Thursday, December 15, 2011

DVR Run Analysis - St Louis @ Seattle; 12-Dec-2011

Note: You can also read the run analysis of the Eagles and Redskins games.

Here's my DVR Run Analysis for the Rams/Seahawks game...

* The first play of the game was great, but for most of the first half, the blocking was tentative. No surprise as this is McQuistan's first game at LT. It's also Jeanpierre's first start at RG and his first game playing next to Giacomini. In the second half, the line gained confidence, speed, and more yards per carry.

* Overall, our planned runs earned 140 yards on 26 carries for a 5.4 YPC average - the same average as last week. Lynch topped 100 yards for the fifth time in six weeks. Beast Mode accounted for 119 yards on 22 carries for 5.0 YPC and one touchdown. He really came alive in the second half with 5.6 YPC.

* Q1 - We had one bad play in six tries, netting 29 yards for 4.8 YPC. Two first downs.

[14:50] 1st and 10. Perfect blocking on a stretch left play. Gallery and Morrah go for LBs. Morrah nicked the DL to help McQuistan gain leverage. Robinson goes to the safety on the edge. Tate rides his CB downfield. Lynch follows Robinson, reads his block, and cuts inside for a gain of 13 and a 1st down. Beauty in action.

[14:17] 2nd and 10. Inside zone right. Miller at left tackle(!) Unger chops his LB. Miller chips the DE then gets to an LB. Gallery loses his man inside, but Lynch clears him. Miller's DE is now unblocked and gets Lynch from behind. Miller made the right move - the DE was coming from the side, while the LB would have hit Lynch head on. Gain of four.
[8:23] 2nd and 6. Zone right. Miller is again at LT. The right side gets very little push. Jeanpierre loses his man to the right. The D swarms. There's no hole for Lynch who is held to no gain.
[6:43] 2nd and 10. Stretch left with awesome push. Unger goes forward but loses his LB. Robinson owns the strong safety. Morrah stays with his man, but can't quite seal the edge. Lynch races to the outside for four yards.
[5:35] 1st and 10. Zone right. Jeanpierre helps Unger with the DT too long before releasing for the LB. The LB forces Lynch to cut inside. Lynch avoids the quick tackle, but McQuistan and Gallery aren't able to sustain their blocks quite long enough and Lynch meets a crowd. Still, Lynch's quick cut buys him five yards.
[3:43] 2nd and 2 at the Rams' 26. Zone right with the left side pushing and cutting. Unger releases to the 2nd level. Jeanpierre not able to get push. Leon aims to the inside of Unger, gets three yards, and the 1st. Credit the left side of the line.

Seahawks 10, Rams 0.

* Q2 - Our weak quarter. Two good runs, four bad. One of those is really bad: a fumble. Ten yards, five runs and 2 YPC.

[10:59] 1st and 10. Zone left. McQuistan probably made a mistake here by releasing to the second level. Morrah gets the same man. Gallery and Unger have to go too far left to make their blocks. That allows the DE to get in the way of Robinson, delaying his block on the strong safety. The backside blocking was weak. Lynch goes left, but Robinson's delay slows down Lynch who meets a lot of traffic. The dominoes collide. Loss of two.
[10:22] 2nd and 12. Stretch right, but the right side isn't quick or clean in passing off blocks. Morrah loses his man inside. Giacomini isn't able to get the safety. Robinson makes a nice lead block, but it's not enough. Lynch is corralled before he can get to the edge.
[4:40] 1st and 10 at mid field. Power. Miller is playing off the line and cuts inside RG to get the middle linebacker. Unfortunately, the unblocked strong safety on the weak side is quick enough to get Lynch's legs. Gain of two.
[2:36] 1st and 5. The D is stacked against our '22' personnel. Zone right without much push. Robinson makes a clean lead block. Lynch hits a crowd, but is able to fall forward for four yards.
[2:04] 3rd and 1 on the Rams' 27. Zone left with '22' personnel. Robinson and Lynch are in a straight line behind TJ. Both backs run lockstep at the snap. TJ seemed to forget Robinson was there, running too far left. TJ delayed and fumbles the handoff. Either Robinson lined up too far to the right or TJ got confused. Worst play of the game.
[0:29] 3rd and 20. Pass formation. Most of the line gives a pass block look while Gallery and Morrah release. The Rams play conservatively, stopping Forsett after an 8 yard gain. Bring on the punting team.

