What the stats say — Bradley McDougald is having a year

November 25th, 2019 | Written by Rob Staton

Bradley McDougald is having an exceptional 2019 season

Individual stats don’t tell the full story. They can, however, highlight strong performers and illustrate improvement. This week’s collection say a lot about Seattle’s secondary and much talked about base defense.

The Seahawks celebrated the signing (and re-signing) of Bradley McDougald as a major move. The advanced stats show that in 2019, he is having a quite exceptional season. He’s playing better than I think most people realise — even if he’s one of the more respected players on the team.

He’s now ranked fourth in the NFL for passer rating when targeted.

Here’s the top five:

#1 Justin Simmons (Denver) — 25.4
#2 Earl Thomas (Baltimore) — 27.7
#3 J.C. Jackson (New England) — 29.0
#4 Bradley McDougald (Seattle) — 29.4
#5 Devin McCourty (New England) — 30.6

Stephon Gilmore is ninth on the list (40.6) and Richard Sherman is 13th (50.8).

Essentially the Seahawks are getting top-level play in coverage from McDougald.

McDougald is now ranked tied fourth in the NFL for yards per target (4.0) — level with Minnesota’s star safety Harrison Smith. Earl Thomas is conceding 5.1 yards per target. He also has the third best completion percentage in the league at 45.2% (again, ahead of Thomas’ 52.9%).

His interception against the Eagles highlighted his playmaking quality too. He now has five picks and five forced fumbles in the last two seasons.

For all the talk of Seattle’s unwillingness (or inability) to pay Thomas the $13.75m a year — McDougald is playing the best football of his career on $4.5m a season and is making a major contribution in 2019.

It’s also worth highlighting the play of Seattle’s other defensive backs.

Shaquill Griffin’s completion percentage when targeted is 50.9%. Here’s a list of cornerbacks with a higher completion percentage:

Stephon Gilmore — 51.6%
Marlon Humphrey — 53.1%
Darius Slay — 53.3%
Marcus Peters — 54.5%
Marshon Lattimore — 55.9%
Tre’Davious White — 56.1%
Jaire Alexander — 56.9%
Richard Sherman — 60.8%
Jalen Ramsey — 64%

Tre Flowers, for what it’s worth, has a completion percentage of 58.2%. That’s a really good score given he’s been targeted 67 times — 14th most in the league.

For both of Seattle’s young cornerbacks to be keeping this company — among the league leaders in completion percentage — is indicative of their continued progress.

With the addition of Quandre Diggs, it seems the Seahawks have a quartet they can build around. Along with the improved play of the three experienced linebackers, the second level of Seattle’s defense no longer looks like a glaring weakness.

There’s been a lot of hand-wringing about Mychal Kendricks essentially acting as Seattle’s hybrid linebacker/slot. Pete Carroll has repeatedly talked up his 4.47 time at the combine. It’s also worth noting his short shuttle (4.14) and three cone (6.68) times were better than most defensive backs.

For example — Darnell Savage ran a 4.14 short shuttle this year. Ugo Amadi ran a 4.19. Chaucney Gardner-Johnson ran a 4.20.

Kendricks’ short shuttle would’ve been the third fastest by a defensive back at the 2019 combine, behind only David Long (6.45) and Marvell Tell (6.63).

Who knows whether Kendricks, now 29, can still run these times? Yet for all the clamour for Ugo Amadi — Kendricks had a far faster three cone (Amadi ran a 7.21) plus a marginally faster short shuttle and forty (Amadi ran a 4.51).

In terms of the stats, Kendricks is giving up six yards per completion — good enough for sixth best in the league. In comparison, Justin Coleman is giving up 11.5 yards per completion as the slot corner in Detroit. Chris Harris in Denver is conceding 18.1 yards per completion.

Kendricks’ yards per target is also strong at 5.1. That’s the same as Earl Thomas and good enough for tied-25th in the entire NFL. Stephon Gilmore is giving up 5.2 yards per target. Jamal Adams gives up 5.3 yards per target.

