ReFo: Seattle @ San Diego, Week 2

The game ball goes to a San Diego duo as Sam Monson looks at the performances from this surprising West Coast matchup.

| 3 years ago

ReFo: Seattle @ San Diego, Week 2

2014-REFO-WK02-SEA@SDBelieve it or not, this is the first game Seattle has lost by more than seven points since the back end of the 2011 season. In a defeat few saw coming they were consigned to that two-score deficit by a late field goal, but this had been a reasonably close game that swung on a couple of key plays.

With Seattle down by a score mid way through the fourth quarter, Russell Wilson was tap-tackled by LB Donald Butler to prevent him converting a huge third down and generating a big gain on the play. The next drive the Seahawks had the Chargers staring at 3rd-and-9 only to allow a reception to extend the drive. Those two plays combined were enough to ensure the Seahawks couldn’t complete the comeback and the Chargers would secure the upset.

Seattle Seahawks – Performances of Note

Marshawn Lynch, RB and Percy Harvin, WR: -0.3 and +1.3

Breakdown: The interesting thing here isn’t how effective or otherwise both players were, but how little each was on the field. While Doug Baldwin missed only three snaps and Jermaine Kearse just five, Harvin and Lynch were off the field for a combined 34 snaps, taking the team’s best two playmakers on offense out of the equation for far too long.

Signature Stat: Lynch played just 25 snaps while Harvin managed just one more at 26

Michael Bennett, DE: +3.4

Breakdown: Michael Bennett remains a force on the Seattle defensive line, whether it’s rushing outside or inside, and he was the biggest problem for the Chargers’ offensive line in this game. Bennett earned a positive grade for his run defense but his pass rush was the story where he earned six hurries, a hit and a sack.

Signature Stat: Totaled eight pressures, more than double the next best mark on the Seahawks’ defense.

Richard Sherman, CB, +0.9

Breakdown: This was far from Sherman’s best performance. In fact, Keenan Allen appeared to my eyes to give him more trouble than any receiver I can think of since Stevie Johnson back in 2012. The word ‘exposed’ was used a few times by people but that is pretty hyperbolic for a performance that saw him targeted six times but surrender just 54 yards and no scores.

Signature Play: Q2, 8:51. This is the play that caused the talk. On 3rd-and-5 Keenan Allen is able to turn Sherman around and gain an easy first down.

San Diego Chargers – Performances of Note

Philip Rivers, QB: +4.0

Breakdown: He has a way of making a clean pocket look very treacherous at times, but this was Rivers at his best. He made big plays when they needed to be made and was under pressure frequently in the game.

Signature Stat: Was pressured on 14 drop-backs and had a passer rating of 92.5 on those plays, not counting positive runs he made while scrambling.

Dwight Freeney, OLB: +2.0

Breakdown: Hey, remember him? Dwight Freeney is still very much a problem for offenses to deal with. He earned a sack, a hit and two hurries in the game and his inside spin move is still a sight to behold.

Signature Play: Q4, 1:51. It was a signature Freeney spin that caused TE Zach Miller to lose control and resort to tripping him to save the pressure and really put the Seahawks in a hole.

Antonio Gates, TE: +1.9

Breakdown: Gates isn’t the athletic freak he was when he burst into the NFL and was such a nightmare for defenses to match up with. Now he remains a potent receiving weapon but he is able to get open with an arsenal of subtle moves to free him from the attention of actually superior athletes on the defense. Here he came up with three touchdowns and made a huge key grab to keep the ball in San Diego’s hands late, in essence ending the Seattle comeback chances.

Signature Stat: Caught everything thrown his way… 7-for-7 for 96 yards and three scores.

PFF Game Ball

There were some impressive games from players on both sides of the ball and the game ball is going to have to be split between the connection that won the game; Philip Rivers to Antonio Gates. Both players deserve a piece.


Follow Sam on Twitter: @PFF_Sam

| Senior Analyst

Sam is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus, as well as a contributor to ESPN and NBCSports.

  • Josh Knepshield

    God, Sherman is soooo overrated from a coverage standpoint.

    • Jason Gomez

      hes great in zone. play him man and run crossing routes or have good hips on the release and he can be had.

      reminds me of the EXACT opposite of Nmadi Asomugah who was a beast in man but couldnt figure out the zone.

      • pbskids4000

        Y’all are both clueless.

    • BobbyBoucher

      Why is that?

      What do you think makes good coverage? No TDs? INTs? Passes Defended? Scheme? Talent? Intelligence?, etc…..

