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idle thoughts - The Seattle match ups

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  1. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    This is going to be a very entertaining, tough, and physical game. Brady is going to go down, the offense is going to sputter at times, and the game day thread posters will be apoplectic more times than usual....if that's possible. ;) Its another chapter in in the periodic NFL saga of the immovable object meeting the irresistible force. The best offense in the league meets the best defense. And like most NFL games is going to be all about the match ups so lets break them down.

    A. Seattle DBs Vs the Pats WR's

    On the surface this looks to be a plus to the bigger than average Seattle DBs.

    CB's These CBs are huge and have had great success this season playing tough physical man and zone coverages. This is precisely the kind of coverage that has given the smaller quicker Pats WRs a great deal of trouble. This is exactly the kind of coverage that takes Branch out of the game and slows down Welker.

    S's The Seahawks safeties are even bigger than their CB's and are every bit the physical match up for Gronk and Hernandez (should he play)

    What the Pats are to do:

    1. Well, barring injury, Branch simply won't be part of the attack, and Welker will have to be put in motion on most pass plays. Welker should be huge in this game. While his is a liability in a physical confrontation with the Seattle CB's, put in motion and getting a free release off the LOS, that liability immediately becomes a big advantage in the size vs quickness game. Those plays were he gets off the LOS free, the Seahawks have no chance of staying with him.

    2. A healthy Hernandez should relieve a ton of pressure on the Pats offense and put that much more on the Seattle D. Being bigger and stronger he is more capable of getting off press coverage and once in the secondary become very hard to cover for any length of time.

    3. Brandon LLoyd will have to pick his spots because he is an ideal match for their CB's. His best possibilities for success are back shoulder throws, slants and beating him on a occasional double move. He is not going to out physical or run them.

    4. The Gronk - Tougher than most games but 6'3 and 230 is still not 6'6 and 265 and Gronk still has the physical advantage and I expect the Pats to take advantage of that.

    B. The Seattle front 7 vs the Pats OL and TE's

    1.With perfect 20-20 hindsight We are all going to see why unfortunately it would have been better to spend the extra millions on Red Bryant than try for the cut rate model in Johnathan Fenene, especially given how Fenene worked out...or rather didn't. (BTW are we getting that money back or not? Anyone know how that's going?)

    The Pats might have faced so DLmen as good as he is, but none better. The rest of DL is almost as good and will play a very aggressive one gap approach that will be very similar to what we saw from AZ,

    2. The Strength of their front 7 is clear in the DL. Their LB's are much more suspect.

    3. Their crowd is a factor, not so much in causing penalties, which they do, but because most team go to silent snaps playing in Seattle, it significantly slows down the OL getting off on the ball and really helps their DL, making an already good pass rush that much better.

    4.And then there is Bruce Irvin. He is an acknowledged game changer. The kind of guy that can make Brady duck when there is no one around. While he becomes a significant liability vs the run, in a passing situation he's the kind of guy who you HAVE to account for and makes the other players around him better. I don't like saying that but its true.

    5. That being said, Irvin isn't near the football player Von Miller is and with few rare exceptions the OL and specifically Nate Solder was able to handle him. He won't win all the battles but more than enough to help win this game.

    6. I'm actually more concerned with how the Seahawks look to attack the interior pass rush, more specifically Ryan Wendell than I am about their edge rush. Ultimately thet's where the Broncos had the best success
     
  2. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    7. The run game - I doubt it will be as successful, but ultimately it will be more important to the final outcome of the game than recent games. 150+ rushing yds in this game will be more important than the 250 we got vs Denver and Buffalo. I know that sounds weird, but the point is that if Josh is as disciplined in keeping to game plan and rushing the ball, getting "just" 150 yds will mean our run game was effective enough to move the chains and allow the play action game to be effective

    My only worry is that because we won't likely see the kind of success we've seen the last few weeks, Josh may give up on it too soon and go to his instinct and just throw the ball every play. Which I feel would just be playing into Seattle's hands. This will be a good test to see if we are committed to being a "balanced" team or not

    8. I don't see BB holding Steven Ridley back a single bit. I think BJGE spoiled everyone. Never has any running back in my memory been held to a higher standard as far as fumbling the ball. Here is a big secret guys. RB's fumble the ball, even BJGE. Ridley has 2 fumbles in over 100 carries and lost just one. Of the top 15 rushers this year only 3 have not fumbled and 2 of them had 20 and 50 fewer carries respectively (Kudus to Arian Foster for 132 carries without a fumble.)

