It's great to be home isn't it, Mr Wilson?
Following the bitter disappointment of the Seattle Seahawks' game one loss to the now 2-0 Arizona Cardinals, Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson was finally able to get back home to the raucous 12th Man and deliver in a must-win game against the Dallas Cowboys.
There were many plays I could have chosen to break down, but the one that stood out to me had a little bit of everything.
Creativity? You bet.
Great scheme? Yep.
Great timing? Naturally.
Great execution? Downright deadly.
Regularly a play as benign looking as this wouldn't get a second look, but the creativity shown by much-maligned Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, the execution of the entire Seahawks offense and the Cowboys' confusion made this particular play worth the time to take a deeper look.
All right, enough yapping; let's break this beauty down.
Seahawks 13, Cowboys 7; 2nd-and-8; 5:34 left in third quarter.
Leading up to this particular play, the Seahawks had utilized several double-tight end bunch looks with decent success during the drive, and they were absolutely chewing up yardage in the running game.
The Cowboys had to be thinking run on 2nd-and-8.
The biggest thing that struck me was the formation. It's the first time I can remember that the Seahawks went with a three-tight end bunch to one side on this part of the field. Very unique look. For all the complaints Darrell Bevell receives, you have to tip your hat on this one.
The Cowboys come out in a base 3-4 over look with a deep safety and outside linebacker Anthony Spencer (No. 93) showing blitz off the strong side.
Then it gets fun.
The Seahawks go in a very unexpected direction here utilizing a (one and three) four verticals concept out of a heavy formation. This is noteworthy because of the type of athletic and speedy talent Pete Carroll has collected at the tight end position. In my opinion—had this been a typical team—this would never be attempted. Most teams can't afford to pass protect long enough for three tight ends to plod down the field on verticals.
At the snap, inside linebacker Dan Connor rushes out to the strong-side flat while linebacker Sean Lee drops into deep middle coverage. Outside linebacker Anthony Spencer looks completely unsure of what he's seeing or doing and bails mid blitz to get back in coverage....Whoops.
Seahawks tight end Zach Miller sprints off the line and pulls Sean Lee and backup safety Mana Silva to the deep middle of the field. Tight ends Anthony McCoy and newly acquired Evan Moore get off the line fast, release outside and take the seam and corner fade route, respectfully.
At this point, Cowboys linebacker Dan Connor looks as confused as his teammate Anthony Spencer. Both unsure of their assignment, they basically run into each other as Anthony McCoy heads untouched down the numbers. Tight end Evan Moore pulls his defender to the corner leaving a gaping lane for Russell Wilson to throw into.
As Russell Wilson drops back to throw it's good to see that the Seahawks line gave him a clean pocket that allowed the vertical routes to develop downfield. This made for a very simple drop-read-throw scenario all leading to the rookie's first touchdown pass at home and Anthony McCoy's first touchdown catch...ever.
One of many for both, I predict.
Here's the final result (Skip to :34).
Doesn't get any sweeter than that does it?