Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Rub Route

In the two weeks leading up to Super Bowl XLVIII much was made of the Denver offense's use of "rub routes" or "pick plays" and if the prior level of ineptitude in defending such plays would continue when the Broncos took on the league's number one defense. Many experts contended that with Peyton Manning at the helm, the Broncos offense was unstoppable, and would shred apart even the most impermeable of defenses. But by the time the players were on the field, and the game was actually being played, it was the Seahawks who did the shredding, and the Broncos who were the shredded.

Throughout the game, the Seattle offense featured several new wrinkles that added a level of creativity and unpredictability to the always reliable bread and butter offense- the run game and play action. Rhythm passes, screens and boundary runs all played an essential role in the Seahawks ability to score nearly 30 points of offense. What was of the most interest to me, was the use of Denver's patented rub routes by the Seattle offense.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Percy Harvin: Super Bowl X-Factor?

It’s been an up and down year for Percy Harvin. He went from a high (being traded to a championship contender and receiving a contract extension) to a low (needing hip surgery) to another high (coming back ahead of schedule) back to a low (having a hip flare up with the potential to end his season) to another high (coming back for the playoffs) to a low (concussion) to a high (playing in the super bowl). On less than 10 targets/touches this year he’s had a 58 yard return, a one handed catch, a high-leaping jump ball catch, a beautiful run on an end around, and 2 hits take him to the locker room.
He’s playing only 6 quarters this season, yet the argument could be made he will be the most important offensive player in Super Bowl XLVIII.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Return Of The Run

I don’t need to tell you how Pete Carroll and the Seahawks offensive staff feel about running the ball. They want to run the ball. I also don’t need to tell you how the Seahawks offense ran the ball the last quarter of the regular season. They didn't.

One of the big concerns for the Seahawks in the playoffs was if if they would be able to get pro-bowl runningback Marshawn Lynch going for the playoffs. When facing the abominable conditions of January (and hopefully February) football, a team’s proficiency in running the football is an invaluable skill and often the reason a game is won (or lost).

Saturday, against the New Orleans Saints, the Seahawks seemingly remembered how to run the ball, and regained their previously existent dominance on the ground. While facing winds up to 50 mph, the Seahawks simply decided to run the ball on a hefty 62.5% of their offensive plays, and Marshawn Lynch picked up 140 yards in the process.

Looking back at the tape there were a bevy of reasons for the vast improvement in execution and success in the running game. Sure, the Saints blitzed often, which opened up holes in the running game, but the Seahawks line blocked significantly better than they had in past games and Lynch was frequently able to find holes that were nonexistent in previous games.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Player Breakdown: Golden Tate

I've recently put some thought into Golden Tate and the fact that 2013 is the last year on his contract. Throughout the 2012 season, Tate proved to be a playmaker capable of making defenders miss and picking up extra yardage. Unfortunately for him, he is the third receiver on the roster and Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin will already have a combined $23.1 million cap number in 2014 (33% of the total offensive cap number). Factor in another $4-5 million that Tate will likely demand, and the receiver group becomes around 40% of total offensive spending. It’s hard to imagine a run-heavy team like the Seahawks spend $25+ million on wide receivers, which makes the possibility of Golden Tate in an opposing team's uniform starting 2014 more probable.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Earl Thomas and The Deep Middle

Russell Wilson is the most valued and irreplaceable Seahawk, with little doubt. But when it comes to the second most valuable Hawk, cases could be made for many players. Richard Sherman and Marshawn Lynch are well known players and first team all pros. Russell Okung is a pro-bowler at the most important position on the offensive line- left tackle. Max Unger is the brains of the offensive line, and also a first team all pro. However, I believe it is fellow first-team all pro Earl Thomas that allows Seattle’s defense to have the success it does, and is thus the second most valuable Seahawk.