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Eddie Lacy sputtering in Weeks 8 through 11

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NFL: Washington Redskins at Seattle Seahawks Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

This is the fifth installment of the series in which I look at every rushing attempt during the 2017 season by every Seattle Seahawks running back. We’ve already looked at Eddie Lacy’s rushing attempts in

Following those four less than stellar performances, Lacy was relegated to spot duty, so in this piece I’m looking at his performance against Houston Texans (6 attempts), Washington Redskins (6 attempts) and the Atlanta Falcons (3 attempts).

Most of you are already familiar with how I do these, so we’ll go ahead and jump right in.

Carry 1: Week 8 against the Houston Texans; 2nd & 4 at the 31 with 5:55 to go in the 1st Quarter

The key for a running back running in the ZBS is to plant and go on the third step. On this play Eddie Lacy’s third step is a jump stop in the backfield. Lacy’s inability to properly read the blocking played a major role in the failure of the team’s 2017 running game. In this picture Lacy is seen deciding between a small crease in the middle or a lot of space to the outside where he would have a one on one matchup against Andre Hal (29) who weighs a whopping 188 pounds. Lacy gained three on this play.

Carry 2: Week 8 against the Houston Texans; 1st & 20 at the 20 with 3:11 to go in the 1st Quarter

Lacy has a small crease to attack (between 41 and 55 of the Texans) if he follows the blocks of Oday Aboushi and Justin Britt. However, Lacy decides it would likely be much more effective to simply run into the back of Britt and Ethan Pocic for no gain.

Carry 3: Week 8 against the Houston Texans; 1st & 10 at the 25 with 9:34 to go in the 2nd Quarter

The player circled in red is Luke Willson who was just tossed to the side by the player circled in yellow, JaDeveon Clowney. Clowney blows the play up in the backfield for a loss of six yards.

Carry 4: Week 8 against the Houston Texans; 1st & 10 at the 38 with 7:53 to go in the 2nd Quarter

Britt, playing his first game on a bad ankle is unable to maintain engagement with Bernardrick McKinney, who tosses Britt to the side and tackles Lacy after a two yard gain.

Carry 5: Week 8 against the Houston Texans; 1st & 10 at the 25 with 15:00 to go in the 3rd Quarter

Lacy isn’t given much to work with on this play, but he has two lanes of attack to choose from. He stutter steps his way through the hole between Britt and Aboushi for a gain of one.

Carry 6: Week 8 against the Houston Texans; 2nd & 7 at the 48 with 13:19 to go in the 3rd Quarter

There has been a lot of talk about how Pocic’s lack of strength made him susceptible to bull rushes by defensive tackles, but here we see another area where his lack of strength hurt. I’ve circled the arm of the defensive tackle who is holding Pocic, and the reason Pocic is being held is so that he is unable to step as far to his right and stop Bernardrick McKinney, who shoots the gap and tackles Lacy for no gain.

Carry 1: Week 9 against Washington; 1st & 10 at the 43 with 8:21 to go in the 1st Quarter

As I’ve noted previously, the ZBS is plant and go on the third step for the running back. This capture is Lacy planting to go on his sixth step. Gain of 2.

Carry 2: Week 9 against Washington; 2nd & 8 at the 40 with 8:06 to go in the 1st Quarter

This play was doomed from the snap. Both Ifedi and Jimmy Graham get beat to the inside by the defender they’re blocking, and Josh Norman (24) comes off the edge to disrupt the play in the backfield before it even starts. Lacy goes for a gain of 1.

Carry 3: Week 9 against Washington; 1st & 10 at the 31 with 6:42 to go in the 1st Quarter

On this play Lacy had great blocking at the point of attack, with the exception of Graham, who was tossed aside by Ryan Kerrigan (91) who gets enough of Lacy to spin him around, allowing Zach Brown to make the tackle after a three yard gain.

Carry 4: Week 9 against Washington; 2nd & 10 at the 29 with 4:37 to go in the 1st Quarter

The line provides good blocking, but Lacy is unable to get past the first tackler. Gain of 3.

Carry 5: Week 9 against Washington; 1st & 10 at the 45 with 1:54 to go in the 1st Quarter

The line has provided good blocking, and every box defender is accounted for. At the far left, we see Kerrigan has destroyed another tight end trying to block him, this time Willson, but it is far enough from the action to not be meaningful. Lacy bursts through the hold for a gain of 8.

Carry 6: Week 9 against Washington; 2nd & 7 at the 48 with 1:25 to go in the 1st Quarter

The line has given Lacy good blocking and he has plenty of running lanes to choose from here. What I want to bring to everyone’s attention is Graham on the right side of the image, where he is using his patented jump block against 208 pound D.J. Swearinger. This atrocious form is seen repeatedly from Graham over the course of the season on his run blocking and it drives me absolutely nuts every time I see it. In any case, I’ve also provided a second image from a different angle, where the amount of green in front of Lacy is immense if he chooses to try and make it between Aboushi and Ifedi. There’s a chance he gets taken down by Arthur Jones (96) who is engaged with Britt in the top photo before he ever makes the hole, if he does try to attack that direction, so I’m not going to fault him for it. There sure was a whole lot of green had he been able to duck just past Aboushi and turn upfield, however.

Lacy was inactive for the Week 10 injury fest against the Arizona Cardinals, so at this point we jump to the Week 11 Monday Night Football matchup against the Atlanta Falcons.

Carry 1: Week 11 against the Atlanta Falcons; 3rd & 1 at the 41 with 12:25 to go in the 2nd Quarter

Lacy putting his highly ineffective double foot jump stop instead of attacking the defense while the team needs just a single yard. Circled in yellow is Aboushi, who could probably be called for holding on this play, but isn’t. Lacy gains two.

Carry 2: Week 11 against the Atlanta Falcons; 3rd & Goal at the 41 with 5:54 to go in the 2nd Quarter

Willson, circled in yellow, gets absolutely destroyed by Derrick Shelby (90), whose penetrates into the backfield and tackles Lacy before he can make it into the end zone.

Carry 3: Week 11 against the Atlanta Falcons; 2nd & 1 at the 19 with 10:07 to go in the 4th Quarter

Here Lacy is forced to change direction in the backfield because Pocic has been bullied straight backwards. The line of scrimmage is the 19, and Pocic is at about the 17, while Britt and Brown are in line with where one would expect them to be. As a result of Lacy having to change directions, the play goes for no gain.

This brings us all the way up through Week 11, and in the coming days we’ll take a look at the 18 carries Lacy had against the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles. That will wrap up the Eddie Lacy portion of the running game tour, so I’ll need to figure out whose rushing attempts to look at next. For that, I’ll turn to you readers and let you decide.

Poll

Which running back should we look at next?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    Mike Davis (68 attempts)
    (34 votes)
  • 24%
    Thomas Rawls (58 attempts)
    (51 votes)
  • 46%
    Chris Carson (49 attempts)
    (97 votes)
  • 6%
    J.D. McKissic (46 attempts)
    (14 votes)
  • 6%
    C.J. Prosise (11 attempts)
    (13 votes)
209 votes total Vote Now