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A quick overview of the Seahawks gameplan against the Cowboys

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Wild Card Round - Seattle Seahawks v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Everyone is well aware of the fact that the Seattle Seahawks 2018 season came to a halt in Dallas on Sunday when they faced off with the Dallas Cowboys and a very similar style of play and strategy. Both teams want to run the ball, control the clock and play solid defense.

It was the third time these two teams have met in the past thirteen months, and in watching the game it was readily apparent early on that the Seahawks were using the exact same gameplan they had used in the two prior matchups against the Cowboys. The first of those prior games game came in Week 16 of the 2017 season, after the Seahawks had been dealt losses to both the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Los Angeles Rams in the prior two weeks. The Seahawks played very conservatively in eking out a victory over Dallas that day.

Then, in Week 3 of the 2018 season the Hawks notched their first victory of the season by using the same gameplan. Running often and playing the field position game, and with a handful of successful pass plays thrown in, Seattle was able to overcome a Dallas team looking to play the exact same style. In any case, there has been plenty of discussion about the why and how the team lost, but essentially, they used the same gameplan for the third time in a row against the same opponent and this time it simply wan’t quite enough.

We can look at run:pass ratio, such as I did here, to understand the similarities in the gameplan.

But former Field Gulls contributor Ben Baldwin broke down the difference between Week 3 and the Wild Card game very succinctly.

And that’s basically it. Go two of thirteen on third down, and it becomes very hard to win a game against any opponent, much less on the road against a playoff caliber opponent. Keeping in mind that one of those third down conversions was Mike Davis running for a first down during the two minute drill to set up a 58 yard field goal attempt, and the Seahawks went one of twelve on third downs with more than three seconds left in a half.

Thinking back to the two victories over the Arizona Cardinals, the Hawks combined to go just four of twenty four on third down in those two games, and we all know how close to losing both of those games the Hawks were.

In any case, here’s a rundown of the playcalls for the three matchups on a drive by drive comparison, so feel free to further dissect the gameplan and the outcome.