He’s only given up 135 yards after the catch — a similar number to Jaylon Smith in Dallas (134) and a better mark than Fred Warner (156) and Devin Bush (162). Tre Flowers has given up 163 yards after the catch.

Kendricks has also given up 30 receptions — as many as Marcus Peters, two fewer than Bobby Wagner and Jalen Ramsey and three fewer than Stephon Gilmore.

The return to base defense caused a lot of discussion earlier this season but things appear to have settled down. Now that he isn’t missing as many tackles (see below), Kendricks appears to be the perfect player for the system Carroll is utilising. The numbers don’t show a liability — they show a player who is performing at a pretty high level.

For a large part of the season Kendricks led the league in missed tackle percentage. He has been making steady progress for several weeks now. He’s dropped from 25% missed tackles to 21.1% and he’s now only ranked 14th. Strangely enough the player ahead of him on the list is Calais Campbell (21.6%). Who would’ve guessed that?

What about team defense overall? The Seahawks now have 10 interceptions — tied-sixth in the league. They’ve forced 14 fumbles — tied first in the league with Pittsburgh. Their 24 total turnovers is the third best tally behind New England and Pittsburgh. They also have the third best turnover-per-drive percentage (17.7%) and they’re only giving up the 11th most penalties on defense (75).

As encouraging as the last two games have been though — they’re still among the leagues worst teams in terms of pressure. Their 82 total pressures is sixth lowest in the league. Their pressure percentage is 17.3% — the lowest in the entire NFL. They force a QB hurry 8.2% of the time — the eighth weakest percentage. They also have 20 quarterback knockdowns — the fifth worst record.

Hopefully the last two weeks are a sign they’re heading in the right direction. These numbers are indicative though of just how bad Seattle’s pass rush was prior to the San Francisco game.

That said, Rasheem Green’s performance in Philadelphia has now taken him to 10 pressures, three sacks and seven hurries for the season. He’s now only two pressures behind DeForest Buckner (although Buckner does play inside). Clelin Ferrell, the #4 pick in this years draft, has only eight pressures and 3.5 sacks. That might say more for Ferrell than Green but there have at least been some encouraging moments this season after an anonymous rookie campaign.

Quinton Jefferson has played a lot of snaps working inside. He has 12 pressures for the year. That’s as many as former first-round pick Jonathan Allen at Washington, one fewer than Vic Beasley, Cameron Wake and Bruce Irvin, four fewer than Ndamukong Suh and five fewer than Yannick Ngakoue.

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124 Responses to “What the stats say — Bradley McDougald is having a year”

  1. Sea Mode says:

    Nice write-up. Great to see the defense finally coming together, even with JD (and later Reed) out.

    Here’s an interesting insight on Diggs’ impact on the defense as a whole and on McDougald in particular. We talked for weeks about how Seattle lacked a tone-setter, the BAMF factor on defense. Amazing that they may just have been able to find a good bit of it mid-season, for the cost of a measly day 3 pick:

    But in their past two games, road wins over the 49ers and Eagles, the Seahawks have caused mayhem on defense reminiscent of their Legion of Boom glory years. The unit has allowed just two touchdowns and forced 10 turnovers in that span.

    […]

    Here’s another theory gaining steam in the locker room: Recently acquired free safety Quandre Diggs has helped spark the turnaround. It didn’t go unnoticed that his insertion in the starting lineup against San Francisco has coincided with the defensive renaissance.

    “Quandre is the man,” Wright said. “He’s probably the reason we’re doing so good. Ever since he came in, we just flipped the switch and have been playing super-dominant.

    “I like playing back there with Q, man. He fits right into what we want to do. He’s talking smack out there. He’s a great tackler. He fits the Seahawks defense.When you have a bad man in the middle of the field, running line to line making big hits, that can make a statement on your defense.”

    Diggs’ arrival has also freed McDougald to play strong safety, a position where he’s more comfortable. He had an interception of Wentz on Sunday.

