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Seattle's play-calling trends

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by AdamJT13, Oct 22, 2005.

  1. AdamJT13

    AdamJT13 Salary Cap Analyst

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    Bills Parcells mentioned in a press conference that Seattle averages 6.62 yards per play on first downs, which is the best in the league. Not surprisingly, a big reason for that is that the Seahawks usually pass on first-and-10 -- they do it 58.4 percent of the time. (Only five teams pass more on first-and-10, and three of those -- Oakland, Minnesota and Tennessee -- do it only because they've usually been losing. Only Philadelphia and St. Louis pass more on first-and-10 in normal situations.) When the Seahawks are on their own side of the field, they pass 66.7 percent of the time on first-and-10 (more than Philly or St. Louis). On the opponent's side, it drops to 46.5 percent. In the first quarter, they pass 56.8 percent of the time on first down. It's 75 percent in the second quarter and 61 percent in the third, but only 40.4 percent in the fourth. And they pass more than 60 percent of the time on first-and-10 when they're losing, tied or winning by one score but only 43.5 percent of the time when they're up by at least two scores.

    In other words, the Seahawks pass to set up the run, not vice-versa. So unless they do something contrary to what they've been doing, expect them to pass most of the time on first down unless they're ahead by a lot or ahead in the fourth quarter.

    If they throw an incompletion on second-and-10, expect the Seahawks to run the ball to try to set up a shorter third down. They run the ball 62.1 percent of the time on second-and-10 -- 62.5 percent on their side of the field and 61.5 percent on the opponent's side. As expected, the numbers go up the more they're leading by -- they run 60 percent of the time on second-and-10 when they're tied, 75 percent when they're up by one score and 85.7 percent when they're up by two scores. When they're losing, it's only 28.6 percent. What's interesting is that in the fourth quarter, they've run only 16.7 percent of the time on second-and-10.

    Where the Seahawks' offense is particularly weak is on third-and-long (6 yards or more). Matt Hasselbeck is ranked only 11th in the NFC and 21st in the NFL in third-down passing, with a rating of only 67.2 and a completion rate of only 48.6. Drew Bledsoe, on the other hand, is ranked No. 1 in the NFL with a rating of 108.6 and a completion rate of 70 percent. The Seahawks have converted only 20 percent of the time (six out of 30) when passing on third-and-6 or more. Compare that to Dallas' 41 percent, which is a big reason why Dallas is No. 2 in the NFL in converting third downs.

    So what does this all mean? It means pass defense should be a big key on first downs. If we can force an incompletion on first down, they probably will run a majority of the time on second down. And if we can stop it for a gain of 4 or less, we'll put the Seahawks in third-and-long, where they struggle. But if we're letting them complete passes on first downs, they're in a much better position to run Alexander and pick up first downs.
  2. Chocolate Lab

    Chocolate Lab Run-loving Dino

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    I still think we have to press their WRs hard at the line, or they will complete those quick-drop passes all day. I wish I knew why we played them so soft last year.
  3. TonyS

    TonyS Well-Known Member

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    Adam, thanks for the analysis. You're always spot-on with your analysis and information. Kudos.
  4. big dog cowboy

    big dog cowboy THE BIG DOG Staff Member

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  5. JWitten

    JWitten Member

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    Adam you are an asset to the board !!!!!!! Great post.
  6. TheHustler

    TheHustler Active Member

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    Someone send this to Zimmer now! Let's blitz on first down!
  7. blindzebra

    blindzebra Well-Known Member

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    It means we better start the game in the nickel/4-3 look with Roy in the box. They torched us with 3 wide against the 3-4 in preseason, a trend that has continued.
  8. Zman5

    Zman5 Well-Known Member

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    Acturally I would wrather they start as 3-3-5 and Blitz 2 out of 4 players (Roy, Ware, Davis, Shanle) from different spots.

