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Seahawks offensive line review against the Vikings and why they’re in trouble

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NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Last week on Field Gulls, when I wrote about my concerns about Germain Ifedi and the Seahawks offensive line, I showed a two minute clip of most pass protection snaps from their game against the Chargers. This week we’re back with a new and improved version: Every dropback in the first three quarters of Seattle’s recent victory over the Minnesota Vikings in Week 2 of the preseason. This has 32 snaps shown at 80% speed, lasting a little over than three minutes.

(Side note: thanks for your feedback last week. In response, I’ve made the play numbering easier to see and tried to show a moment before the snap for you to find the lineman you’re most interested in.)

Play numbers can be found in upper right. Notes from each play are below. In addition to general notes, I will pay special attention to RT. After each pressure, I will give the number of pressures we’ve seen to that point and assign primary blame. For example, (1: Nick Vannett) on play 2 below means it’s the 1st pressure given up in the game and it was primarily due to Vannett.

As you should know by now if you’re reading and watching this, left tackle George Fant will miss the season with a torn ACL. That means that the starting five you see at the beginning of this video will have to be adjusted by preseason Week 3 against the Chiefs and so on moving forward. How they decide to do that completely remains to be seen, but a left tackle is needed — and it can’t simply be Matt Tobin, the tackle they traded for on Monday. Is there a clear option based on the tape?

Starting 5 linemen (left to right): Fant-Joeckel-Britt-Glowinski-Ifedi

  1. Play action sold by Luke Joeckel pulling. An eternity in the pocket
  2. Play action. Vannett and #38 (Tre Madden?) get demolished by Danielle Hunter. Counting this as a pressure (1: Vannett)
  3. Bad rep from Joeckel and Justin Britt is helping Mark Glowinksi on the other side so it results in an instant pressure (2: Joeckel). Good from Ifedi here
  4. Nice job by Carson picking up Everson Griffen. Glowinski does a nice job of combining with Britt while keeping his head moving to the right in case he needs to help there
  5. [Sorry for starting the play late, that’s how the TV broadcast was] Play action, all day to throw
  6. Goal line RPO-ish play (Jermaine Kearse incomplete). Watch Ifedi and Glowinski combo block some poor Vikings lineman into the end zone.
  7. Goal line fade (Kasen Williams TD)
  8. Play action. Blitzing safety (#22). Debatable but counting as pressure (3: unblocked)
  9. Great protection. Good from Ifedi
  10. This is the brutal Ifedi sack (4: Ifedi) allowed. At least it was to Danielle Hunter who is very good
  11. [Oday Aboushi replaces Glowinski at RG] Aboushi gets walked back into the pocket but Wilson gets it off fast
  12. Vikings rush 6 on 3rd down but don’t get to Russell Wilson
  13. Nice pocket. Ifedi and Aboushi both matched up 1-on-1 and do enough
  14. Fant’s man forces Wilson to step up in the pocket, calling this a pressure (5: Fant)
  15. Good protection. Ifedi and Aboushi again look good. This is the play where Fant goes down for the season
  16. [Rees Odhiambo in at LT] Looks like a 5 man rush with an additional spy but no pressure, although Ifedi’s man got close
  17. Good initial pocket before Wilson eventually flushed from pocket. Counting this as no pressure
  18. Wilson gets crushed by Ifedi’s man around the edge. Pressure (6: Ifedi x2)
  19. Another 5 man rush with 1 spy. Nice pickup by Chris Carson
  20. Play action. Great protection
  21. Watch Carson chip and then release, eventually catching the screen. Pressure (7: Joeckel x2) allowed by Odhiambo/Joeckel but Wilson does a great job here. Ifedi could have been called for a hold here as he has a fist full of jersey
  22. 6 man rush, Mike Davis releases instead of blocking the free man, Wilson finds him for a TD. This counts as a pressure (8: unblocked)
  23. [Ethan Pocic in at RT, Joey Hunt at C, Glowinski at RG, Jordan Roos at LG] Disaster of a play for a sack (9: Odhiambo). Odhiambo and Pocic were the worst here
  24. Good pocket
  25. Holding call on Odhiambo and sack (10: Odhiambo x2) allowed
  26. Not a great rep from Pocic but it was a screen so didn’t really matter
  27. RB chip probably didn’t help Pocic much here. Hard to fault the RG (Glowinski) much for this since he didn’t expect the QB to be where he was. Pressure (11: Glowinski)
  28. Great protection
  29. Good protection
  30. Holding (12: Pocic) on Pocic
  31. Should have been holding on Odhiambo but Aboushi got beat too. Pressure (13: Aboushi)
  32. RB chip help for Pocic. Aboushi gets beat again. Pressure (14: Aboushi x2)

I count 14 pressures in the 32 plays here (44%). In the 22 Ifedi snaps, there were 8 pressures (36%), which is about how often Wilson was pressured in the 2016 season (34.9%). However, we should note that we are looking at small samples and it’s preseason, meaning that Minnesota is not necessarily dialing up their best pass rush plays.

Of the 14 pressures, here is the breakdown: unblocked/scheme (2), Ifedi (2), Joeckel (2), Odhiambo (2), Aboushi (2), Vannett (1), Fant (1), Pocic (1), Glowinski (1). Going through this clip a few times, the two best linemen looked to be Britt and Fant, and one of those players is out for the year. Of the remainder who played a substantial number of snaps (Odhiambo, Joeckel, Glowinski, Ifedi, Aboushi, Pocic, and Ifedi), it feels like any of them is at risk for giving up a pressure on any given snap. Odhiambo at LT looked decent to end the first half but coming out in the second half really struggled on plays 21-25. For an in-depth breakdown of Odhiambo’s struggles at LT, see Sam Gold’s excellent video here.

In the end, there are few positive takeaways. Ifedi looked better than last week, but still gave up 2 QB hits in one half. Joeckel and Aboushi looked worse than last week. Odhiambo at LT is worrisome.

The Seahawks have two more games to figure out the situation at left tackle before playing the Green Bay Packers in Week 1. They likely aren’t going to be as well off as they would have been with Fant, but might as well see what the tape shows us against the Chiefs and go from there.