The Seattle Seahawks blew the doors off the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football this week, cruising to a 34-7 victory at home. In this post (which is the first of what will be an on-going segment of breaking down the Monday Night Football games), I break down some key plays on the All-22 film and show you how and/or why these plays developed the way they did. So let’s get to it…
Russell Wilson 10 yard read-option run
First up is this 10 yard scamper on a read-option keeper by Russell Wilson that came on the Seahawks’ first drive of the game. Here is the diagram of the play:
As you can see, the Saints have 7 men in the box. As Marshawn comes across Wilson for the hand-off, Saints’ left outside linebacker Junior Galette is going to crash in while both of their inside linebackers stay towards the middle of the field. This is going to open up a huge lane for Wilson to run to the outside. Here is the play in motion:
Zach Miller 60 yard catch
On the Seahawks second drive of the game, a 60 yard pass to Zach Miller set up their first offensive score of the night. Here is the diagram of the play:
The Saints have all of their 11 defenders close to the line of scrimmage as it’s 3rd and 1, and the Seahawks come out in a run formation. Tight end Luke Wilson is going to run out wide to the left, taking New Orleans’ safety Malcolm Jenkins with him, leaving no defenders deep. All 3 Saints’ linebackers are going to be playing a short zone, which is going to leave Miller uncovered downfield. I’m not sure if linebacker David Hawthorne thought that he had deep help, or if he blew his assignment and was supposed to be in man coverage, but either way they end up leaving Miller completely uncovered downfield. Here is the play in motion:
Marshawn Lynch 14 yard inside run on last drive of the first half
Marshawn Lynch helped set up the Seahawks touchdown scoring drive with a 14 yard run on 2nd and 10 near midfield. Here is the diagram of the play:
This is going to be a simple inside handoff. However, Junior Galette (the same linebacker who crashed too hard inside on the first play I mentioned) is going to take a wide angle this time to guard against Wilson faking the handoff and escaping to the outside. This is going to open up a huge lane for Lynch inside. With some excellent blocking from left tackle Russell Okung (watch as he blocks outside linebacker Parys Haralson all the way back to the 50 yard line) , this play springs Lynch for a 14 yard gain. Here is the play in motion:
Russell Wilson 8 yard touchdown pass to Derrick Coleman
This was a bit of a fluke play as the ball bounced around and ended up in Coleman’s hands for the touchdown, but that’s not why I highlighted it. The purpose of looking at this play is to point out the great job Marshawn Lynch did of blocking outside linebacker Junior Galette to allow Wilson to roll out to his right. Here is the play in motion and look at how Lynch stuffs Galette and prevents him from getting to Wilson.
Ok enough from the offense. On the defensive side of the ball, the Seahawks made things difficult for the Saints all night long, and it didn’t hurt that their offense was able to get a big lead and force the Saints to be one-dimensional for most of the game. What was very apparent from watching this game on the All-22 film was the speed of the Seahawks defense. They were very quick to close in on plays which made Drew Brees a little hesitant to throw downfield. On top of that, the various components on their defense complemented each other nicely on Monday night. When the line couldn’t get pressure on Brees, the coverage was excellent. When someone was open downfield, the line was able to get to Brees and force him to either check the ball down or throw earlier then he wanted to. Here are some highlights of how the Seahawks’ defense gave the Saints’ offense trouble on Monday night.
Cliff Avril sack/fumble
On the Saints’ second drive of the game, Cliff Avril gets into the backfield, hitting Drew Brees’ arm and forcing a fumble which got returned for a touchdown. You’ll see on the clip below that Brees had tight end Jimmy Graham over the middle, but Avril was able to get to him before Brees could let the pass go.
Seahawks turn what could have been a big play into a 3 yard gain
On this play from early in the second quarter, Drew Brees is going to run playaction and then roll out to his right. He has wide receiver Lance Moore open downfield, however, Seahawks’ defensive end Chris Clemons sniffs this play out, and makes a B-line towards Brees. This forces Brees to have to check it down to Kenny Stills on the outside instead of being able to set his feet and throw downfield. Here is the play in motion:
Drew Brees incomplete pass deep on 2nd and 23 from their own 4 yard line
Drew Brees wants to go deep to Marques Colston on this play from early in the 3rd quarter. In fact all 3 receivers run vertical routes. Even though he has time to let the play develop, the Seahawks’ defensive backs have the Saints’ receivers covered like blankets in man coverage on this play, and there’s just really no where deep to go with the ball. His only other option would have been to hit Jimmy Graham on the checkdown. Here is the play in motion (I pause as Brees is about to throw, showing how the Seahawks’ defenders have the deep routes covered)
Defensive tackle Clinton McDonald forces incomplete pass
On this play on 2nd and 10 from the middle of the 3rd quarter, Drew Brees wants to go downfield to Jimmy Graham. However, Seahawks’ defensive tackle Clinton McDonald gets through the Saints’ offensive line, hitting Brees and forcing the incomplete pass. As you’ll see from the clip below, there was a miss-communication between left guard Ben Grubbs and center Brian De La Puente. Grubbs initially blocks McDonald to the inside and releases him to De La Puente, but De la Puente is already engaged in a block on left end Michael Bennett. As a result, McDonald is going to have a clear path to Brees on this play. Here is the play in motion:
Screen pass to Darren Sproles for a loss of 4 yards
That’s it for this week’s All-22 review of the Monday Night Football game between the Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints. Be sure to check in next week when I recap the Monday Night game between the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears.
Fan of the Philadelphia Eagles? Then check out Larry Mitros’ Eagles’ blog at http://insidetheeagles.wordpress.com/
You can follow Larry Mitros on twitter @L_Mitros85