    “I think the biggest thing is, I can play free safety, but Diggs IS a free safety,” McDougald said. “That little subtle difference right there is all we need. Let me do my thing, and he does his thing. I think we have a dangerous combination right now.”

    https://www.seattletimes.com/sports/seahawks/after-another-strong-defensive-performance-on-road-vs-eagles-seahawks-are-starting-to-think-big/

    • Trevor says:

      He really was a great addition and it is surprising how easily he has fit in and made an impact mid season.

      I also love the attitude and swagger he brings.

    • Gohawks5151 says:

      QD bangs. The intimidation factor is starting to come back a little.

      • If we can play defense like this at home it could really bring the home field advantage back to life. We have played much better on the road this season than at home. I remember something Herm Edwards said once. He was asked what stadium had the best home field advantage and he said Ill take the one with the best defense.

  2. Gohawks5151 says:

    Very happy for Green. People forget he was young for his class (drafted at 20 year old) and most thought if he went back for another year he would have been a top 15 pick. His preseason last year raised his expectations too high and then he got hurt last year. It once again speaks to this coaching staffs ability to get the most out of players. His game is coming along now and he reminds me a lot this year of where Jarran Reed was in year two. Tangible flashes of ability and skill. Hopefully he truly breaks out in the last half of this year and for sure in year 3. It goes to show you that you cant label kids busts after 1 or so season especially in they get injured. Penny and LJ you are up next.

    • It takes a while for a DE to find his way unless he is a top 5 pick. Thats why we need to be patient on Collier. Most positions take a big leap from year one to year two. With the DE’s its more like year two to year three. We could see Greene really take off next year.

  3. Trevor says:

    Great write up Rob. I think Kendrick’s and KJ have really picked up thier game after a slow start and that has made a huge difference.

    Every year Pete’s defense seems to get better and better as the year goes on and this year looks no different as they are trending in the right direction. The Clowney and Reed injuries are an enormous question mark but if both are healthy come playoff time this defense has the potential to be a group that could really compliment Russ and the offense on a Super Bowl run.

    • Sean Vernon says:

      Why do we give up so many yards passing to Tight ends? We’ve had a lot of positive surprises so far including Diggs but what is up with Wags? It seems he’s lost a step, got juked bad by Coleman and has minimal impact plays. I watch him go to his gap but he’s not diagnosing plays like in past years and his drop into coverage on passing downs hasn’t proven impactful.

      I know this is Wags I’m talking about but he’s getting an apparent free pass because he’s been such a stud for so long, but he’s not playing great linebacker.

      He’s been decent but more along the lines of $4mm/yr production, not $17mm+. If Wags starts making a game changing play or getting more tackles for loss or causing fumbles, this D will be NFCCG worthy but we need way more impact from Wags than looking to fill a gap while the RB is running through a different gap.

      We need more from Wags if we want to beat SF and win the division on week 17. LIke try to cover Kittles and cause a turnover!!

  4. Those numbers for Kendricks are one reason they may not retain him. Here is someone else’s stats.

    Short Shuttle…6.9 (Kendricks 6.68)

    3 Cone…4.03 (Kendricks 4.19)

    These are Cody Barton’s numbers who could replace him.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Barton also ran a 4.64 though — which is a fair bit slower than Kendricks’ 4.47.

      • This is true but LB’s side to side speed is more important that straight line speed. I see Kendricks ran a 1.53 ten yard split. Im struggling to find Barton’s.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Pete only ever mentions the 40 though when he talks about Kendricks as essentially their slot. I’ve added the other numbers. I suspect Barton is more of a long term threat to KJ.

      • DJ 1/2 Way (Sea/PDX) says:

        Also, the 40 is all about achieving and maintaining top speed in a track format. I would like to see them do that test in pads and helmets on a football field.

        With existing NFL players can we access the in game speed? I hear about these measurements but where are they? Top secret?

