After going through the Seattle Seahawks’ defensive tape against the Packers last week, I turned to the offensive side of the ball yesterday, as I began to dissect the Russell Wilson-led unit for Sunday’s matchup.
A few things stood out to me, the top one of course was Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson on the ground, but we have five more days to talk about containing ‘Beast Mode’ and Wilson. Today, I want to focus on one particular play that stood out, one that may end up having a huge impact on Super Bowl 49.
When looking at Seattle’s overtime drive, everybody wants to focus in on the game-winning touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse, and rightfully so. But to me, the bigger play on that drive was a 35-yard completion to Doug Baldwin on 3rd-and-6. If Seattle doesn’t convert this, they give the ball right back to Aaron Rodgers, who only needs a field goal to win the game. So what do the Seahawks pull out of their bag of tricks? A play that they have relied on all season in big moments.
The Packers are lined up in cover 1 robber press coverage, with Casey Hayward covering Doug Baldwin in the slot. Green Bay looks like they have two safeties deep, but as I just mentioned, one is coming up to be the “robber”.
With a safety in the middle and no help to the sideline, Hayward absolutely cannot let Baldwin get to the outside, which of course is exactly what he does. Almost immediately Hayward gives up the outside, and with his safety so far in the middle, Baldwin has an easy 35-yard gain for a big first down.
Look for the Seahawks to use this “pick-type” play in big third downs on Sunday, as it has been effective for them all year long. The only problem for them is I guarantee in key third downs, Darrelle Revis will be following Doug Baldwin wherever he goes, which will make it extremely difficult to convert on this type of play. Revis knows the ins and outs of all routes these guys run, and he will know to not give up the outside, and he will force Baldwin to the inside if necessary.
Keep an eye out for this in the Super Bowl, as defending it properly could be the difference late in the game.