As we do every week, here are a few notes and tidbits on the Seahawks' recent performance (a win over the Niners), from Pro Football Focus' Jim Seki. His notes in italics, and my comments follow.
-- Thomas Rawls destroyed the Niners defense, averaging 4.43 yards after contact per attempt. In the last four weeks, his 4.2 YAC per attempt (YAC/A) is second best behind only Andre Ellington. When he runs anywhere left of left guard, he's averaging 10.6 yards/carry.
The yards after contact per carry stat is one of my favorite for running backs because it really says a lot about the type of player they are. In this case, the YAC/A implies that Rawls is not relying on his offensive line to open up big holes for him -- he's beating defenders and making them pay. Rawls' stats from his first three starts are staggeringly good, almost across the board.
-- Doug Baldwin caught all of his six targets while on the opposition, Jimmie Ward went a perfect seven of seven, allowing completions to four different Seahawk receivers.
Baldwin has now had two excellent games in a row. He's really playing at a high level right now.
-- The end result covers up the fact that the right side of the OL had it's issues. Lewis, (-1.8), Sweezy (-2.8), and Gilliam (-5.2) all gave up multiple QB hurries. Gilliam's 28 QB hurries allowed are third-most among RTs.
Gilliam has had his struggles, and it's not super surprising that each member of the right side gave up hurries. The good news is that overall, the line does seem to be improving as a group. It wasn't going to magically get better overnight though, and this is an indication of the continuing growing pains.
-- Not that many gaudy numbers from the defense—Wagner, Sherman and Thomas all had decent games where they finished with a grade higher than +1.0. Cary Williams was benched but only graded out at -0.6. He did allow all four of his targets to be completed though.
The Cary Williams situation will be one to monitor closely this week, obviously. The Seahawks saw something that got them angry enough to take action, so the big question is whether or not he can regain their trust and find himself starting again.
-- Solid games from the linebacking core, especially from Michael Morgan. He had a +1.3 coverage grade which is tied for second-best this week for 4-3 OLBs
Mike Morgan has got to be one of the most under-appreciated Seahawks right now. Has been with the team for five years now, always playing a role on special teams and as a key backup.
-- Defensive stops: Wagner 7, Wright 3, four with 2
-- QB hurries: Avril 3, Wagner/Chancellor/Morgan 1
-- Coverage targets: Shead 5, Williams/Wright/Sherman/Morgan 4
-- Not a signature stat but Wilson leads quarterbacks this week in completion rate at 82.8% as well as QB accuracy rate at 96.2%. He's also second this week in PFF QB rating at 122.05.
For the context of that 96.2% accuracy rate note, this tweet by PFF says it all: "In Russell Wilson's 24-for-29 passing day against the 49ers, three of his five incompletions were throwaways and one was dropped." So, he missed one throw. Wow.
-- Seahawks rank 24th this week in pass block efficiency at 69.3, allowing 14 pressures. In the last month, they are 30th allowing 56 pressures good for a PBE of only 69.1.
So, yeah, the offensive line is still not great.
-- Niners slot corner Jimmie Ward allowed a second-worst 4.14 yards/coverage snap this week. Not far behind is Cary Williams who's eight at 2.96.
Not a great game from the Niners' 2014 1st round pick.
-- In 440 snaps, the four OLBs on the roster have only missed four tackles. Only one has come on a pass play.
That's pretty damn impressive.