It's been a very long time,ladies and Gentleman, people of all blue and green stripes. I hope I still got it.
Everyone's talking about it. The backup duo of Stone Forsythe and Jake Curahan's stand against the fears of an entire fanbase. They laughed at us, they had to of. How could they look so rough vs the Rams and then go on the road and stay quiet versus a talented pass rush like that? Was it a fake out? Was it the old switch-a-roo?
What a difference a week makes. The gameplan against the Rams blew up when Cross and Lucas went down. They clearly were aimed at deeper passes, challenging the safeties, knowing Lucas and Cross are really good on 5-step drop plays. The Seahawks could run 15-25 yard concepts as primary designs for big plays. They even set that up by throwing quickly on the first drive to open up deeper shots. Once both starting tackles go down, none of that is clear and so a scramble is made.
The biggest thing to notice right away is how the splits (the space between each offensive lineman) tightens up to prevent easy blitz lanes and allow guards to help with any inside rushes on the tackles. This eliminates deep playaction passes entirely. Another thing tightening the splits does is affect the QB's vision. It will make him hesitate and move around the pocket or even out of the pocket to find a good throwing lane or open guy.
Another forgotten element in all this discussion though? Aaron Donald. He's a mini bundle of chaos that stirs the Ram's pass rush drink. The Guards and Center had their hands full for the entire Rams game. The lions, no matter how plucky or tenacious or scrappy, gritty, dirt-baggy? They don't have Aaron Donald.
As fans, we only have the eye test. It's easy to project and scare ourselves into doom spirals, it's understandable. The Seahawks heading into Detroit gave me nightmares and troubles too, thankfully, Jake and Stone, or Stone and Jake, don't share my brain with me or any of us.
Detroit was different Seattle had a plan built around their own weaknesses and Detroit's weaknesses. Seattle didn't run a ton of deep drop 7-step play action passes or even 5-step drops. Geno threw quick and worked expertly from shotgun.
However, play selection was only part of the equation. The other part was letting the interior work normally, while finding other ways of protecting the tackles. Chip blocks by Tight Ends and Running backs, heavy formation throws (which would normally be run calls) and calling for protection slides toward Curhan.
Seattle used every trick it could to minimize the stress on their guys out there. If they could legally have played with a fan as an extra blocker, they would have been on the phone to get someone to Ford Field.
Stone Forsythe proved the most adept at being on an island at times. Curhan at times was battling through it, he was definitely over matched at times. His final block on Lockett's walk off touchdown is the perfect example of his day at Right Tackle. He did his best, he survived and his team picked him up. Here's what I tweeted about Jake's day in Detroit:
"Jake Curhan used the "Solari technique" to keep himself ahead of whoever he was going against. By technical rule, his hand position starts on the shoulders for a snap grab and then he releases instantly "never tugged" at all but will absolutely have all the signs of holding"
In conclusion, I really just wanted to point out that it was really nice not to play Aaron Donald again this week. Thanks for reading!