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Eddie Lacy’s final carries

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NFL: Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Today I take a look at the 18 rushing attempts by Eddie Lacy against the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles in Weeks 12 and 13, and close out the book on his contributions to the Seahawks. This is the final piece of the Eddie Lacy portion of the series in which I look at every rushing attempt during the 2017 season by every Seattle Seahawks running back. I’ve already looked at the rushing attempts in

And today we’ll go ahead and finish things off, first with the 49ers and then his lone carry against the Eagles.

Carry 1: Week 12 against the San Francisco 49ers; 2nd & 15 at the 22 with 13:07 to go in the 1st Quarter

By this time of the season the team has started to go away from running only using the zone blocking system, and on this play we see both guards pull, which is typically indicates a power or man blocking scheme. Ethan Pocic (far right Seahawk in the image) overruns the defender he should block and has to attempt to reach back and block him. He does not, and Reuben Foster has a square shot on Lacy. Lacy simply runs right through him and goes for a gain of 5.

Carry 2: Week 12 against the San Francisco 49ers; 1st & 10 at the 33 with 10:36 to go in the 1st Quarter

Back to zone blocking on this play, and the line appears to provide a quality hole for Lacy. Unfortunately, Luke Joeckel is unable to hold his block at the point of attack, and his man takes down Lacy after a gain of three.

Carry 3: Week 12 against the San Francisco 49ers; 1st & 10 at the 16 with 6:34 to go in the 1st Quarter

This is the line blocking nearly as well as can be asked in the ZBS. However, instead of following the caravan of blocking that would have been provided by running through the hole between Justin Britt and Duane Brown, with Joeckel and Amara Darboh paving the way, Lacy attempts to cut back through the hole between Britt and Ifedi. Ifedi is unable to hold his block, and Lacy is tackled after a three yard gain.

Carry 4: Week 12 against the San Francisco 49ers; 1st & 10 at the 39 with 4:15 to go in the 1st Quarter

Sometimes, when everyone does their job, things work perfectly. On this play this is Lacy’s third step, and he plants with decisiveness and commits to a hole that hasn’t even opened yet. Right in front of him in the image is Matt Tobin, who seals his man to the outside, while Ifedi gets just enough to create a seam. Lacy blasts through for an eleven yard gain, his best run of the day.

Now, while Lacy had a great run on that play, I would like to take a moment and point out a couple of things that popped up regularly throughout the season that I noticed on this play that bug me to no end. The first is seen in this next capture, where I’ve circled Jimmy Graham doing his look-ma-no-legs jump block.

I have serious doubts that any coach anywhere in the NFL is teaching a player to attempt to block with both feet off the ground, not even at the Tom Cable School for Linemen Who Can’t Block Good and Want to Learn to Do Other Stuff Good Too. This exact thing is seen over and over on the film, and I feel it goes a long way towards explaining why Seattle had little interest in bringing Graham back when the plan is to get back to a physical brand of football.

Secondly, this is what the play looked like once Lacy broke through the second level. There are three players between Lacy and the end zone - two 49er defenders and Paul Richardson. Richardson blocks neither of the defenders, and stands around watching as Lacy gets tackled. Again, as with Graham, with Pete Carroll wanting to get back to a physical brand of football, is it any surprise that Richardson was allowed to leave as a free agent?

Carry 5: Week 12 against the San Francisco 49ers; 1st & 10 at the 50 with 3:39 to go in the 1st Quarter

Britt got pushed into the backfield on this play, but Lacy is able to sidestep the penetration without too much of an issue. Brown and Joeckel have the back side sealed and Lacy will have a great hole as long as Pocic is able to engage the second level defender he is targeting at this point. Unfortunately, he’s unable, and Lacy is tackled for a gain of four.

Carry 6: Week 12 against the San Francisco 49ers; 1st & 10 at the 40 with 0:02 to go in the 1st Quarter

Another run that is not blocked using the team’s traditional zone blocking, and a few things combine to lead to the death of this play. First, Pocic runs right past Reuben Foster, who has Lacy dead to rights. Secondly, if you’ll notice, it appears that Joeckel’s left arm is being held by the 49ers defender that is engaged with Britt, which slows Joeckel down just enough in his effort to come across the formation and lead the way for Lacy. Lastly, Lacy isn’t patient enough to wait for Joeckel, and attacks Foster from in front of his pulling blocker.

Carry 7: Week 12 against the San Francisco 49ers; 3rd & 2 at the 48 with 14:44 to go in the 2nd Quarter

The 49er circled in yellow is Elvis Dumervil who is about to tackle Lacy for a loss of one. The Seahawk circled in red is Graham standing around watching the guy he was blocking a moment before tackle Lacy. 3rd & 2 in the second quarter of a scoreless game and that’s the effort Graham gives. Enjoy Green Bay, ya bum.

Carry 8: Week 12 against the San Francisco 49ers; 1st & 10 at the 25 with 11:19 to go in the 2nd Quarter

Circled in yellow is Pro Bowl left tackle Duane Brown getting absolutely obliterated to the inside by rookie Solomon Thomas. Thomas disrupts the play, leading to a loss of two.

