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Seahawks Drive Recaps: Seattle fails to manage successful, sustainable drives vs Packers

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Introducing a new series

Seattle Seahawks v Green Bay Packers
Definitely not pass interference
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

This is a new series in which I examine the Seahawks offense and defense on a per drive basis. I am going to collect as much data on Seattle drives as I can and compile that right before your very eyes. It is somewhat of an extension of Davis Hsu’s former 3rd down recap series. I look forward to your feedback and suggestions in the comments.

First, the terminology. I am going to be tracking three (to start) made up statistics. These are Failed Drives, Successful Drives, and Money Drives. Failed Drives are any drive that fails to gain at least 40 yards (some exceptions) or ends in a turnover. Going less than 40 yards, most of the time, is a bad result for the offense. Successful drives are any drives longer than 40 yards OR any drive that ends in a field goal. Gaining 40 yards allows the offense to flip field position, even if no points are scored. Also, it is tough to win on field goals alone, so they are merely successful, not money. Money Drives (patent pending (actually its not please don’t sue me)), are drives where the offense scores a TD, game winning field goal, or, as we unfortunately saw against the Green Bay Packers, holds the ball to prevent an opposing offense from returning to the field. However, this has to be an actual drive, so 3 kneeldowns following a turnover does not count as successful or Money drive. It wouldn’t be counted in my drive stats at all. Essentially, we all have an intuitive feel for these concepts of bad, good, and great drives, I just slapped some arbitrary endpoints on them and labeled them. Marvel at my genius.

Let’s get the gross stuff out of the way first.

The Offense

Oh boy. There will be other pieces that go into more depth into what was not working and why and potential fixes. This is not that piece. This will simply lay bare the failure of the Seahawks offense.

Failed Drives:

Offensive Failed Drives

Stat Result
Stat Result
Number 7
Drives 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9
Yards/drive 4
First downs/drive 0.286
Conversion % 1/8
T.o.P/drive 1:42

Seven failed drives out of ten seems not good. However, most damning is the utter failure of those failed drives. Seattle only managed to pick up two first downs out of those seven drives and five (!!!) drives failed to gain at least 10 yards. I generally don’t pay too much attention to time of possession (I find that it is often skewed by 1-2 big drives), but they held the ball for an average of 1:42 minutes on failed drives. That is going to increasingly stress the defense if it happens over seven drives. Additionally, the Seahawks gained an average of 4 yards on these drives, so they did absolutely nothing to help the field position game.

Successful Drives

Offensive Successful Drives

Stat Result
Stat Result
Number 3
Drives 6, 8, 10
Yards/Drive 65.67
1d/Drive 3.333
Conversion % 3/6
T.o.P 1:58

Three successful drives were the best the offense could muster this week. Frankly, it was pretty disappointing that the offense that looked pretty competent in the preseason looked so outclassed today. Additionally, and something I am tracking behind the scenes, the best offense was when we went to the hurry up. Two out of our three FG drives were in the hurry up, and the three successful drives took up an average of just under two minutes (1:58). The offense occasionally seemed able to move at will, but was not able to get into the endzone.

Money Drives

Offensive Money Drives

Stat Result
Stat Result
Number 0
Drives :(
Yards/Drive :(((
1d/Drive N/A
Conversion % N/A
T.o.P N/A

Welp, nothing to see here.

The Defense

Ok, this might be a little tricky, but the perspective for Failed/Successful/Money Drives is always from the offense. So a Failed Drive in the defense section is a good thing!

Failed Drives

Defensive Failed Drives

Stat Result
Stat Result
Number 6
Drives 1,2,3,4,5,6
Yards/drive 24.5
First downs/drive 2.000
Conversion % 4/12
T.o.P 3:51

The Packers had almost as many failed drives as the Seahawks. Aaron Rodgers is going to get first downs and yardage on the ground or through the air. Completely bottling him up would be damn impressive, even more so when Jeremy Lane was ejected on the first drive of the game for an utterly non-existent penalty. One blemish, however, is that the defense only forced one 3 & out. The biggest difference in this game was the Packers’ ability to gain a little edge, even on failed drives. These drives gained an average of 24.5 yards and 2 first downs. Over the course of the game, those edges can accumulate if the opposing team doesn’t put points up. Which is of course, exactly what happened. Green Bay, even on their worst drives, also managed to drain an average of 3:51 minutes off the clock. The defense playing as well as they did for as long as they did was truly impressive.

Successful Drives

Defensive Successful Drives

Stat Result
Stat Result
Number 1
Drives 9
Yards/Drive 53
1d/Drive 4.000
Conversion % 1/2
T.o.P 5:37

The averages are not very exciting because this is just one drive. Almost as much as the final GB drive, this was probably the backbreaker. They only scored a field goal, but they ate up over five and a half minutes of clock. In a different game, with a functioning offense, this is a fine result for a drive, but this drive probably ended the Seahawks’ hope of a comeback.

Money Drives

Defensive Money Drives

Stat Result
Stat Result
Number 3
Drives 7, 8, 10
Yards/Drive 44
1d/Drive 3.333333333
Conversion % 2/2
T.o.P 3:38

Ok, back to the T.o.P well. If you combine the T.o.P for the Successful and Money drives, you end up with over a quarter’s worth of time (16:31 minutes). That is 2.5 times as long as all three of Seattle’s Successful drives combined. The Money Drives were Drives 7, 8, and 10, when the Seahawks’ defense was probably overworked. Rodgers is going to get a few of these drives against even the best defenses, so I am hardly disheartened by their performance.

Overall

Allowing four Successful/Money Drives to Aaron Rodgers is to be somewhat expected. Only providing 3 Successful Drives and zero Money drives is, unfortunately, all too familiar for this squad. However, one game does not make a season. The Seahawks bookended the 2013 regular season with 12- and 10-point (at home!) performances and that season turned out alright. As frustrating as the offensive line was, at least we didn’t look as thoroughly outclassed in all phases as the Patriots did.

We are going to start by focusing week by week, and probably by Week 3 will start comparing the performance to the season to date. I hope to compile data from previous years, but that might not happen until the offseason.