    Granted you don't want to fumble ever, but it happens.....to EVERYONE. Adrian Peterson wouldn't have lasted 2 seasons here under the same kind of unreasonable scrutiny. There would have been no happy retirement here for Kevin Faulk and there are a hundred other examples. RB's fumble the ball....PERIOD. There is a ratio of carries/fumbles that is too high, but it doesn't mean it won't happen to the best of them.....including BJGE THREE times already this season.

    Clearly its something to keep an eye one, but the hand wringing scrutiny Ridley has gotten has been way overboard.


    Bottom line, the Seahawks D is very good, perhaps the best in the league, but they aren't the 85 Bears and the Pats offense of recent years has played very good defenses before and managed to create enough offensive points to win. And while I expect the offense will sputter much more than we've seen in recent weeks, we will still be able to move the ball. However we will NOT be able to blow point opportunities and turn over the ball like we have done the last 3 weeks

    In the end we aren't going to see the consistent long drives of recent weeks, but we should move the ball well enough to get 20+ points and that should be enough to win the game....and that's the bottom line. There is no such thing as style points in the NFL.....as much as some people on this board demand them.

    C. The Pats D vs the Seattle O

    1. This is the great equalizer. Rice and Tate WR's with first round talent plus Doug Baldwin. All 3 fast and big.. They have a solid TE in Zack Millerf, and the top RB in the league in MLynch plus a dangerous 3rd down back in old friend Leon Washington. That a very nice array of offensive personnel

    HOWEVER Russell Wilson might very well turn out to be the next Drew Brees, but fortunately he WON'T be this Sunday. Wilson's biggest threat is going to be his elusiveness and the fact that despite his small stature, he has a big arm and I wouldn't be surprised to see him take several deep shots against our secondary hoping as much for a PI as an actual catch

    2. I would expect if Hightower plays and Spikes can stay off of Twitter, that we will effectively hold down the very good Seattle run game, and by holding it down I'm saying in the 80-100 yd range. The Seahawk OL is solid but unspectacular. I can see our front 7 being able to to accomplish this. Especially since this will be #1 atop BB's things to stop list.

    3. How many sacks we get is more problematical since BB will undoubtable for the DL to rush Wilson in a "controlled manner, which slows it down considerably. I would, however, hope that we might see the start of some "creative scheming" by Patricia trying out some over load blitz looks and other defenses designed to disguise and confuse a young QB. It will piss me off no end if I see us rush 4 guys from a 4 man front the entire game.

    4. Things of interest to watch for: (at least in my opinion)
    a. how many snaps Dowling, Dennard, and Moore get respectively, where and on what downs
    b. With Gregory out again, will Ebner get any snaps at S
    c. With another game as more of the coverage S, will Chung's game pick up. (I'm assuming Gregory will be out again)
    d. Can Daniel Fells get his game going and make an impact.
    e. How effective will Brandon LLoyd be against big physical CBs. This is one of the reasons we got him because our other WRs weren't.
    f. I want to get a close look at Red Bryant so I can be in full "would've/could've" mode after the game
    e. I'm expect Solder to do a decent job on Irvin, but it will be interesting to see if he is as dynamic as everyone seems to be saying
    f. Could this be the week Josh unveils the screen pass in all its variations.
    g. BTW- this is NOT the week for Josh to throw out one of his long developing reverses or their ilk given how much the Seattle DL spends in the other teams backfield.

    D. The Patriots vs the Seattle Crowd

    Lets break down the actual effect the crowd will have.
    a. it will be extraordinarily difficult to run the speed no huddle offense we saw last week. The kind of noise that will be there will make that impossible. We could run it for one or 2 drives with hand signals, but after that the opposition will know what they mean as well.
    b. The offense will be forced to likely use a silent count. That slows down the OL and negates a large part of the advantage they have by knowing the count. Hurts pass protection, helps the pass rush
    c. Good news - such that it is - It will be cold and possibly rainy. That takes some of the sting out of the crowd.
    d. Having Brady makes a big difference, and although this might be the loudest crowd the Pats see, it isn't their first go around with a loud crowd, and they lead the league in home crowds silenced over the last decade.
    e. So while it is no doubt a big disadvantage, its less of a disadvantage to the Pats due to the specific experience the QB and Coaching staff have in preparing for this, plus the general experience the offense has in dealing with loud crowds.

    BOTTOM LINE - Barring a defensive score or 2, I can't see the Seattle offense getting 20 points, and barring a plethora of turnovers and other self destructive plays I can't see this offense being held to less than 20. That being the case its hard to see how we don't walk out of Seattle with a hard fought close win.
     
