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EPA Replay, Week 7: The 10 biggest plays from the Seahawks’ victory over the Giants

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at New York Giants Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday’s Seahawks-Giants game was a dominant performance by Seattle, nearly doubling the Giants in yards per play (6.0 to 3.1) and first downs (26 to 14). Despite Seattle’s offense out-performing New York’s by a large margin, “only” 6 of the 10 biggest EPA plays came when Seattle had the ball. However, of the 4 plays that came with New York possessing the ball, one was a missed field goal and the other was a lost fumble, both of which were very costly for the Giants.

For an overview of EPA and this series, see my intro article here. Onto the plays:

#10. Q3 2-9 NYG 32: (1:54) Eli Manning pass short middle to Evan Engram ran ob at SEA 43 for 25 yards (Richard Sherman).

EPA:2.48. Score before play: NYG7, SEA10. SEA WP change: 59-> 51. TD% before: 34. TD% after: 48

Engram is an athletic freak so it’s hard to get too upset with Bradley McDougald being unable to run with him, but the missed tackle shouldn’t happen.

#9. Q2 4-1 NYG 1: (15:00) (Shotgun) Russell Wilson pass incomplete short right to Jimmy Graham (Eli Apple).

EPA:2.50. Score before play: SEA0, NYG0. SEA WP change: 57-> 55. TD% before: 34. TD% after: 33

The decision to go for it was the right one, and Seattle got Jimmy Graham matched up with a much smaller corner. The ball hit Graham in the hands and he didn’t catch it. Good process, unfortunate result.

#8. Q4 3-6 NYG 9: (3:11) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short middle to J.D. McKissic to NYG 2 for 7 yards (Ross Cockrell).

EPA:2.65. Score before play: SEA17, NYG7. SEA WP change: 97-> 99. TD% before: 30. TD% after: 81

This is a tiny window on 3rd down. Credit to Wilson for the ball placement and McKissic for bringing it in. McKissic has looked great as a receiving threat out of the backfield.

#7. Q3 2-22 NYG 22: (7:36) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass deep middle to Doug Baldwin for 22 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

EPA:2.90. Score before play: SEA3, NYG7. SEA WP change: 49-> 58. TD% before: 37. TD% after: 100

See Coleman Crawford’s writeup here.

#6. Q3 3-8 NYG 16: (3:15) (Shotgun) E.Manning pass short right to Travis Rudolph to NYG 31 for 15 yards (Justin Coleman).

EPA:2.98. Score before play: NYG7, SEA10. SEA WP change: 68-> 57. TD% before: 22. TD% after: 38

Coleman has to fight through a pick and the ball placement is perfect. I don’t think this was bad coverage.

#5. Q1 3-10 SEA 49: (12:30) (Shotgun) R.Wilson sacked at SEA 36 for -13 yards (Nat Berhe). Penalty on SEA- Justin Britt, Offensive Holding, declined.

EPA:3.01. Score before play: SEA0, NYG0. SEA WP change: 52-> 44. TD% before: 32. TD% after: 16

Watch Baldwin start from the left slot and work his way open on the other side of the field. Unfortunately, the Giants get pressure despite only rushing 3 defenders and eventually Wilson takes a sack. The Giants would go on to rush 3 defenders on many subsequent 3rd downs and get mostly burned by doing it.

#4. Q4 1-10 NYG 38: (9:49) R.Wilson pass deep left to Paul Richardson for 38 yards, TOUCHDOWN. Toss to 21-J.D.McKissic who throws back to R.Wilson.

EPA:3.39. Score before play: SEA10, NYG7. SEA WP change: 75-> 85. TD% before: 48. TD% after: 100

Richardson had a great deal of separation but the ball hung up, allowing the defender to make a play on the ball. Luckily for Seattle, Richardson won the aerial battle here. Touchdown Seahawks!

#3. Q4 4-10 SEA 29: (14:23) Aldrick Rosas 47 yard field goal is No Good, Wide Right.

EPA:3.75. Score before play: NYG7, SEA10. SEA WP change: 57-> 67. TD% before: 4. TD% after: 17

When thinking of the biggest plays from the game, this one is not what comes to mind. However, it was a big swing and the Seahawks would go on to dominate the game from this point forward.

#2. Q4 2-5 NYG 41: (9:57) E.Manning sacked at NYG 35 for -6 yards (Jarran Reed). FUMBLES, RECOVERED by SEA- Frank Clark at NYG 38.

EPA:5.59. Score before play: NYG7, SEA10. SEA WP change: 56-> 75. TD% before: 37. TD% after: 8

Jarran Reed as a pass rushing threat is a very welcome development.

#1. Q2 1-10 SEA 41: (12:44) Thomas Rawls left end to SEA 46 for 5 yards (Avery Moss, Robert Thomas). FUMBLES (A.Moss), RECOVERED by NYG- Landon Collins at SEA 49. L.Collins to SEA 17 for 32 yards (D.Baldwin).

EPA:6.87. Score before play: SEA0, NYG0. SEA WP change: 53-> 37. TD% before: 41. TD% after: 4

A very nice run for Rawls up until the fumble, which, coupled with the return, made this the biggest play of the game. If Seattle had lost this game, this would be the play that many would point to as a big reason why.

Looking forward

ESPN’s QBR is a statistic which attempts to isolate a quarterback’s contribution to his team’s offense. Like this ongoing series, QBR is built on expected points added. Seven weeks into the season, the #1 quarterback in the NFL in QBR is rookie QB Deshaun Watson, Seattle’s opponent this coming Sunday. It Watson truly a budding superstar? How will the rookie QB fare in his first time playing in the unique environment that is CenturyLink Field? Can Seattle’s defense build on its dominant performances over the last three games? Tune in on Sunday to find out.