Carry 9: Week 12 against the San Francisco 49ers; 2nd & 10 at the 29 with 9:07 to go in the 3rd Quarter

The line of scrimmage is the 29, and by the time Lacy is getting the ball Pocic has already been driven back to the 26. He’ll end up at the 25 before he’s able to anchor properly, and Lacy is forced to squeeze through the hole between Pocic and Ifedi to the 30 for a gain of one.

Carry 10: Week 12 against the San Francisco 49ers; 1st & 10 at the 23 with 7:25 to go in the 3rd Quarter

The line does a great job blocking, and both Graham and Nick Vannett seal defenders to the inside. All Lacy has to do is break the tackle of Dontae Johnson and it’ll be a race to the pylon between Lacy and Antone Exum. Lacy fails to do that, and it’s a gain of six.

Carry 11: Week 12 against the San Francisco 49ers; 1st & 10 at the 22 with 2:18 to go in the 3rd Quarter

I’m not sure what the deal is with Lacy, but so often he misses gigantic holes, like the one to his left in this play. He gained six on the play running right behind Vannett, but this play could have been so much more.

Carry 12: Week 12 against the San Francisco 49ers; 1st & 1 at the 1 with 0:32 to go in the 3rd Quarter

This is one of those disaster plays that could be teaching film for how not to play offensive line. Three things I’m going to point out here. First, the yellow arrow is pointing to the defender Ifedi tried unsuccessfully to block. The yellow circle is Tobin getting tossed to the side like a sack of potatoes by the defender who will make the tackle on the play. And lastly, the red circle is Pocic looking like he’s about to jump up on Britt to go for a piggy back ride.

Lacy, somehow, makes it back to the line of scrimmage for no gain.

Carry 13: Week 12 against the San Francisco 49ers; 1st & 10 at the 10 with 11:47 to go in the 4th Quarter

This play is blocked beautifully by the line, and Lacy is just about to explode through a hole in the second level between Brown and Britt when he trips over Joeckel’s back foot (circled in yellow). If he doesn’t trip, there’s a lot of green potentially in front of Lacy, and it’s possible that he gains a lot more than just the five yards he did gain.

Carry 14: Week 12 against the San Francisco 49ers; 2nd & 5 at the 15 with 11:33 to go in the 4th Quarter

We’ve all seen the plays where Luke Willson comes across the formation to block the backside edge defender (circled in red), and in this situation it appears it was Vannett (circled in yellow) who had that duty (Willson left this game with a concussion). Only Vannett sprints right past the end, who gets to Lacy in the backfield, and gives the rest of the defense a chance to close. If Vannett blocks that defensive end, it would have been possible for Lacy to follow right behind and through the hole between Brown and Joeckel, beyond which he had a TON of green. Instead he was tackled for no gain.

Carry 15: Week 12 against the San Francisco 49ers; 2nd & 7 at the 46 with 8:59 to go in the 4th Quarter

Number 98 for the 49ers who is about to tackle Lacy is Ron Blair, a second year defensive end out Appalachian State who has just tossed Graham to the side. in order to set himself up to make the tackle. Lacy picks up three on the play, but if Graham provides any kind of blocking, it could have gone for much more.

Graham certainly won’t be missed in the running game.

Carry 16: Week 12 against the San Francisco 49ers; 1st& 10 at the 45 with 5:04 to go in the 4th Quarter

A couple of things combine to make this play not work. The first is Pocic not coming out of his stance laterally enough at the snap. Instead, he appears to have squared up to watch Foster (56) rather than firing out like he should. As a result he’s too far away from Brock Coyle (50) to block him effectively, while Coyle has read the play and shoots the gap between Britt and Pocic. Lacy sidesteps Coyle, but Vannett (far left Seahawk in the image) has given little more than an ole block to Blair (98) and Blair rushes in to tackle the dancing Lacy after a gain of one.

Carry 17: Week 12 against the San Francisco 49ers; 1st & 10 at the 19 with 4:12 to go in the 4th Quarter

This is a toss sweep to Lacy, and if he had cut back a step earlier than he does, he has a massive cutback lane available. In fact, the cutback lane appears to be two Tobins wide, which is not a technical term, it’s one I just made up based on how tall Tobin appears to be as he lays there on the ground not blocking anyone. Lacy loses a yard on the play.

Carry 1: Week 13 against the Philadelphia Eagles; 1st & 10 at the 38 with 1:29 to go in the 1st Quarter

Two things combine to make this play fall far short of what it could have been. The helmet circled in red is Tobin, who just got swatted away like an annoying mosquito by Vinny Curry (75) . Pocic is pulling around as a lead blocker, and appears to be so set on blocking Nigel Bradham (53) that he runs right past Curry, even though that means Curry will be unblocked when Lacy arrives a split second later. Curry wraps up Lacy on the spot, but is unable to get him to the ground. Britt comes in and joins the ruck, pushing the pile forward for a gain of three.

And that concludes the 2017 review of every single carry by Lacy. The fans have spoken and would like to see the carries of Chris Carson next, so I will be getting to that later this week or next.

As always, if you have specific questions or want a clarification about a particular play, feel free to ask away in the comments section.