Seahawks 10, Rams 3.

* First half totals: 39 yards on 11 runs for a 3.5 ypc average.

* Q3 - 53 yards on 8 carries for 6.6 YPC. Only one poor play. Three first downs.

[14:46] 1st and 10. Morrah and Jeanpierre pull left. Gallery takes one DT while Unger and Giacomini take the other. Morrah misses his LB. Miller misses his too and goes downfield. Lynch accelerates to the hole and beats Morrah's LB. Miller's LB shadows Lynch and gets him from the side. Gain of five. Had Miller made that block, it was off to the races.
[13:39] 1st and 10 at the Rams' 22. Zone right with the guards releasing. Unger gets pushed back. Gallery misses his man, but cut blocks him with his legs. Jeanpierre rides his man. Lynch cuts inside Unger and starts breaking tackles. Gallery gets up off the ground to make a nice 2nd level block. When the dust settles, Lynch broke about six tackles, gained 12 yards, and earned a first down.
[13:01] 1st and 10 at the Rams' 10. Zone left. Giacomini pulls around Jeanpierre to make a cut block. Gallery and Miller go forward. Lynch bursts to the left edge. Miller sustains his block, but Gallery loses his man. Lynch tries to stay in bounds to look for more yards, but Gallery's LB ends the play. Five yards.
[9:41] 1st and 10. Same exact play as at 14:46. Morrah and Jeanpierre pull left. This time Morrah gets his man. Miller still can't get to his LB quickly enough, but this time Unger gets more push and the DT gets in the way of Miller's man. Lynch accelerates to the hole and this time he beats the LB and is able to stay on his feet as the hole collapses around him. Lynch pushes, falls forward, and gets nine yards. Yeah. That's how we drew it up!
[9:11] 2nd and 1. Zone right. Unger gets pushed back. Gallery beat to his right. Robinson leads but doesn't square his block. Lynch gets by Unger and makes a quick cut inside of Gallery to get two tough yards and the first down. Credit Lynch's instinctive running.
[8:32] 1st and 10. Zone left. Jeanpierre spins counterclockwise out of his block to go right and knock out the Sam LB. Tate comes across from the left side and Robinson and Lynch fake the run to the left. Some defenders are unblocked, but Tate shows his speed and blows by them. Tate is barely tripped by the free safety or he would have had more than his 14 yards. First down.
[6:55] 2nd and 6. Gallery and Miller pull left. Gallery's lineman is too far to Unger's left for our center to block him. That foils the play. Lynch is limited to two yards.
[5:21] 2nd and 7. Zone left. Jeanpierre loses his man who nearly trips Lynch. Lynch is smashed head on for a gain of four. Ouch!

Seahawks 20, Rams 6.

* Q4 - 48 yards on 7 carries for a 6.9 yard average. One TD. Two first downs. Three of seven bum plays, but the Rams knew we were running.

[12:20] 1st and 10. Giacomini moves to the left TE spot. Miller at RT. Jeanpierre pulls left and makes a nice slash block. The play is zone right, but it's weak. Lynch hits the hole on a cutback, but there's nothing there. Gain of two.
[11:41] 2nd and 8. Zone left with the guards going forward. Robinson to the left edge for a killer block that seals off two defenders. Gallery rides his man for 12 yards. Lynch is able to turn the corner and power up the sideline for ten yards and a first.
[10:27] 1st and 10. Zone left with Robinson leading. Things get sloppy. Lynch threads the needle and then beasts for six.
[4:39] 1st and 10. Jarriel King is in for Gallery. Zone left with a good push. Robinson to the left edge. Gallery King and Unger eventually cut their men and Lynch's momentum knocks everybody to the ground. Lynch aims for the first down marker, gaining 11 yards and the first.
[4:33] 1st and 10. Jarriel King is in for Gallery. Same play, except Gallery Unger loses his man and McQuistan gets taken too far outside, getting in the way of Robinson's path to the safety. Gallery Unger's man is able to grab Lynch's jersey and spin him to the ground. Gain of two.
[3:52] 2nd and 8. Jarriel King is in for Gallery. Zone right with the guards going forward. King makes the block, but he's not able to turn his man. Robinson doesn't square his block either. Lynch's balance is upset by Robinson's man. He recovers, but King's man is in position for the tackle. Gain of 1.
[3:03] 1st and 10 at the Rams' 16. King still at LG. Zone left. Jeanpierre goes forward, can't quite cut his man, but delays him slightly. Unger seals as King waits for the LB to come to him. The LB overpursues to the outside and King opens the hole. Lynch hits the hole clean, beats Jenpierre's LB, and races to the end zone as Obomanu gets in the CB's way. 16 yards and a TD!

