A lot of times, when we talk about offensive schemes and play calling, an emphasis is put on creativity and mixing up your looks and call. Sometimes, though, simply identifying a weakness and repeatedly exploiting it is more effective.
That's what the Seahawks did on back-to-back redzone plays against Arizona last Sunday.
In their first possession of the second quarter, Seattle put together an 11-play drive that was capped off by a touchdown pass from the 7 yard line. Here is the play that Seattle scored on.
It's a play-action pass with two crossers, a tight end up the seam, and a full back leaking out into the flat. The fullback in this instance was Will Tukuafu, and he caught the ball at the five and walked into the end zone.
This was a fun play because fullback receiving touchdowns always feel like a little bit of a slap in the face to the defense. Fullbacks aren't supposed to score touchdowns, especially through the air, and especially when they're pushing three bills. But by itself, it's not a particularly interesting play.
After Seattle scored, the Cardinals ran six plays and punted to Tyler Lockett, who is very good, and who returned the ball all the way back down to the Arizona 16 yard line. A penalty on Arizona put the ball even deeper, to their 8 yard line. Seattle would score on their very first play. Here's how they did it.
It's a play action pass with two crossers, a tight end up the seam, and a full back, Derrick Coleman this time, leaking out into the flat. It's the exact same play as the one above, except this time Coffman catches the ball at the four yard line on the opposite side of the field and walks in for a touchdown.
While the two plays are identical, running them back to back caused the Arizona defense to over-correct. Here is another look at the first touchdown, this time with four key defenders highlighted.
You can see that the three linebackers, represented by the blue, red, and green circles, bite hard on the play action while the safety closes down on Coffman crossing the field. No one is left to pick up Tukuafu, who scores easily.
The second time Seattle runs this play, Arizona immediately recognizes and reacts to the play. Two defenders begin to cross the field to pick up Coleman and Bryce Brown, but as they do, this they effectively run a pick on the safety responsible for Coffman.
Wilson quickly sees that Arizona has accounted for the fullback in the flat, flips to the other side of the field, and hits Coffman with room to run.
While these two plays both happen to go for touchdowns, it's just a small example of the cat and mouse games that offenses and defenses play. Sometimes coordinators can win by changing things up and catching the opposition unawares, and sometimes you can win with the old iocane powder routine.