Seattle has an aggressive defense with some good speed in the front seven so when they react to a play it is at 100 mph. The defense makes a lot of plays but makes plenty of mistakes. I keep hearing about this dynamic secondary of the Seahawks with people claiming they are a turnover machine.
Sounds nice but reality is the Seahawks have 18 interceptions as a team while the Washington Redskins have 21. Sacks are another area the media wants to talk up ,but the Seahawks have 36 for the season while the Redskins have 31.
Redskins leads the league in percentage of drop backs that are play action passes at 39.1%. As a result Robert Griffin III is the #1 rated quarterback in the NFL of Play action passes with 1,826 yards, 68.6 completion %, and a 117 Quarterback rating.
Do You know who is the 24th rated defense defending the play action pass… ? The Seattle Seahawks.
The Miami Dolphins run a very similar system to the traditional Washington Redskins offense. Kyle Shanahan came up as a WR coach for Mike Sherman while with the Houston Texans. Sherman took the Shanahan/Kubiak offense to Texas A&M before eventually making his way back to the NFL. The Dolphins are not a great team but they are great film to watch to find out how the Seahawks scheme matches up with the Redskins core offensive concepts.
Who says you can’t run or throw on the Seahawks?
In Week 12 The Miami Dolphins had a lot of success against the Seahawks using misdirection football.
Miami will come out in a I formation running a fake reverse HB Dive. The reverse action will attract the eyes of the defense just long enough to allow the dive to gain big yardage. The Seahawks are giving Miami a pre-snap read of 2 deep Man, but will rotate into Man cover 1.
Seattle’s Linebackers attack the flow of the play while Kam Chancellor rotates down into the box.
Sherman had man coverage on Hartline but didn’t follow him through the run action.
The flow of the Linebackers allowed the Dolphins to easily get seal blocks and open a big hole for the Runningback.Sherman and Thomas are the last line of defense.
Sherman misses the tackle and the Running back is one on one with Earl Thomas with a two-way go. This is no mans land for a safety. On this play Thomas makes the tackle and limits Miami to a 16 yard gain.
How do you think Alfred Morris would fare with a two-way go on a flat-footed safety? Thomas is a good player but Morris is one of the best runners in the league at creating missed tackles.
This is a busted play by Ryan Tannehill, After the play action he begins to drift to his right and misses a wide open WR coming across the middle. I wasn’t to focus more on the depth of the safety in the Seahawks man cover 1 scheme.
As you can see by the picture, Earl Thomas Pre-snap is 20 yards off the ball. Seattle has 10 of its defensive players within 7 yards of the Line of scrimmage, pretty ballsy if you ask me.
Post snap after the Dolphins play action, Earl Thomas drops to 28 yards from the Line of scrimmage. The WR at the bottom of the screen finds a opening and would start waving his arms in the air, trying to get the QB’s attention but Tannehill never looks his way.
Seattle’s defense, particularly it’s Linebackers struggle in zone coverage consistently covering shallow and mid-level crossing routes. The Redskins took advantage of these coverage issues in 2011, and Miami did so as well in 2012.
Here is Seattle showing 9 in box but dropping into zone coverage post snap. Miami once again uses play action to open holes in the coverage.
As you can see by the play art, the SS focus is on the outside curl route and the sideline. Earl Thomas will drop to take near side hash but he gets caught up focusing on the out cut of the WR instead of getting depth in his drop. Earl Thomas is an aggressive safety who wants to make plays, You will see throughout this breakdown he is a defender an offense can take advantage of with great success.
Once the LB reached his drop point he turns the WR loose with no coverage in sight.
For a team that is supposed to be great defensively they sure do struggle with standard west coast concepts. The Redskins (2011) and Miami Dolphins made play after play using staples of the Mike Shanahan playbook, Hi/lo concepts and good old flanker drive.
All the speed in the world won’t help you on defense if you are running in the wrong direction.
Let’s check in with Earl Thomas and The Seahawks man cover 1 defense… again.
An offense can get 1 on 1 match-ups with a LB on a TE, FB, or RB for as long as Seattle is in their man cover 1 scheme.
The play art is self-explanatory.. Thomas is so focused on driving on the interior route he does not even realize the FB is coming open on the wheel route. The inside corner has good coverage in the in route which makes the mistake even worse by Thomas.
Seattle fan or Lazy media would ask..So what does Miami’s misdirection pass game have to do with the Washington Redskins? Well let’s take a look.
Here you see the Redskins run a fake reverse play pass, a staple of their playbook. These concepts design is to take advantage of over aggressive defenses who lack discipline in the secondary like The Seattle Seahawks.
Robert Griffin III to Leonard Hankerson for an easy 68 yard touchdown.
Here we see different personnel on the field for the Redskins but the same devastating PA pass game. The Redskins catch the Eagles in man cover 1 and make them pay.
The Eagles Safety locked his eyes on the interior route and left his CB out to dry, the result was a 50 yard Touchdown pass to Aldrick Robinson.
The Chicago Bears used some concepts all Redskins fans will be very familiar with. Here we have Chicago using a play action with the ” Hide Route “.
Seattle once again is in Man cover 1… Shocker. Chicago catches Earl Thomas on a corner blitz which will allow the WR to clear in the flat with no defenders.
Wide open for an easy completion and a touchdown.
Here is the Redskins running the same concept vs the Cleveland Browns. The Redskins have more hide route PA concepts than any team in the NFL. The play will be a PA to Evan Royster with Leonard Hankerson running his route behind the line of scrimmage. Santana Moss will create a natural pick on the cornerback to clear the edge.
Cleveland comes hard to stop the run action and Hankerson is ready to clear into the open field. As long as Kirk Cousins gets his head around in time this will be a touchdown.
Hankerson going in for an easy touchdown.
Bears running the PA post route vs the Seahawks man cover 1 defense.
Chicago goes back to the PA post route vs the Man Cover 1 defense. In these breakdowns we have Eric Weems vs Richard Sherman, A “shutdown corner” vs a kick return specialist..
Three plays later, with the Seahawks in man cover 1, the Bears go right back to Weems on the post route vs Richard Sherman. This play would be incomplete but it was more on the quarterback than Seattle stopping the scheme.
If you are a Seahawks fan and you are wondering “What does Chicago’s Post route have to do with the Redskins” Read “Film Sessions:Redskins PA Skinny Post”.
Read Option: Seattle has not faced a lot of read option in live game situations. Fans will say ” We stopped the 49ers and put up 42 points ” , this is true but The 49ers walked into Century Link field and went down 21 points within the first 16 minutes then had to rely on Colin Kaepernick. San Fran is not a team ready to win a game being a one-dimensional pass offense right now.
Let’s also keep in mind San Fran was missing some key pieces on defense.
Seahawks vs the Buffalo Bills and Arizona Cardinals… I could not make it through the tape. The QB situation in Arizona and the defense in Buffalo where horrible to watch.
Tale of the stats…
Seattle is a good team but far from a great one. Sunday can’t come soon enough.