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Were We Too Agressive On Offense In The 4Th Quarter?


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People will say we played "Smitty ball" and let our foot off the gas in the 4th quarter. I think it may have been the opposite.

It's hard to see the Seattle safeties on TV. But at the game, I was shocked to see how tight they played. For most of the game, Seattle had 8-9 guys in the box, and the safeties were only about 8-10 yards off the LOS at most. Both of them. The basic Seattle game plan was:

1) Single cover the wideouts

2) Bring to safeties in tight and narrow to stop Gonzalez in the seams, and crowd the box for the running game

For about a half a quarter this worked. They absolutely dared us to go deep, and we did. Most of the time, their corners recovered to knock the ball away. But finally we connected with Roddy on the TD pass. And also we were able to exploit them for some big gainers in the run game when their DBs missed tackles or were flattened by Quizz, our "steamroller" of a speed back.

The deep connection to Roddy and the final drive giving us a 27-7 lead forced Seattle to change strategy in the 4th quarter. They simply could not afford another TD. So they dropped their safeties back to 15 yards off the line of scrimmage to give the corners deep help and keep everything underneath. This means that Gonzo should've had a field day. But we didn't counter adjust. We kept trying to go over the top, deep and wide. This directly lead to Ryan's final interception. We should have taken what they were giving us at that point, and that ball should never have been thrown.

The worst moment of all was the crucial third down on one of our 3 and outs when we threw the little hitch to Drew Davis. They were playing very deep in the middle of the secondary. This was a moment tailor made for Gonzalez. But we were 4 or 5 wide and Gonzalez wasn't even on the field.

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