Looking back on the season, this piece includes one key play from each of the last eight games. These key plays are plays that were found somewhere in the top 10 EPA plays of the game, but are not necessarily the #1 play from a given game. These plays are the plays that I subjectively believe most told the story of the game.
For an overview of EPA and this series, see my intro article here. Onto the plays:
Game 9: Seattle 22, Arizona 16
I’m going to deviate from the norm and include three different plays for this game. The reason for each play being included should be obvious.
Play 1: Q4 2-21 SEA 44: (13:21) (Shotgun) Russell Wilson pass short left to Doug Baldwin pushed ob at ARI 2 for 54 yards.
EPA:4.57. Score before play: SEA15, ARI10. SEA WP change: 73-> 86. TD% before: 34. TD% after: 85
Play 2: Q3 3-12 ARI 16: (5:30) (Shotgun) Drew Stanton pass deep middle to John Brown to ARI 34 for 18 yards. SEA- Richard Sherman was injured during the play.
EPA:3.50. Score before play: ARI10, SEA15. SEA WP change: 75-> 63. TD% before: 20. TD% after: 39
This is the play where Richard Sherman suffered a season-ending injury.
Play 1: Q1 1-10 SEA 48: (13:10) Adrian Peterson up the middle to SEA 47 for 1 yard (Kam Chancellor). FUMBLES (K.Chancellor), RECOVERED by SEA- Sheldon Richardson at ARI 48.
EPA:6.18. Score before play: ARI0, SEA0. SEA WP change: 42-> 58. TD% before: 46. TD% after: 13
In what might have been Kam Chancellor’s last NFL game, he forced an Adrian Peterson fumble for old times’ sake. This was the #1 EPA play from the game.
Game 10: Seattle 31, Atlanta 34
Q1 2-1 ATL 31: (11:16) R.Wilson pass short middle intended for Tyler Lockett INTERCEPTED by Desmond Trufant at ATL 22. D.Trufant to SEA 38 for 40 yards.
EPA:8.14. Score before play: SEA0, ATL7. SEA WP change: 41-> 18. TD% before: 55. TD% after: 8
One of the weirdest plays of the season, as Wilson missed badly. Atlanta would go on to score a touchdown to take a 14-0 1st quarter lead.
Honorable mentions: Atlanta strip-sack touchdown; Seattle fake field goal.
Game 11: Seattle 24, San Francisco 13
Q4 1-10 SEA 10: (:02) (No Huddle, Shotgun) Jimmy Garoppolo pass short left to Loius Murphy for 10 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
EPA:3.15. Score before play: SF6, SEA24. SEA WP change: 100-> 100. TD% before: 38. TD% after: 100
Garoppolo making his 49ers debut is the only memorable part of this game.
Honorable mention: hey, Nick Vannett scored a touchdown!
Game 12: Seattle 24, Philadelphia 10
#3. Q3 3-10 PHI 48: (6:57) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass deep left to D.Baldwin pushed ob at PHI 1 for 47 yards.
EPA: 4.83. Score before play: SEA10, PHI3. SEA WP change: 79-> 89. TD% before: 33. TD% after: 91
You don't tug on Superman's cape, you don't spit into the wind. You don't pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger and you don't zero-blitz Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin.— Fabulous Peltoncast (@peltoncast) December 4, 2017
The Eagles blitzed Russell Wilson and paid dearly.
Honorable mentions: Sheldon Richardson forced fumble on Carson Wentz at Seattle’s goal line; Wentz 51 yard bomb to Nelson Agholor; McKissic receiving TD, Wilson lateral to Mike Davis.
Q3 1-10 JAX 25: (7:32) (Shotgun) Blake Bortles pass deep middle to Keelan Cole for 75 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
EPA:6.06. Score before play: JAX10, SEA10. SEA WP change: 49-> 27. TD% before: 35. TD% after: 100
As we saw with the Titans game, allowing a 75 yard touchdown makes it harder to win.
Honorable mentions: Lockett 74 yard touchdown; Richardson 61 yard touchdown; Jaydon Mickens 72 yard punt return.
Q2 3-20 LA 43: (:37) Todd Gurley left tackle for 57 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
EPA:6.22. Score before play: LA27, SEA0. SEA WP change: 0-> 0. TD% before: 10. TD% after: 100
Going back to 1994, just one run play of 3rd and 20+ has resulted in a touchdown (Tim Tebow vs. Raiders in 2010). So, that's about how bad that play was for the Seahawks— Danny Kelly (@DannyBKelly) December 17, 2017
Q3 2-7 DAL 29: (11:29) (No Huddle, Shotgun) Dak Prescott pass short left intended for Ezekiel Elliott INTERCEPTED by Justin Coleman at DAL 30. J.Coleman for 30 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
EPA:7.69. Score before play: DAL9, SEA7. SEA WP change: 43-> 62. TD% before: 33. TD% after: 0
In a game where points were at a premium, scoring a defensive touchdown went a long way towards determining the outcome.
Honorable mentions: Byron Maxwell forced fumble; K.J. Wright interception; Dan Bailey missed 34 yard field goal.
Q1 1-10 SEA 25: (9:05) D.Stanton pass deep right to Jaron Brown for 25 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
EPA:2.74. Score before play: ARI0, SEA0. SEA WP change: 38-> 28. TD% before: 53. TD% after: 100
Seattle’s defense allowing Drew Stanton to march down the field for an opening-drive touchdown was not a good omen for the rest of the game.
And thus ends this series for this year. Thank you for reading along!