  • pprintz1

    I am starting to loose respect for PFF! Russell Wilson was ON in this game. He had only 42 snaps the fewest of any QB this week, but had 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 68% completions, with 3 Throw Aways, 2 Sacks, 3 Dropped passes, 8.1 yards per attempt, for 202 yards for the game, and get this a 119 NFL QB rating. By your own rating system he was top 8 in all passing categories except total yards. Yet he was given a -6 passing grade and a -3 running grade for an overall -8 grade and ranked the 20th best QB. It was clear to anyone watching the game that if he had gotten the ball more Seattle would have probably won. Even so he had a chance to win this game in the last 3 minutes and just couldn’t get it done. Why the low rating?? I need to understand the PFF thinking for RW grading in this game.

    • tim

      Yeah, no.

      Wilson was solid but did absolutely nothing spectacular. As usual, he is a game manager who is above average at best but looks good because his team is so great around him. He never threaded the needle, he never made ground breaking plays. He hit guys who were wide open every time.

      He is a smart QB no doubt, but he isn’t going to lead an average team to victory like Manning, Brees, Rodgers, Brady, or Rivers will

      • pprintz1

        Yeah, but

        Your right, but early in his 3rd year, he is progressing nicely. My point was his week 2 rating seemed very off when comparing him to other QB this past week. Check out the week 2 stats and see if you don’t agree.

      • Canfan

        I’m not sure when everyone decided it was a bad thing to throw the ball to open receivers rather than “thread the needle” into coverage. And its not just one read and throw it away, like some like to maintain. He usually has completions to 6+ receivers so he is going through his progressions and finding the open man.To me that is just playing smart and protecting the ball.

        I see a QB that is still learning his craft. He is not at the elite level at this point, but every year I see him focusing in on his weaknesses and making improvement in those areas. I’m happy with his progress and happy to see him as the QB of my favorite team. Those QB’s you mention above are not infallable either. Brees is QB for a team that is considered to have top talent on both sides of the ball. His week end didn’t go according to plan either.

    • Chris

      I’m guessing Kaepernick’s grade is explosive plays + bad mistakes and Wilson’s grade is just consistent, average play. Also, they gave a ton of credit (deservingly so) to the Bears for the turnovers. Allen forced the fumble, Conte made a diving INT, Fuller pulled the ball out of Crabtree’s hands, and Fuller left his man after Kap made a throw to pick it off.

      • Chris

        Oops, meant to reply to ‘AdventureMan’

  • AdventureMan

    I can get the -0.8 grade for Russell Wilson–he wasn’t particularly good–but Collin Kaepernick scored a -0.9 for his 4-turnover performance against the Bears. That’s a head scratcher. How could those ratings be so similar? It seems to me that Kaepernick had a particularly bad game. According to the “ReFo”, Kaepernick’s interceptions came from “poor decision making or ball placement”. That sounds right to me, so how did he score essentially the same grade as Wilson?

    Can anyone shed light on that?

    • Daniel Dannen

      Pro Football Focus has a lot of idiotic ratings. Football Outsiders is much better.

      • loosenut

        Yet here yo are.

      • Hannah Hayes

        Ths is the type of statement made by someone who doesn’t understand what PFF or Football Outsiders do. They are two completely different web sites with completely different types of information.

        One manipulates game statistics while the other grades the physical outcome of an individuals performance on every play. There really is no comparison

  • Dohkay

    Russell Wilson’s record when the opposition scores more than 17 points (drumroll please…)


    His record when they score more than 24 (league average defenses over the past two years have allowed ~23 PPG)…

    1-5! His lone win was against Tampa Bay last season in OT.


    • Jonathan Bennett

      You need to put things into context here.

      Wilson’s stats in losses where opposition scored 17 points or more (including playoff game against Atlanta):
      13 passing TDs, 1 rushing TD, 9 INTs

      Those stats are not great, but he only threw multiple INTs in one of those losses (in a game early in his rookie year), and only 2 of those losses were by 7 points or more.

      I will now use a Luck comparison, since Wilson and Luck are contrasted so often.

      Luck’s stats in 14 losses where opposition scored 17 points or more:

      23 TD’s, 23 INT’s (with a much higher volume of pass attempts than Wilson, but a worse overall ratio and he threw multiple INTs in 6 of those games)

      Wilson is not quite elite just yet, but he is essential to the team’s re-emergence as a perennial playoff contender and probably a couple spots shy of being among the upper echelon QBs overall.

