ReFo: Seahawks @ Rams, Week 7

With mentions for the most notable performances of the game, Gordon McGuinness looks at the grades for the Rams and Seahawks.

| 2 years ago
2014-REFO-WK07-SEA@STL

ReFo: Seahawks @ Rams, Week 7


2014-REFO-WK07-SEA@STLThis NFC West battle saw both teams come into the came after tough losses, but it was the defending Champion Seattle Seahawks who looked to be feeling the effects of the loss more early on, with the St. Louis Rams jumping out to a 21-6 lead at half time, thanks to a clever trick play on a punt return that gave Steadman Bailey an easy score.

The Seahawks would comeback in the second half, but a calm performance by the Rams, and a smart game by quarterback Austin Davis, saw them manage to keep the Seahawks at arms length throughout. It looked like the Seahawks were going to get one more shot to win the game, but a gutsy call saw the Rams run a fake punt deep in their own territory, picking up enough yards to allow them to run the clock out, despite a close call when Tre Mason fumbled late in the game.

Seattle Seahawks – Performances of Note

Doug Baldwin, WR: +1.5

Breakdown: On a weekend where the big story was the Seahawks trading away wide receiver Percy Harvin, it helped that Baldwin was able to step up in a big way. Seven receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown give a fairly good indication of how well he played, but it was important to see him step up this week and he did just that.

Signature Stat: After dropping three passes in the first four games, Baldwin displayed excellent hands and caught every catchable ball thrown him way again for the second week in a row.

Richard Sherman, CB: +3.6

Breakdown: It’s rare that teams target Sherman at this point, with 22 passes thrown into his coverage through six weeks, but the Rams seemed even more conscious to avoid him, with Davis throwing into his coverage just twice. Those two throws resulted in a tackle for loss and a pass breakup, with the Seahawks’ corner adding some solid work against the run.

Signature Play: Q4, 2.59 remaining. With the Rams facing 3rd-and-3 from their own 18-yard line, Sherman moved to cover Tavon Austin in the slot. Covering him tightly, he stuck an arm in the way to force fourth down, which would have seen the Seahawks get the ball back were it not for the expertly timed fake punt.

Justin Britt, RT: -3.7

Breakdown: While on name basis the key matchup between the offensive line looked to be between left tackle Jake Long and Robert Quinn, the bigger story here was the struggles of right tackle Britt. We’ve seen some ups and downs from the rookie second round draft pick, and this was definitely a down game. Beaten for a sack and four hurries, the Seahawks need better protection for Russell Wilson than that.

Signature Play: Q2, 8.04 remaining. Beaten clean off the snap by defensive end Eugene Sims to the inside, Britt gave up a sack here with little resistance.

St. Louis Rams – Performances of Note

Aaron Donald, DT: +4.9

Breakdown: We were impressed by Donald all the way back at the Senior Bowl, and he hasn’t disappointed since arriving in St. Louis. Showing a quick burst off the snap, he was too much to handle for the Seahawks interior offensive line, registering a sack, a hit and three hurries as a pass rusher, and adding four tackles resulting in a defensive stop against the run.

Signature Stat: With those four tackles coming on just 14 plays against the run, Donald had a Run Stop Percentage of 28.6%.

Johnny Hekker, P: +4.0

Breakdown: Punters rarely get the credit they deserve but, in a game where plenty are talking about his pass that effectively sealed the game for the Rams, it’s worth pointing out that the Rams’ punter had an excellent day in his traditional role too. Averaging 51 yards a punt, he saw two of the three land inside the 20-yard line, making life tough for the Seahawks returners.

Signature Play: Q4, 15.00 remaining. You could take your pick with all of his punts impressing, but this was the best of the bunch. Inside the 10-yard line, outside the numbers, good hang-time. That’s how it’s done.

Alec Ogletree, LB: -4.0

Breakdown: There weren’t many players who you would categorize as struggling for the Rams, but the second-year linebacker was definitely one of them. Pushed around too easily against the run and at times looking lost in coverage, he came away with his lowest-graded game of the year so far.

Signature Play: Q4, 12.15 remaining. With Wilson scrambling to his left, Ogletree was in perfect position to prevent him from getting outside and taking off down the sideline. He couldn’t maintain that, though, losing outside contain and watching as Wilson burst past him.