    Move the blitzers around and keep their OL guessing.
  9. ghst187

    ghst187 Well-Known Member

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    yeah but the foreskins beat them and shut down their offense...an offense that was a lot more mature than ours when we played the skins. Now the skins have a great D no doubt, but Seattle is very capable of being shut down. Stop Alexander and I don't think their WR's can beat our CBs. If you hit Alexander hard and stuff him often early, he'll quit running as hard. Seen too many games where he is not a factor. When he is running well, he's ridiculously hard to stop. Those games usually only come against the weak teams though ironically. Stuff the inside gaps, make him go east-west and you have him and probably the entire Seattle offense.
    I'm not saying that Seattle is a bad team, they're quite good IMO, and I'm not trying to talk trash, I just don't believe all the Alexander hype and I think the vast majority of his success has been against the worst defenses. 8 of his 12 TDs were against Arizona and Houston.
    Against Arizona, StL, and Houston, Seattle has scored 37,37, and 42.
    Against Wash, Jack, and Atl, Seattle has scored 17, 14, and 21.
    Basically, they are pouring it on the crummy defenses (which pads their NFL stats and useless rankings) and struggling against the decent defenses.
    So WTH am I trying to say? Just that all those stats and ppg are inflated and overhyped. I'm saying that Alexander (and Seattle's O) becomes mortal against good defenses (and I think ours is pretty good). I'm saying that we should win the game if:
    1) We key on Alexander and stuff his running lanes in the middle
    2) We don't turn the ball over like last game
    3) Our 3 reserves play well: Tucker (1 or less penalty and 1 or less sacks allowed), Price (3-4 catches), and whomever starts at RB (need over 100 by committee).

    Big game, 5-2 is tons better than 4-3 and beating a good team like Seattle proves we belong with all the attention we're starting to get from the media about being a legit playoff contender.
  10. Cowboy Junkie

    Cowboy Junkie leonargized

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    Very interesting Adam.
    Good Info
    NOw I wont be able to help myself but to look for those tendencies tomarrow.
  11. Rockytop6

    Rockytop6 Well-Known Member

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    Very good information. Thanks. I appreciate it.
  12. Trip

    Trip New Member

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    Great stuff! Parcells likes to run a lot on 2nd and 10 as well (seemingly, no numbers to back it up).

    Makes sense they have some problems on 3rd and long. Most teams do, but you would think Seattle would more than most, with a quick, timing pass offense.

    Our run D better come to play!
  13. AdamJT13

    AdamJT13 Salary Cap Analyst

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    We run it 52.9 percent of the time on second-and-10 and pass it 47.1 percent of the time, so we're pretty balanced.

    The odd thing is that we run it more on second-and-10 when we're trailing and pass it more when we're winning, which seems to be the opposite of what you'd think it would be. When we're losing by two scores, we run it 75 percent of the time on second-and-10. When we're losing by one score, it's 53.3 percent. When we're ahead by one score, it's 40 percent. And when we're ahead by two scores, we run it only 28.6 percent of the time on second-and-10.
  14. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    I think our defense matches up well against their offense which means of course we're bound to give up 40 now.
  15. Hoov

    Hoov Senior Member

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    I wonder if the seahawks will change their first down passing with their 2 best wr out.

    Also, looking at numbers i see they dont throw much to alexander at all, so i'm curious if they normally run 2 or 3 wr sets on first down, i havent had a chance to watch them play this year.
  16. AdamJT13

    AdamJT13 Salary Cap Analyst

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    They haven't had Jackson or Engram in the past two games, and they've continued to pass most of the tiem on first-and-10.
  17. Hoov

    Hoov Senior Member

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    it seems like these teams that run variations of the west coast offense, just put any wr in and continue to perform, green bay is a good example. It must be something about the system that makes it easy for wr to make plays.

    and it seems that the way to beat these teams is to hammer the wr's when you can, press them, play right on top of them and hit them hard when they make the catch. make them fight for every yard, dont let them get in space where they can run for an extra 3-4 yards after the catch.
  18. Trip

    Trip New Member

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    It is a bit odd. I guess we have to chalk it up to Parcells/Payton game-planning to take what the defense gives and then sticking to it. Running when they expect you to pass, and vice versa is the best way to protect the QB, regardless of the score. Wouldn't have guessed it for a Parcells-coached team, to have those kind of numbers this far into the season, although he does have a history of throwing the ball with Drew as his QB.

    Maybe Parcells does deserve the bulk of the credit for Bledsoe's resurgence, for reasons other than just a solid interior offensive line.

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