* Second half totals: 101 yards on 15 runs for a 6.7 YPC average.

Seahawks win 30-13.

* Overall Blocking - Tentative early, but the confidence and quickness off the ball improved in the second half. As usual, the LT isn't core to our run game, so McQuistan was effective though not flashy. He made one judgement error that dominoed the play. Gallery continues with some great veteran play mixed with some losses. Unger lost his leverage and got pushed back at times, but played solid football. Jeanpierre didn't have as good a game as he did against the Ravens. He improved in the second half. Giacomini was mostly solid, as were our tight ends. Robinson continues to impress. His agility, compared to a heavier, power FB, works very well in our scheme. We made a few mistakes and only rarely had perfect play as a unit.

* Play calling - Even with our changes in personnel, we mixed things up. I counted 17 plays with the FB vs. 9 without. 14 of our plays used two TEs while 12 used one. We didn't run slash cutback plays as much as in some previous games. We ran a lot to the edges, showing that we didn't respect the Rams' speed. Our blockers are agile enough that anybody can get the call to release forward. Cable had some fun this game.

We also had a number of trick plays, including an end around and two(!) passes from Lynch. I get the feeling that the coaches were confident enough in our ability to beat the Rams that they were willing to have some fun.

* Runners - As usual, Lynch gets everything available to him. His instincts in making the right cut quickly never cease to amaze me. I can barely see where the hole will be in slow motion replay, yet he finds it in a split second. Lynch's balance is strong. Not only does he fight for yards, he stays upright in chaos. Lynch deserves the lion's share of credit as he makes our blockers look better than they really were in this game.

* Summary - I see this as a tuneup game before going to Chicago. We ran trick plays. We ran to the outside. We ran a wide variety of plays to see how our latest personnel performs. In Chicago, I expect us to narrow the play selection and to run more inside zone cutbacks and slash plays as Chicago is too fast for us to get to the edge. Watch Robinson for your cues. Does he lead to the outside, or does he take it to the LB like he did against the Ravens?

But for now, this was an important win - it would have been an embarrassing loss. The running game wasn't as finely tuned as I would have liked, but it gave us the yards, 1st downs, points, and time of possession we needed in order to get the win.

Go Hawks!


  1. I didn't count how many times you stated Gallery lost his man. Is he really that bad? Or is he injured. If he is really just average he is a dissapointment compared to the hype he brought along with his contract.


  2. Great question!

    I think Gallery is very good, but he's not perfect. He's got tons of savvy. He's got a great first step. He's got the ability to get leverage and the strength to get push. He's fast enough to get to the second level, and skilled enough to engage tough blocks. His weakness may be foot speed that would allow him to sustain blocks longer. I've no idea if this relates to injury. He sure doesn't show it.

    In many ways, Gallery is ideal for us. He knows Cable's system. He's technically proficient. He's got experience and moxie. He really knows his craft. It's like having a coach on the line. If he's not able to sustain blocks as long as we'd like on NFL-caliber players, well, you can't have everything...

    In the next couple of days, I'll go back and look at the plays where I mention Gallery losing his man. I'll take a closer look at whether this is due to scheme/alignment, a bad initial engagement, or lost leverage over time.

    Again, great question!

  3. FWIW, Mike Rob was named as the FB on the "USA Football All Fundamentals Team."

    I'm not surprised. As the article says, it's like having another lineman - except that he always has to run to his opponent, stay out of the RBs way, hit the guy and stay engaged.