Game Ball

Aaron Donald walks away with this week’s Game Ball after making light work of the Rams’ interior offensive line. Definitely a player who looks to have a bright future ahead of him.

 

| Analyst, Lead Special Teams Analyst

Gordon has worked at PFF since 2011, and now heads up the company’s special teams analysis processes. His work in-season focuses on college football, while he is also heavily involved in PFF’s NFL draft coverage.

  • Dohkay

    1-7 when the defense gives up 24+…

    In all seriousness though, Wilson was the only reason they didn’t lose by 3 TDs.

    • [email protected]

      Thats a silly stat, he’s scored 150 points in 3 games. He just hasn’t been in any shootouts yet because he plays on a good team. Its not like he hasn’t scored more than 24 points a ton of times.

      • Dohkay

        I assume you’re referring to the 3 game stretch in 2012 where his defense forced 14 turnovers and scored 3 TDs and his RBs combined for 597 yards and 6 TDs on 95 rushes?

        In those games Wilson went 36-57 for 524 yards, 6 TDs and 2 INTs along with 18 rushes for 133 yards and 3 TDs. Let’s be careful with using “he”.

        • [email protected]

          You started it, i was just responding to your silly stat about how HE was 1-7 in games where his defense gives up 24. So its all him when the stat is bad, but when the stat is good its the team?

          • Dohkay

            You have to admit it’s an odd stat. Wilson is 30-5 when his defense allows 23 points or less and 1-7 when they surrender 24 or more. Did you miss the part where I credited Wilson with making a blowout an actual ballgame? I’ll restate:

            “In all seriousness though, Wilson was the only reason they didn’t lose by 3 TDs.”

          • [email protected]

            Its only happened 8 times, obviously the whole team isn’t playing well when that happens. Points scored isn’t just the defense either. The special teams and offense are part of that too.

          • jody

            Why do you all respond to that pathetic homer [email protected]? I’ll just assume that you are antagonizing him to amuse yourself.

            Hey Scott: if you hate the grading system so much, go somewhere else! Of course, your bitching only ever pertains to your jocksniffing mancrush, RW.

          • [email protected]

            Ahh, but you hear about their grading system everywhere now. People quote what PFF says as if its a fact.

          • Chris

            It is a fact.

      • http://myface.com/ Mikey Balls

        A third string quarterback completed like 86% of his throws against that defense. Tell me more about how they won the game on trick play alone…

        • [email protected]

          A) He’s better than your first string QB.
          B) He completed a lot of passes for very little gain.
          C) You scored almost all of your points on special teams or trick plays.
          D) Anybody can complete passes against Marcus Burley.

          • Tellytubby

            a) Seriously? You actually think he’s a better QB than Sam Bradford? No way dude. Guys a top 10 QB but he cant stay healthy. Shaun Hill is probably a better QB than AD – Davis has footwork issues that affect his throwing power and deep accuracy. But he’s confident right now and you go with the hot hand.
            b) Cant argue. Good efficiency though – gotta take what the D gives ya.
            c) So what? Special teams is a third of the game. Rams have got one of the best ST units in the game. Hidden yardage always has a huge impact on games. Don’t forget the 70yd return by Cunningham to set up a short field.
            d) Would love to see you try it then Peyton!

          • [email protected]

            A) Sam Bradford is not a top QB even when healthy, and being healthy is part of the job. Phillip Rivers played through a torn MCL. Russell Wilson has never even missed a practice.

  • [email protected]

    Russell Wilson was the best player on the field on either side. Its bad enough that he wasn’t given the game ball, and its utterly ridiculous that he wasnt a ‘performance of note’ for the Seahawks. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

    • dynamic_dave

      Are you seriously complaining about this?

      • [email protected]

        Yes, not because i want the recognition for Wilson but because i like to point out how terrible PFF’s grading system is.

        • dynamic_dave

          God, what a baby. If you don’t like the system, fine, but I cannot imagine what a miserable life you have when IMMEDIATELY after I posted this, you started typing out a response.

          • [email protected]

            Pot->Kettle

          • dynamic_dave

            I don’t think you know what that means.