  3. RelocatedPatFan

    RelocatedPatFan In the Starting Line-Up

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    PFK hits you with Wall of text.

    Good Post and some things I want to come back to later. I think the 1 word offense might be the type of offense that can shine in a loud stadium like Seattle. Might not need the hand signals so much. Might slow it down while communication gets sent, but should be pretty fast anyhow (enough to control substitution).

    And if it is expected, what's the over/under on the number of defensive players who have an injury for 1 play? I'm putting it at 3.5
     
  4. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Pro Bowl Player

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  5. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Pro Bowl Player

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  6. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    My concern with the Seattle game is the number of Patriot players who are dinged up, banged up, and hurt. If you subtract 15 players from any roster, the remainng team is just not the same.:(:(:(
     
  7. BelichickFan

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    I have to comment on this part, first Tate and Baldwin are not big, they're both 5'10". Don't try to talk yourself into this being a viable passing attack. Tate was a #1 pick but a bad one. Football Outsiders ranks their passing game #24. Their Yards per Attempt is 29th.

    Say what you want, this is a bad passing game. If we look bad defending it, it wouldn't be because they have "3 fast and big" WR; it would be because we suck. Hopefully we'll look good against the pass this week but if we don't it's time for the pass defense to look in the mirror.
     
  8. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Pro Bowl Player

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  9. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Thanks for the update because from some reason I thought both Tate and Baldwin were both 6'+ WRs, but upon further review you are right on the mark, and this makes me feel better.

    Still Rice and Tate were both pretty well universally considered first round quality WRs when they came out. I recall that Tate didn't have a great year last year, but even though he hasn't had a great year so far, still has 3 TDs.
     
  10. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Sorry, I stand corrected.

    Tate has pretty much been invisible. He was hyped by the Notre Dame machine (and Charlie Weis) but he's not a viable starting WR.

    As I said, if this team passes successfully on us we have a huge problem. Either we'll need to improve or we won't be going to the Super Bowl. Hopefully we will look good, Denver has a very strong passing game.
     
  11. Mack Herron

    Mack Herron In the Starting Line-Up

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    The Seattle offense is allergic to the end zone. Brady and Co. live there.
     
  12. Thirdbasekid24

    Thirdbasekid24 On the Game Day Roster

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    Pretty sure Irvin will be lined up opposite Vollmer
     
  13. Metaphors

    Metaphors In the Starting Line-Up

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    Wow. That is some serious Seahawk love there. How about we examine that defense game by game...

    Cards: Skelton had a mediocre game (which is good for him) but Kolb walked through the Seattle defense without much trouble on the winning TD drive. Didn't even face a 3rd down.

    Cowboys: Hard to gauge this one since Dallas pooped on themselves in the first quarter (fumbled kickoff, blocked punt, interception). The Seahawks did have 6 QB hits, but the Dallas interior OL is a dumpster fire.

    Packers: No secrets here on what happened. Rodgers got hit 12 times...but again, the Packers have a suckish middle to their OL.

    Rams: When the left side of your OL is Wayne Hunter and Quinn Ojinnaka, every play should be considered "unabated to the QB". Still Bradford (only hit 3 times) was able to move them across midfield just enough to have the big Z kick them to a win.

    Panthers: Outside of Cam Newton scrambles, the Panthers are horrific on offense. So bad that they decided they would just tape up Kalil's 1st half lis franc injury and let him finish the game.

    So they've faced the 14th, 20th, 22nd, 30th and 31st rushing offenses. Carolina is only 14th due to Cam scrambles and GB is only 20th because of Rodgers passing threat. For total offense, only Dallas (#16) is in the top 20. Ya think the Seattle D might do well against these teams? Look at outsiders and the top ranked run blockers of that group is GB at #22!!!! Pass protection is just as bad with only Dallas (at #6 somehow) higher than #26!!!!

    The Seattle defense is good. Certainly good enough to win on Sunday. But lets not get carried away with the praise. They have played some of the worst offensive lines in the league and every one of their opponents is struggling on offense.