Play by Play overview of drives in last three games against Cowboys

Drive and Play Wild Card Week 3 Week 16 2017
Drive and Play Wild Card Week 3 Week 16 2017
Drive 1, Play 1 Run (5) Run (2) Pass (7)
Drive 1, Play 2 Run (3) Run (3) Run (6)
Drive 1, Play 3 Pass (Inc) Pass (Inc) Run (2)
Drive 1, Play 4 N/A Run (5) Pass (Inc)
Drive 1, Play 5 N/A Run (5) Pass (11)
Drive 1, Play 6 N/A Pass (Inc) Pass (Sack -4)
Drive 1, Play 7 N/A Run (5) Pass (Inc)
Drive 1, Play 8 N/A Pass (8) Pass (Inc)
Drive 1, Play 9 N/A Run (-2) N/A
Drive 1, Play 10 N/A Run (3) N/A
Drive 1, Play 11 N/A Run (13) N/A
Drive 1, Play 12 N/A Pass (Inc) N/A
Drive 2, Play 1 Pass (-8) Run (3) Run (0)
Drive 2, Play 2 Run (5) Pass (3) Pass (Inc)
Drive 2, Play 3 Pass (SCR, 5) Pass (Inc) Pass (Inc)
Drive 3, Play 1 Run (4) Run (0) Run (8)
Drive 3, Play 2 Run (0) Pass (4) Run (6)
Drive 3, Play 3 Pass (Sack, -7) Pass (Inc) Pass (2)
Drive 3, Play 4 N/A N/A Run (-3)
Drive 3, Play 5 N/A N/A Pass (Sack -7)
Drive 4, Play 1 Pass (26) Pass (Inc) Pass (Inc)
Drive 4, Play 2 Pass (40) Run (4) Run (5)
Drive 4, Play 3 Run (3) Pass (6) Pass (Sack -22)
Drive 4, Play 4 Run (0) Run (4) N/A
Drive 4, Play 5 Pass (Inc) Run (3) N/A
Drive 4, Play 6 N/A Pass (12) N/A
Drive 4, Play 7 N/A Pass (Inc) N/A
Drive 4, Play 8 N/A Run (0) N/A
Drive 4, Play 9 N/A Pass (19) N/A
Drive 4, Play 10 N/A Pass (16) N/A
Drive 5, Play 1 Pass (Inc) Run (5) Pass (12)
Drive 5, Play 2 Pass (Inc) Run (4) Run (6)
Drive 5, Play 3 Run (-4) Run (2) Run (14)
Drive 5, Play 4 Pass (7) Pass (11) Pass (Inc)
Drive 5, Play 5 Pass (inc) Run (1) Run (0)
Drive 5, Play 6 N/A Run (0) Pass (3)
Drive 5, Play 7 N/A Pass (52) N/A
Drive 6, Play 1 Pass (4) Pass (4) Run (-1)
Drive 6, Play 2 Pass (3) Pass (7) N/A
Drive 6, Play 3 Run (3) Pass (Inc) N/A
Drive 6, Play 4 N/A Pass (3) N/A
Drive 6, Play 5 N/A Pass (Inc) N/A
Drive 7, Play 1 Run (1) Run (3) Run (5)
Drive 7, Play 2 Run (3) Run (1) Run (2)
Drive 7, Play 3 Pass (Inc) Pass (Inc) Run (-1)
Drive 8, Play 1 Pass (9) Run (0) Pass (1)
Drive 8, Play 2 Run (5) Pass (3) Pass (Inc)
Drive 8, Play 3 Run (28) Pass (Sack -10) Run (10)
Drive 8, Play 4 Run (-7) N/A Run (3)
Drive 8, Play 5 Pass (Inc) N/A Run (0)
Drive 8, Play 6 Pass (5) N/A Pass (20)
Drive 8, Play 7 N/A N/A Pass (8)
Drive 8, Play 8 N/A N/A Run (15)
Drive 8, Play 9 N/A N/A Run (0)
Drive 8, Play 10 N/A N/A Run (2)
Drive 8, Play 11 N/A N/A Run (4)
Drive 8, Play 12 N/A N/A Pass (Inc)
Drive 8, Play 13 N/A N/A Run (-5)
Drive 8, Play 14 N/A N/A Pass (6)
Drive 9, Play 1 Run (3) Run (0) Run (4)
Drive 9, Play 2 Run (0) Pass (27) Run (4)
Drive 9, Play 3 Run (2) Run (7) Pass (7)
Drive 9, Play 4 Pass (22) Run (5) Pass (10)
Drive 9, Play 5 Run (3) Pass (9) Run (-3)
Drive 9, Play 6 Run (2) Run (5) Run (0)
Drive 9, Play 7 Run (7) Run (2) Run (-3)
Drive 9, Play 8 Run (1) Pass (8) N/A
Drive 9, Play 9 Run (4) Run (3) N/A
Drive 9, Play 10 N/A Run (5) N/A
Drive 10, Play 1 Run (-1) Run (0) Run (-1)
Drive 10, Play 2 Pass (5) Run (6) Run (-1)
Drive 10, Play 3 Pass (Inc) Pass (Sack 0) N/A
Drive 11, Play 1 Pass (6) Run (5) N/A
Drive 11, Play 2 Pass (5) Run (1) N/A
Drive 11, Play 3 Pass (2) Pass (Inc) N/A
Drive 11, Play 4 Pass (13) N/A N/A
Drive 12, Play 1 Pass (9) Run (0) N/A
Drive 12, Play 2 Pass (53) Run (-1) N/A
Drive 12, Play 3 Pass (Inc) Run (11) N/A
Drive 12, Play 4 Pass (Inc) Run (1) N/A
Drive 12, Play 5 Pass (6) Run (4) N/A
Drive 12, Play 6 Pass (7) Run (-1) N/A
Drive 13, Play 1 N/A Run (-1) N/A

It’s been fun kids, and don’t disappear just because it’s the offseason. We’re about to get into some fun stuff as we’ll have time to look at a lot of specific questions without the hassle of having to worry about upcoming games and what not.

In any case, the Seahawks 2018 season is in the books, but don’t wander too far because there is a ton of fun stuff to look at in the coming weeks.