          • [email protected]

            I know what it means, do you? The pot is calling the kettle black, when the pot is more black.

          • dynamic_dave

            No, that isn’t what it means. You should go back to telling PFF it should be ashamed of itself and complaining about Russell Wilson not getting a fictitious game ball.

          • [email protected]

            I’m not complaining that he didn’t get it, i’m saying that PFF should be ashamed of themselves for their crappy grading system.

          • dynamic_dave

            You said “it’s bad enough that he didn’t get the game ball.” That reads like complaining. Then you told people GRADING A FOOTBALL GAME, grades that carry no weight on the standings, to be ashamed of themselves. You are a sad individual.

          • [email protected]

            Maybe you read everything as complaining. Have you thought of that?

          • dynamic_dave

            You’re saying that telling someone they should be ashamed of themselves is not a form of complaining. Bravo.

          • [email protected]

            I’d be ashamed of myself if i made a crappy grading system like they do.

          • dynamic_dave

            Which is why you’re a miserable human being.

          • [email protected]

            Pot->Kettle

          • dynamic_dave

            Not miserable at all. I don’t complain because PFF didn’t give an imaginary game ball to a player on my team.

          • [email protected]

            You’re complaining about me criticizing their grading system.

          • dynamic_dave

            No, I’m making fun of you for being a douche bag.

          • [email protected]

            You’re being a douche bag.

          • dynamic_dave

            Sick jab.

          • dick_buttfist

            Brilliant argument form both sides. Thanks guys!

          • [email protected]

            I know, i was regretting responding to this guy sorry everybody :)

          • Ram-bam

            I’m pretty sure no one except other seahawk whingers were on your side on this one Scott

          • [email protected]

            I’m sure you’ve been on this earth a while, are there more stupid people or smart people?

          • [email protected]

            What is wrong with complaining? Martin Luther King was a complainer. The founding fathers of our country complained about poor government from england.

          • dynamic_dave

            So you WERE complaining. Glad we established that.

          • [email protected]

            I said i was from the beginning, cant you read?

          • dynamic_dave

            Oh, I must have been thrown off by this:

            “I’m not complaining that he didn’t get it”

          • [email protected]

            Wow, you are terrible. Cut what i said in half. I said what i was complaining about.

          • dynamic_dave

            …you said you weren’t complaining. Then you said you were complaining from the beginning. You’ve taken about six sides in this argument.

          • [email protected]

            No, you are continually misquoting me. Fail.

          • dynamic_dave

            “I’m not complaining that he didn’t get it.”

            “I said I was from the beginning.”

            These are two direct quotes from you.

          • [email protected]

            Yeah, i’m not complaining that Russell Wilson didn’t get it, i’m complaining about PFF’s crappy grading system.

          • dynamic_dave

            So it bothered you enough to warrant mention, but you weren’t complaining about it.

          • [email protected]

            Close enough, i used it correctly. Its you who are black. You responded to my posts immediately.

          • dynamic_dave

            You made your first post 39 minutes ago. I responded 24 minutes later. I didn’t even have a chance to leave this page before I read “One other person is typing…”

          • [email protected]

            And then you responded to me immediately. Way to go.

          • dynamic_dave

            Uhh, thanks? It really took a lot of effort to wait the whole 20 seconds for you to type out a stupid response.

  • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Dr. Martin van Nostrand

    As a reader and rare commenter, it always warms my heart to see how much crap pops up with the topic of Russell Wilson and the Seahawks around here. Can set your watch to this kind of stuff here.

  • Izach

    Aren’t jake long and Robert Quinn both on Rams? Why would the key match up be between them? Poor wording their, legitimately made me have to look up that they were indeed on same team.

    • Philip

      Add to that the statement that Aaron Donald “making light work of the Rams’ interior offensive line” and I think there’s an overall issue of making sure players are placed on the right team in this analysis.

  • Izach

    There not their, poor word for myself as well

  • Fans New To Winning

    I think most will agree: Seattle fans have eclipsed Cowboys fans in douchebaggery.

    • [email protected]

      Not for long.

  • CarolinMexico

    You didn’t think Russell Wilson’s stats deserved a mention?

    • [email protected]

      I would say play on the field and not stats. Rams had to do a desperation fake punt from their own 17 rather than give him the ball back.

