allowed 0.75 yards/coverage snap. That ranks 13th over that span. Over the same span, Richard Sherman is fifth, allowing 0.53 yards/coverage snap.
Getting Jeremy Lane back into the fold has been a very underrated boon for the Seahawks, and we saw him break up a pass or two yesterday in Seattle's win over the Vikings. Additionally, he's depth on special teams (only played two snaps Sunday) and can play inside or out. That kind of versatility is so, so important -- especially once game-day rosters have been set and someone gets hurt. Seattle will need all the depth in the secondary that they can get to go on the road over the next couple weeks in order to get back to the Super Bowl.
-- Only eight teams in action this weekend, but Ahtyba Rubin led all DTs in run stop rate at 16.0. Four of his five tackles were defensive stops and thre in an assist.
Pete Carroll has gone out of his way to praise Rubin multiple times this season and the fact that Seattle was able to hold the NFL's best rusher in Adrian Peterson to just 45 yards on 23 (!) carries is pretty remarkable, even in that cold, and I think that Rubin (41 snaps) was a big part of that, as he's been all year. It's pretty cool having two guys (Rubin and Brandon Mebane) in the middle that just clog up everything and are very stout at the point of attack. That's big for allowing the linebackers and defensive backs to flow to the football without getting a blocker in their face.
-- This is one of those outlier games for Russell Wilson -- it was his second-lowest grade on the year, and he was really bad under pressure (4 of 13 for 71 yards, INT, sack). On average he took 3.39 seconds to throw, well over what he averaged over the second half tear (2.91 sec).
The eye test certainly supports this as well -- Wilson (and the rest of the offense) was really off his game. He looked spooked at times, uncertain and tentative at others, and he flat out missed on some throws. I'm not panicked about any of this. I think 1) players are due to have a bad game here or there as it is, and 2) that cold weather was an extreme factor. I wouldn't honestly read a whole lot into the performance just because of the crazy ass cold.
-- Christine Michael did a decent job for the position he was put in on such short notice. While his stat line isn't flashy, he averaged 2.1 yards after contact on ten rush attempts between the guards.
Yeah, all things considered I actually liked how C-Mike played. He didn't do anything amazing but he helped carry the load for the Seahawks when the offense was in a really tough spot. Really, neither team looked like they could move the ball with much consistency in this one because of a combination of two good defenses and the bitter cold. C-Mike did a good job and Pete Carroll praised him for being a "pro" after the game. Gotta love that.
-- Doug Baldwin did his usual thing, coming up big when necessary. He led all receivers (for both teams) with a +1.8.
Still can't believe that catch he made.
-- Russell Okung and Garry Gilliam were brutal, combining for nine QB hurries allowed. Among all the games this weekend, they are at the bottom in Pass Block Efficiency for OTs. For what it's worth, Vikings OTs occupy the next two lowest spots with a combined six hurries allowed.
Obviously hoping this was an aberration. Not sure why Okung and Gilliam were so awful, but they'll need to pick up their games this week against the Panthers.
-- Defense made up for the offense in this game. Michael Bennett had his best graded game since 2011 when he was with Tampa Bay (+11.4 vs IND). He finished with a +8.9 that included five defensive stops and six QB hurries. Avril threw in five stops of his own and two QB hurries, finishing with a +6.0.
Both Avril and Bennett were absolutely unblock-able in this game. Seriously.
-- It's not sexy but Ahtyba Rubin & Jordan Hill continue to do the dirty work inside. Rubin had his third four-defensive stop game of the year. Hill only played eight run snaps and had a defensive stop.
Love that. Just battling in the trenches. No glory, but essential.
-- Kam Chancellor looked rusty, and graded out that way. His two worst coverage games of his career are from this season (yesterday and at the Bengals). He allowed four receptions on five targets and both 10+ yard receptions were to TEs.
This matches up with Nate's analysis here. Going to need Kam to knock that rust off and step up his game next week.
-- Bright spots in the secondary were Jeremy Lane and Earl Thomas. Lane was the highest graded Seattle CB in the game and had one pass defensed.
Again, Lane has been an underrated boon to this defense since he returned. Big.