Its Week 2 of drive recaps, where this time we get to recap the
glorious terrifying victory over the San Francisco 49ers. This is going to be a bit shorter than last weeks, because I was out of town all weekend. First, a quick review of terminology.
Failed Drives are any non-scoring drives that either fail to go 40 yards or end in a turnover. Successful Drives are drives that go more than 40 yards or end in a field goal. Money Drives are any drives that end in a touchdown or drain the clock to end a game.
Second, I read the comments of last week’s piece and will consider changing the threshold for Successful Drives. However, I want to do some research and was not able to get to it this week. Next week will see my righteous justification of my arbitrary endpoints (or me changing the thresholds, depending on what I find). Third, next week is when I will introduce the season-to-date numbers, so get hyped (if drive statistics is your thing).
Offense Failed Drives
|Drives||2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9|
The offense failed 6 drives this week, just over half of their total drives. Failed drives are going to happen, but it isn’t thrilling to see them happening with such frequency or lined up like the 4th-6ths drives were last week. Because I wasn’t able to watch the game and have only seen clips on twitter (shoutout to the brave souls that risk the NFL’s legal wrath) it seems like drops may have been a huge issue for the WR corps as well as Russell Wilson not being his usual self. Oh and the OL was really bad.
Offense Successful Drives
|Drives||1, 3, 7|
Three successful drives, two of which ended in points, is, in my unprofessional opinion, “decent”. However, almost as important as the points scored was the time taken off the clock. In the three successful drives, the Seahawks sucked over a quarter of time off the clock. Additionally, two of these drives were on the razor’s edge of being Money Drives, with costly drops from C.J. Prosise and Tanner McEvoy preventing TDs. A 21-9 score probably eases a lot of concern about the offense.
Offense Money Drives
Finally, Money Drives. After being held without such a drive versus the Green Bay Packers, Russ and company delivered two such drives. These drives took about 9 minutes off the clock and effectively ended the game with a TD drive and a clock-killing drive. The inimitable Ben Baldwin (@guga31bb) helped chart the scrambles of Wilson and he had three such scrambles on the TD drive. Until the line can pass protect, we might see a lot more of Wilson’s magic.
Reminder, the drive categories are always from the perspective of the offense, so we want the defense to generate a lot of Failed Drives.
Defense Failed Drives
|Drives||1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 11|
The defense created eight failed drives: 73% of San Fran’s drives ended in utter failure. The Niners converted zero third downs and only generated 0.5 first downs per drive. The defense continues to dominate. The defense only generated one turnover, however, as the offense improves and forces opponents to not only throw more, but throw riskier passes, the turnovers will come. Although, I’m fine with not forcing turnovers if we can keep opposing QB yards/attempt below 4. (Seriously, this defense is stupid good).
Defense Successful Drives
|Drives||6, 7, 10|
While Carlos Hyde gashed some big runs, these were the only blemishes on the Seahawks’ defense last week. The 49ers may have gained more yards on their successful drives, but the difference in first downs/drive and Conversion Rate tells us that their successful drives were essential one big play rather than sustained success. If there is anything I trust a Pete Carroll defense to do, it is stop the explosive play.
Defense Money Drives
San Francisco had no Money Drives. Sheldon Richardson is a Seattle Seahawk. (As are Bobby Wagner and Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor and Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril and K.J. Wright and Richard Sherman)
Week 1’s script was flipped for the Seahawks this week, with a couple Money Drives of their own while holding the Niners out of the endzone. The offensive struggles are super frustrating (I’m glad I was listening to the Menzingers rather than watching the game this week), but as mentioned above, a couple drops become catches and the offense looks a lot more competent. Furthermore, while Russ seems to be a bit off so far, he has the second highest adjusted yards/attempt of any qualifying QB of all time. He is second place for career passer rating. He will get it together and when he does, the NFC is going to be on notice.