      • Chris

        Rams still won the game. Gotta be prepared for anything and the Seahawks weren’t – they caught em sleeping.

        • [email protected]

          Of course, Rams won the game fair and square. But ive said many times that Russell Wilson is capable of a lot more than he shows. He hasn’t had the opportunities to carry his team like other quarterbacks.

          • Chris

            He’s 1-7 when his defense doesn’t hold their opponent under 24 points. What other opportunities does he need? He’s got one of the worst win rates of all active QBs in that situation.

          • [email protected]

            Thats a silly bs statatistic. Couldn’t care less.

          • Chris

            Lma0 is that what you say every time you throw in the towel?

          • [email protected]

            You know darn well that 8 times is not enough data to be anything other than total garbage.

          • Chris

            That’s over his entire career. 2.5 years. It’s taken that long for his defense to allow 24+ points 8 times. Several QBs have 10+ a season. Brady wins 52% of his games when his defense allows 24+, why can’t Wilson?

          • [email protected]

            If you’re going to say that wins and losses are a QB stat then Wilson is the best ever so far. Nobody ever went 16-3 in their second year. No QB wins or loses games all by themselves.

          • Chris

            That isn’t what I said. Wins and losses are a team stat. When your defense contributes and holds opponents to the lowest scores over a 3 year period it’s easier to win games. When your defense doesn’t do that you have to step up and win them yourself sometimes. Some QBs have this ability and some dont.

            On average QBs win about 80-85% of the games when their defense holds the opponent under 24.

            On average QBs win about 40% of the games when their defense allows 24+.

            It’s simple math – if your defense not only consistently holds teams under 24 but leads the league in the stat, your win ratio is going to be inflated. As Wilson’s is.

            Any QB in the league could take his place and they’d win 2/3 of their games with that defense.

          • [email protected]

            This is a gross oversimplification. You are just looking at points scored not points given up by the defense. Also there is such a thing as tempo. Teams that slow the game down give up fewer points with the same defensive quality.

  • Chris

    “Wilson is 30-5 when his defense allows 23 points or less and 1-7 when they surrender 24 or more.”

    Blaine Gabbert could win with that defense. That said Russell Wilson definitely played well in the loss and my fantasy team appreciates it.

    Also watching Sherman huff and puff and talk all kinds of smack after knocking the ball away on 3rd down only to have the Rams convert a spectacular fake punt was the highlight of the game. He makes it so easy to hate this team.

    • [email protected]

      Haters gotta hate. How bout them Bengals?

      • Chris

        What do the Bengals have to do with Russell Wilson or Richard Sherman?

        • [email protected]

          It has to do with you focusing all your bitter disappointment into hating the Seahawks.

          • Chris

            LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

          • [email protected]

            Did you think Dalton was pretty good? I mean, the Seahawks passed on him to wait a year for Russell Wilson. Do you think they made a mistake?

          • Chris

            Dalton has never been good. He was below average and progressed to average. They talked this whole offseason about managing the game and not committing turnovers. Surprise surprise when you take away a game managers 2 top receivers and have him face the #1 defense against WRs, the passing game struggles.

            I’m perfectly content with Dalton. He can be an above average QB, which is all we need when our defense is healthy instead of the decimated unit we have now

          • [email protected]

            Yes, he’s no Russell Wilson. Wilson became the first player in NFL history to rush for 100 and throw for 300+.

          • Chris

            If you want to cherry pick stats, wasn’t Dalton ranked 3rd ever behind only Peyton and Marino for yards and TDs after 3 seasons?

            You think Wilson is going to top either of those?

          • [email protected]

            How is that cherry picking stats? That happened this week.

          • Chris

            Are you ignoring what I just said? Is Wilson going to top either of those?

          • [email protected]

            Probably not, passing yards are pretty irrelevant. Those two have 1 superbowl win between them.

          • Chris

            Are you insinuating super bowl wins are an individual statistic? Is Trent Dilfer a good QB?

          • [email protected]

            I’m saying that passing yards don’t correlate with winning football games. Russell Wilson is about winning. Dan Marino would never let his team run the football. He wanted to throw it every time.

