J.R. Sweezy Back to Seattle Seahawks Bench as John Moffitt Returns

Tyson LanglandNFC West Lead WriterSeptember 12, 2012

Oct 2, 2011; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) runs with the ball as guard John Moffitt (74) blocks during the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Centurylink Field. Atlanta defeated Seattle 30-28. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE

Well, that didn't last long. As head coach Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks started preparing for the Dallas Cowboys, he announced that offensive guard J.R. Sweezy's short-lived time as a starter was just that.

Danny O'Neil of The Seattle Times tweeted out the news after practice concluded: 

After watching the all-22 breakdown of the game, it was clear that Sweezy was overmatched against the much more seasoned veteran Darnell Dockett.

As a fan or even a general observer, what did you expect to happen?

By no means did I ever expect Sweezy to come in and dominate the Arizona Cardinals defensive line. 

Their interior defensive line has two NFL All-Pros on it. According to Pro Football Focus, Dockett was the seventh-highest graded 3-4 defensive end in all of football at the end of 2011. Not to mention that he is currently No. 1 on that list after Week 1 of the 2012 season. 

Some of you may be wondering just how bad Sweezy's performance was. Let me tell you. By the numbers things didn't look all that bad, as he didn't surrender a sack or quarterback hit. The only thing he allowed was three quarterback pressures.

But if you start to dig a little bit deeper and look at the run game, the evidence starts to build against him.

When Seattle ran the ball straight off his backside, it only averaged 2.3 yards per carry on four carries. Things improved substantially when the Seahawks ran the ball in between center Max Unger and Sweezy. The team rushing average jumped up to 4.0 yards a carry on three attempts. Also, that number didn't move when running the ball between Sweezy and right tackle Breno Giacomini.

So, it was evident that when No. 64 had help in the run game, his ability was boosted.

Unfortunately, the true story can't be measured in the stat book—it can only be seen on film. 

In the clip above, you can see that Dockett is lined up right over the right guard. Seattle is in shotgun, 11 personnel, with Leon Washington as the running back. The Seahawks are looking to run a draw play that is designed to go through the B-gap. 

The offensive line initially gets a nice push to open up some running room along the left side, but watch as No. 90 uses his leverage to stand up Unger and Sweezy as he works his way down the offensive line. Even when double-teamed, Dockett's strength and technique shine through. There are very few players who could take on a double-team the way he does.

As John Moffitt moves into the starting lineup against Dallas in Week 2, what kind of performance can we expect?

Fortunately, Moffitt has nine games of starting experience under his belt from 2011 and an offseason of preparation. Because of the lockout last season, he was thrust into the starting lineup as a rookie, which in turn hurt his ability to play effectively when in the lineup; it's hard to become a solid starter when you've had only a month to learn the blocking scheme.  

During that nine game stretch last season, he didn't have a whole lot of success, yet one of his more positive performances was against the Cowboys.

In that game, he only allowed a total of two quarterback pressures, and his play in the run game was above average. Seattle's offense rushed the ball for 162 yards. When Pro Bowl running back Marshawn Lynch rushed to the right side of the offensive line, he averaged over five yards per carry. 

Moffit's biggest play was on this 19-yard run. He starts by helping out Unger on the double-team block of the nose tackle. As soon as he leaves the block, he gets to the next level and puts a beautiful seal block on No. 42.

If he doesn't make the block on No. 42, Lynch probably gets stopped short of the first down or right at the marker. 

You can see what Moffitt brings to the table in the run game, yet his play is so inconsistent that he may not add much more value than Sweezy. His game definitely needs work in pass protection, so it will be interesting to see if he holds up as well as he did last year. 

Luckily, we only have to wait four more days to find out if Moffitt's play places the former defensive tackle on the bench for good.