      • Dohkay

        I’m glad you brought that up. I have been keeping close tabs on both players since I find the argument over which player is better so interesting. Full disclosure: I am a Lions fan and will biasly claim Stafford is better than both of them so I have no dog in the hunt in this particular argument…

        Let’s clarify your context here. The average score for the opposing teams when they score MORE than 17 points for Wilson (14 games) is 23.8 points. For Luck (24 games) it is 31.5. That’s more than a TD higher than Wilson. Perhaps it’s fair that Luck has to force more throws as he needs to score significantly more points than Wilson. Wilson is 6-8 while Luck is 10-14. Virtually the same win % despite Luck needing an additional 8 points on average to win.

        Let’s look at when teams score MORE than 24 points now. Wilson (6 games) needs to score an average of 28.3 whereas Luck (19 games) needs to score an average of 34.3, a full 6 points more. Wilson is 1-5 in those games while Luck is 7-12. Luck’s win % is significantly better even with the additional 6 point handicap.

        • Jonathan Bennett

          Those are all valid claims as well. Luck has a greater upside in terms of ability to take over games and a slight advantage in the arm strength department, plus a significantly worse defense. However, in games where he stinks it up (his losses are generally high-turnover blowouts), his tendency to force the ball early on puts his team in bad positions. Wilson also has a strong arm, but doesn’t force it as much early in games, which is part of why his losses are closer, besides the better defense. Luck improved in his second season (until playoffs), while Wilson was probably at his best in the second half of his rookie year (better offensive line back then, still played well under pressure his sophomore season but the hits and sacks took a toll on him as the season progressed.)

          Stafford is inconsistent, ranging from great to horrific, but poor coaching for several seasons was the primary reason. His upside is greater than most QBs in the league, but he’ll need a lot more reps to improve his mechanics. I think he has a chance of turning out like Kurt Warner in his prime, with a stronger arm, after a season or two with Caldwell.

          • Dohkay

            The flipside is that Wilson gets an additional 30.6 rush yards per game from his backs (accounting for QB rushing, SEA – 118.2 vs. IND – 87.4). He also gets almost a full turnover more per game from his defense (SEA – 2.13 per game vs. IND – 1.24 per game). That coupled with a defense that gives up 15.5 PPG vs. Luck’s defense which surrenders 24.2 PPG yields an overwhelming advantage for Wilson.

            Of course the flipside is Luck plays in a much friendlier division in terms of defense and with the exception of Houston in 2012 the Rams, Cards, and 9ers have all been much better than the Texans, Titans, and Jags. Nevertheless, Luck is hands-down the MVP of the Colts whereas for the Hawks you could make the case for multiple players ahead of Wilson (Earl Thomas or Richard Sherman get my vote).

            As for Stafford, he’s never truly had a number 2 WR like Tate before, much less a potential weapon at TE like Ebron. Consider that for the last two seasons his number 2 and 3 WRs (Burleson and Durham) are currently unsigned or on a practice squad. That coupled with horrendous coaching (I hate Scott Linehan), lack of a running game, and an awful defense meant that he and Calvin had to try to win it every game. His last start against Carolina was concerning but I anticipate this year will be similar to 2011. I hope.

          • Jonathan Bennett

            I do agree about their individual importance to their teams. Luck, even with his flaws, is the reason why the Colts have gone 11-5 two years in a row. Wilson is a key part of the Hawks’ winning formula (makes all the throws, good decision making, salvages broken plays) but he isn’t THE team.

            Stafford has a good set of weapons this year, even if Ebron doesn’t pan out. The defense still needs work, but the team should be better as long as the new coaching staff continues to help Stafford refine his mechanics and be more patient in his decision-making (plus fix the fumbling.)

        • qdog112

          Stats aside, if you’ve ever seen either play and still think Luck is better, then you need help seeing. The on the field gap is so wide that it’s not even funny.

          But if you insist on stats, look at the QB rating of 114.7 vs. 85.5.

    • Chris

      The argument that his efficient numbers are a result of a low workload and a ton of help is often disputed by people who just say he doesn’t get the opportunity to do more because of the lopsided scores in most games. Yet, his average number of attempts barely goes up in loses and in games where the defense gave up a significantly higher amount of points than usual.

      I’d be perfectly content with him as my QB but I think many of the people trying to put him into that “elite” category are letting their personal affliction for the person dictate what they think about the player. How often does Wilson get talked about in these game reviews when he has a poor game? The usual people praising Wilson are very quiet when he struggles.

      • Dohkay

        Somewhat true. He throws the ball around 3-4 times more per game when the defense gives up more than 17 points and his YPA goes down slightly, his TD rate goes up slightly, but his INT rate doubles.

  • berkeleyman81

    Hmmm. Gates catches EVERYTHING thrown to him, including some spectacular catches. 6 firstdowns, and 3 TDs against the super bowl champs…and a +1.9 score? Hmmmkay.