    Early last year, Mike Rob would sometimes "bounce" his block. He'd make the initial hit, but the defender would bounce, get space, and be able to disengage. After mid-season, Robinson has been able to stick his blocks like velcro.

    This is a well-deserved honor.

  4. Robinson is an indispensable part of this rushing attack. He'd been getting a lot of flak for his other failings in general, but once he found his niche as Lynch's blocker he's really made his contributions clear.

  5. I don't know why Lynch was passing to Robinson on Monday night. Robinson was the college QB. Maybe against the Bears, Robinson can get the ball and chuck it to our receiver in the end zone. :)

  6. Stealth,

    I looked closer at Gallery's play and found that I made a couple of errors. First, King came in two plays earlier than I had noticed, and second, it was Unger who lost his man at Q4-4:33, not Gallery. I've edited the article with the corrections.

    So here is a deeper look at where I called out Gallery:

    Q1-14:17 - Gallery hits his man hard, but he bounces. Boom, he hits him again but the guy is able to slither by to Gallery's left.

    Q1-5:35 - Gallery blocks his man for a good six steps. (MNF missed the start of the play, so I'm not sure of the exact step count.) Finally, the guy gets loose. Lynch gets five. I'll take it.

    Q2-10:59 - Though Gallery can't get his man because the DE is lined up too far left, it was really McQuistan's fault for going to the second level when Morrah had the LB handled.

    Q3-13:39 - Gallery can't get to the LB, but he's delayed a beat, Gallery has a long way to go, and the LB reacts before our LG can get there. Still Gallery is cunning enough to whip his feet to delay the man, then Gallery picks himself up quickly enough to improvise and make an additional block. Lynch gets 12. Even though Gallery couldn't make the initial block as planned, he was able to make two helpful moves. Blockers with less experience or motivation, might just give up on the play.

    Q3-13:01 - Gallery goes to the 2nd level, but the LB extends his arms as Gallery makes the block. Gallery hits him again, but by this time, the LB sees that the play is to the side, so he escapes.

    Q3-9:11 - This is a zone right where the defender runs a bit faster than Gallery and is able to beat him to the outside after a number of steps.

    Q3-6:55 - Gallery leaves Unger out to dry when he pulls, but this is a scheme and alignment issue, rather than a player error.

    Q4-4:39 - That was King making a cut block with Unger, not Gallery (article fixed.)

    Q4-4:33 - King was in again, but it was actually Unger who lost his man. (Again, fixed.)

    Add it up and Gallery played very strong in the run game. It was really just a matter of two LBs able to bounce or get their arms extended, and one case of a stretch where the D-man gained a step. Sorry if the article gave the impression that Gallery had an uneven game. He pretty much rocked it.

    Now King is out with a hamstring, but Gallery is back at practice. Hopefully both will be feeling strong by Sunday!

  7. This is awesome stuff. Thanks for your hard work

  8. Glad to contribute!

    After the season is over, I'm thinking of doing a player by player review of the last few games. Recently (from Washington on), I've been using a DVD recorder and moving the content to the computer, so I can jog and shuttle with the Shuttle Pro controller.

    By looking at one player over all their run plays for a few games should really give us a view of where our guys are rocking and where they are weak. And, I've got to say, our guys are rockin' it right now. I hope that continues in Chicago.

    Frankly, I wish it were 35 degrees with snow. I don't want a cement field like the one that knocked Carlson and Morrah out of the playoff game last year. I want slippery conditions. Why?...

    Remember the playoff game in GB where we got like a 21 point lead in five minutes, and then Favre torched us for the rest of the game? Ruskell liked a small and fast team. That's great until you have to go through GB, Chicago, Philadelphia, or NY in the playoffs. In slippery conditions, the big man wins. And these days, we have a team of big men.

    I believe that this is wisdom that Schneider brought to the organization during all those late night sessions when Carroll and Schneider were building their philosophy. Think about it. We got to the Super Bowl during the 2005 season because we had home field advantage. We didn't have to go through the snow to get to Detroit. But during most playoff years, odds are that we will have a lower seed. And that lower seed is likely to take us to the mid-west or northeast. And with our big bodies, we are in a position to compete.

    Unless we squeak into the playoffs, we won't see any snow this year. But we will be prepared for the 2012 season...