(All player and position grades begin the game at a "C" )
Final Thoughts: The Seahawks did a great job for the majority of the game in every aspect. Time and time again the defensive line collapsed the pocket and forced quick throws by Ryan Tannehill. Reggie Bush was a non factor for most of the game, but when they lost contain he burnt them badly.
Late in the game, the Seahawks looked lost, continually went to a soft underneath zone and allowed Tannehill to pick them apart. Very confusing game plan late to say the least. This was just another example of defensive flash vs substance. The Seahawks seem to be caught in the middle.
4th Quarter Grade: C
3rd Quarter Grade: A-
2nd Quarter Grade: B
1st Quarter Grade: A
Explanation: Complete domination by the Seahawks in the first quarter. Middle Linebacker Bobby Wagner's ability to find the crosser on the Dolphins boot action led to the Seahawks only forced turnover of the game. Chris Clemon's sack was a great sign for a defense that looked tired heading into the bye week.
Keys to the game: Defense
1. Pressure. I’ve been saying for a while that the Seahawks late bye week was going to be rough for the defense. They have been asked to carry this team for the better part of the season and over the past few games the wear and tear had begun to show. This had a direct effect on the amount of pressure they could muster. With the Seahawks injury free and well rested, look for defensive coordinator Gus Bradley to dial-up pressure and force Miami’s rookie QB Ryan Tannehill to fold under it.
Easy Pressure Target: Miami RT Jonathan Martin
2. Contain, Contain, Contain. Reggie Bush causes problems for teams because of his ability to bounce inside runs to the outside and beat contain to the corner. Seattle must play to the whistle and wrap and drive this man to the ground. When he bounces, the linebackers must be there to funnel Bush back into the teeth of the defense. If Reggie Bush gets free, he will put up yardage in bunches.
3. Avoid Penalties. Avoiding turnovers is paramount for road teams, but right up there on the list is penalties. When you play a team that struggles on offense like the Dolphins have been, you can’t extend their drives with mental errors. If the Seahawks play tough and clean this game should be decided by the third quarter.