          • Chris

            Wilson is not “about winning”. He doesn’t call the plays. The coaching staff does. The same coaching staff that signed/drafted that defense. One of the best defenses of all time. That’s what won all those games last year, and that’s what’s losing the games this year.

            Let all the depth at DL and CB walk, and it’s showing.

          • [email protected]

            The defense isn’t as great as it looks. Its part of the style of play that includes the offense. They shorten every game by running the ball and keeping the defense fresh. Its a great defense, but the offense puts it to another level by not turning the ball over and chewing clock so effectively.

          • Chris

            So by…managing the game?

            Are you seriously arguing that last years defense wasn’t among the greatest all time? 7 talented defensive lineman that can get pressure on their own. 2 great cover LBs. 4 really good CBs supporting arguably the best deep safety in the game right now and a very unique talent in a LB/S hybrid?

            Take away all that depth and now they start showing weaknesses.

          • [email protected]

            Well of course, the defense is made up of players. When you start subtracting players of course its not as good. Especially when you are adding in practice squad players.

          • Chris

            Bennett and Avrils snap counts are way up because of the lack of depth. Schofield was the #5 last year, now he’s the #3. Teams seem to Have figured out Maxwell. Burley and Lane aren’t good enough to be nickels. Chancellor is struggling because of a knock he picked up?

            This is why they aren’t winning games.

          • [email protected]

            Of course, also their schedule has been brutal. In 6 games they’ve played the top 3 teams in the power rankings. They’re going to have to find depth with their younger players and theyre already starting. The young wide receivers had a good first game.

          • Chris

            Im not worried about the WRs.

          • [email protected]

            I’m not going to pretend like i can evaluate the d-line watching on television.

          • Chris

            Just look at the snap counts. Last year Bennett and Avril rotated almost evenly with Bryant and Clemons. Off hand I think the backups had a higher combined snap count. But now Bennett and Avril are playing 25% more snaps per game, because they don’t want the backups on the field.

          • [email protected]

            That was also planned. They both got new contracts it was expected that they’d see more action.

          • Chris

            It was planned? Yea they had to keep some of them because they couldn’t afford all 4. And now there’s no depth so they’re playing more snaps, which is exactly what you described as being a major issue that they didn’t have to do last year.

            How is Bennett going to play in January when he’s over 1000 snaps?

            I’m going through a bad service area see ya in 10

          • [email protected]

            I dont get your point. Sure this year is going to be a challenge. Thats why i was so happy they won it last year, their superbowl window won’t be open forever.

          • Chris

            My point is the defense won those games last year, and thanks to the turnover and lack of depth it’s not winning as many games any more. And the offense isn’t built to win games on its own, which shows in that 1-7 stat.

            I called in the summer that Seattle would miss the playoffs. I still think I have a good shot at being right.

          • [email protected]

            The defense didn’t win the game by themselves, without an effective offense on the other side the defense would get worn down. The Seahawks were excellent on both sides of the ball in 2013.

          • [email protected]

            The Carolina game in week 1 is a good example. The offense gets the ball back with 5:25 nursing a 5 point lead. Thank you goodnight, thanks for coming.

          • [email protected]

            That 1-7 stat is reflective of the whole team having a bad day. If you take the 8 worst performances by any defense the QB for that team is going to have a similiar record.

          • [email protected]

            Sweezy and Carpenter have both been MUCH improved this year. Carpenter is getting calls for flags when he’s pancaking people.

          • eYeDEF

            I disagree. Sweezy has been his usual, lousy below average guard self. He played well in limited time in the PRE-SEASON. It led to ridiculous hype generated by Tom Cable propaganda that he could be one of the best guards in the league. He sucks. Last I checked there wasn’t one game where he hadn’t scored in the red. Both his run blocking and pass protection are terrible. Carpenter has been thoroughly inconsistent and even at his best he’s still an average left guard. The entire line is a mess.

          • [email protected]

            I don’t judge players based on PFF grades.

          • eYeDEF

            Well then take a look at the tape from the All-22. I’ve found the PFF grades on offensive lineman performance to be fairly reflective of what happens on the field. Sweezy has had some horrible performances this season. Carp has been better, but seeing how this is supposed to be his best year, the first year he didn’t show up to camp fat and out of shape, no one would mistake him for elite. Definitely a bust for a first round pick.