    The Pats score 33 ppg and the closest to that from the Seattle opponents so far is GB at 22 ppg. This is a stark step-up is offensive efficiency. Just for grins, lets look at the Packer drives more closely. Check out how the first 5 drives ended (last 2 were on the same drive):

    3-10-SEA 49 (11:02) (Shotgun) A.Rodgers sacked at GB 48 for -3 yards (B.Irvin).
    2-20-GB 14 (2:52) (Shotgun) A.Rodgers sacked at GB 8 for -6 yards (B.Irvin).
    3-1-GB 46 (13:40) A.Rodgers sacked at GB 40 for -6 yards (C.Clemons).
    3-6-GB 48 (9:47) (Shotgun) A.Rodgers sacked at GB 42 for -6 yards (C.Clemons).
    1-20-GB 43 (3:51) (Shotgun) A.Rodgers sacked at GB 36 for -7 yards (C.Clemons).
    2-27-GB 36 (3:21) (Shotgun) A.Rodgers sacked at GB 35 for -1 yards (C.Clemons).

    Now I'm just simple country folk, but I can sense a pattern. Now check out the 2nd half drives (not including the last one trying to burn clock/timeouts):

    6 15:00 8:07 6:53 Kickoff GB 20 13 50 20 70 5 * SEA 10 Field Goal
    7 5:50 1:14 4:36 Punt GB 12 11 61 5 66 3 SEA 22 Field Goal
    8 14:46 8:44 6:02 Punt GB 19 16 73 8 81 7 * SEA 1 Touchdown

    15 first downs. 184 yards. Nearly 18 minutes of clock. But only 13 points.

    I think the lesson is pretty clear. Avoid negative plays, stay out of poor down/distance situations, punch it in the end zone when you get close. Why is that? Because the Seahawks are a situational substitution defense. Bruce Irvin only has a half tackle that wasn't a sack. He just does one thing. If he is on the field when a running play is a viable option, I think I know where the Pats are going.

    I really like this matchup because that defense is a dark reflection of the Pats offense. The Pats O is multiple and brutally efficient. The Hawk D is specialized and thrives when there is chaos. They are each others worst nightmare if things don't go their way...and greatest opportunity if they do.
     
  14. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm not sold on the Seahawk defense. They have faced some weak offenses. Outside of a clearly sputtering GB they have seen some of the worst offenses in the NFL.
     
  15. Brady_to_Moss

    Brady_to_Moss Revis Island is here PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I never knew TB has never played a game in seattle
     
  16. danam404

    danam404 Practice Squad Player

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    He has 3* TDs.
     
  17. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Great post M. This is why i bother writing these posts. Put up one perspective and get a better one from someone else. I know I feel better after reading yours. ;)
     
  18. UK_Pat37

    UK_Pat37 Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    There'll be focus on contain with Wilson however people shouldn't use that as an excuse for not getting any pressure. Our pass rush has been woeful. It needs to be better. We can't give Wilson the same time we've been affording other QBs and allow him to get comfortable...this guy can play.

    jones has been doing his job...drawing double teams and having an impact, and Ninkovich needs to step up and start dialling up pressure with these single match ups as he's been a non factor. Throw the Manning strip sack in there all you want, he was led up field initially and only good coverage allowed him to get there.
     
  19. patsinthesnow

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    The matchups will be tough, hopefully the running game gets going.

    1. If you were to choose a CB in the league to have after Revis, Richard Sherman would be up there. I expect him 1 on 1 with Lloyd.

    2. With the arrival of Sherman and Browner, the Seahawks have moved their long time veteran #1 CB Marcus Trufant to the slot. I expect him on Welker.

    3. Browner will probably be placed on Hernandez or Gronk, at 6'4, I think he would be a poor matchup with Welker or Edelman.

    4. Throw in the best safety duo in the league, and it could be tough going through the air.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2012
  20. everlong

    everlong Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    The Patriots offense needs to establish tempo and rhythm. When they do that they simply roll over teams. When they don't it's a struggle. Stating the obvious here but it leads to the question how do they establish this rhythm in a hostile environment where communication is going to be limited at best against a defense that is equally stout against the run as the pass?

    To me it comes down to keeping it simple and deceiving the defense that is sure to come out overly aggressive. I think the Patriots should keep Brady under center exclusively and stick with the 2 WR, 2 TE and single back set where that back is in the backfield. I would run play action on the first play and hit something quick but positive to Welker or one of the TE's. When they've going to run I would use misdirection to get them flowing to the ball and cut it back. A quick hitting reverse might be a good call if Irvin is in the game and I think a few draws to his side would be productive as well. We heard all season about McDaniels bringing back the running back screens. This would be a great week to use that vs the aggressive defense.

    This might be a good week to use the Bill Walsh trick of scripting your first 10 plays so the offense is all on the same page and they don't have to worry about communication and everybody will be on the same page.

    Once you get the defense moving forward off of the short game I think they'll have some opportunities to hit Gronk down the seam. Seattle's safeties are going to be hyperagressive.
     
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