          • [email protected]

            It was not much better than Denver’s defense at the start of the year. The difference was they played 12 fewer plays a game so by the end of the year they had so many fewer injuries and were MUCH better.

            Denver’s defense played an extra 2 games because of their up tempo offense.

          • Chris

            Last year or this year? Denver was decimated by injuries on defense last year, something Seattle avoided.

            Harris, Moore, Mille To name a few.

          • [email protected]

            Last year, its not surprising. Both Denver and New England were decimated on defense, and they were the top 2 in plays per game. They both played an extra 2+ games compared to the Seahawks.

          • Chris

            It’s easy to absorb losses like that when your depth could start on other teams. The Seahawks lost 5 depth players on defense this off offseason and all of them a were given starting jobs elsewhere. They don’t have that luxury anymore. We’re already seeing that with the lack of depth at CB and the elevated snap counts for Bennett and Avril.

          • [email protected]

            We had fewer injuries too. You can call that luck but when you have younger players to start with, and those younger player aren’t forced to play 70 snaps in a game on defense you’re going to have a healthier team.

          • Chris

            Not every team can afford to work the clock all game because they don’t have a top 5 RB and one of the best defenses in league history. That is also a luxury they had last year but not this year.

          • [email protected]

            Does Dallas have a good defense? No they don’t. It might finish as a top 10 defense because they run the ball so well on offense.

          • Chris

            And that has nothing to do with Seattle’s near best ever defense.

          • [email protected]

            How do you figure? A running game and a defense complement each other.

          • [email protected]

            Older players + uptempo offense = injuries.

          • [email protected]

            Actually he is, he doesn’t care about stats. He’s more than happy to distribute the ball to other people and let them get the credit. He only takes over a game when he has to.

  • Chris

    So I conducted a brief case study. I compared 15 different QBs and their W/L ratios when their respective defenses allowed 23- or 24+ points. Then I roughly normalized everyone assuming an “average defense” that allows 24+ points half the time. This allowed me to “roughly project” how a QB would play with an average defense behind him.

    This chart summarizes my findings. It lists all 15 QBs by their actual win % in games where their defense allowed 23-, their actual win % in games where their defense allowed 24+, their actual overall win %, their projected win % assuming an average defense, and the finally the difference between their actual and projected win %.

    http://i.imgur.com/anffuBJ.png

    Here are the summary results for anyone who doesn’t want to click on the link (sorted by Projected Win %, or how they’d theoretically play with an average defense).

    Projected Record, Actual Record (% of games with a good defense), wins “lost’ via the projection:

    Tom Brady: 30-12, 31-12 (50%), -0
    Peyton Manning: 29-12, 33-8 (66%), -4
    Andrew Luck: 27-15, 28-14 (52%), -1
    Aaron Rodgers: 22-12, 23-11 (59%), -1
    Colin Kaepernick: 23-13, 25-11 (69%), -2
    Joe Flacco: 24-17, 27-14 (71%), -3
    Andy Dalton: 22-17, 24-15 (62%), -2
    Drew Brees: 22-18, 21-19 (45%), +1
    Jake Locker: 10-9, 9-10 (42%) +1
    Alex Smith: 15-14, 20-9 (72), -5
    Robert Griffin: 15-15, 12-18 (27%), +3
    Phillip Rivers: 20-21, 22-19 (61%), -2
    Russell Wilson: 21-22, 31-12 (81%), -10
    Cam Newton: 18-20, 21-17 (66%), -3
    Ryan Tannehill: 13-24, 17-20 (68%), -4

    • Dohkay

      Good stuff. Just curious how you pulled the data? Pro football reference?

      • Chris

        Yep. Adding some more QBs to the list, thinking about making an article out of it.

        • Dohkay

          What’s your website?

      • Chris

        Updated it with all “relevant” QBs. I left off rookies this year as well as rookies from last year and other incompetent situations like the Browns and Jags because they’re always changing QBs.

        http://i.imgur.com/kcPtQoA.png

        So this comparison has 22 QBs now.

        Oh and I added a line to show how often a QB’s respective defense allows 23 or less points.

        • Dohkay

          How many seasons did you go back? Full career?