        Once the speed gets you to the player with the ball you still have to tackle them. That Eagle caught Penny on his 58yd TD run and bounced off in an awkward way. KJ may be slow, but he know what is going to happen and makes the tackle.

        Speaking of speed, Shaquem looks good on the line. The weight difference only matters if they Olinemen can touch him. His speed will un-nerve who he is going up against.

    • Jamho3 says:

      @Greg

      We all agree that Barton is talented and in the future plans try and remember 2 years were we thinking very similarly in regards to Lano Hill and T2.

      Kendrix is faster, and a better NFL player we’ve just to go let these things develop however they turn out we cant force it.

  5. We need a Ravens win tonight. As of right now there is basically 7 teams vying for 6 spots. A Rams loss puts them in deep trouble.

  6. Gaux Hawks says:

    Rob, any thoughts on how Jacob Hollister is playing (catching/blocking/etc)? And how his potential contract could impact the draft? Would love to get your thoughts, thanks!

    • Rob Staton says:

      He’s added a fair bit to the passing game. I’ve not studied his blocking but I suspect he’s not doing too much there. Not sure he’ll impact the draft or free agency much. They’ll need to add a TE at some point.

  7. Sea Mode says:

    Gregg Bell
    @gbellseattle

    Pete Carroll clear that specialist determined no surgery necessary for Jadeveon Clowney sports-hernia related injury, that treatment to try to “quiet it down” the option for now. Status for next Monday night vs MIN up in the air.

    Nov 26, 2019

  8. Sea Mode says:

    Sounds like Reed’s tweak shouldn’t be too serious/keep him out too long:

    Bob Condotta
    @bcondotta

    Carroll says Jarran Reed re-injured a previous ankle sprain. They’ll examine him again on Friday to get a sense of if he can play Monday. Will give him a few days off until then.

    Nov 26, 2019

  9. line_hawk says:

    I am a data nerd and the recent focus in some articles about random stats seems unscientific to me. For example, Seattle focusses on keeping everything short in front of them and not get beat deep – how does it affect yards per catch? Also, its one thing to look at completion percentage and passer ratings against DBs. Quite a leap to compare a LB stats to a DB stats.. especially when they are playing in different schemes and have different responsibilities. For example, I don’t for a second buy that Mychal Kendricks is a better player than Justin Coleman (or Devin Bush/Fred Warner) this year. Especially when Coleman is covering slot receivers (who run deep) all season and Kendricks is asked to mostly cover RBs and tight ends. The pass rush of the last two weeks has covered many sins but it does not mean that the Kendricks experiment gets a pass.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Aren’t your assertions even less scientific than the stats? I list a whole bunch of advanced stats and your response is… ‘this isn’t scientific enough but I refuse to accept Kendricks isn’t playing as well as Devin Bush or Fred Warner with no evidence other than an opinion to back up that suggestion’ (despite the fact I only referenced Kendricks’ coverage stats not overall performance compared to that duo).

      Carroll says they’re using Kendricks essentially as an unorthodox nickel. I don’t see why you would take issue then with pointing out yards per target in relation to other linebackers or nickel corners. If he was a liability in coverage the numbers would show it. They aren’t. Do you seriously think ‘playing everything in front’ is enough for a linebacker operating in coverage to excel to the extent these numbers are showing? Come on. And if he was playing everything so deep then it’d be virtually impossible to have 6.0 YPT on average.

      It reads a little bit like you’ve made your mind up that the base defense idea was bad and because these numbers work contrary to your view, you’re simply rejecting them.

      • Ryan says:

        I respect the hell out of you, but I gotta say it seemed like you (Rob) were cherry-picking your stats that you chose to present and then jumped on line-hawk for his analysis and questioning of the stats you based your article on. I do agree that you seem to have bashed PFF for years but seem to have used them as data points this year to prove points or provide data more than you normally would or have directly criticized others about.

        Saying you used a “bunch of advanced stats” doesn’t make it more reliable. You’ve criticized and bashed PFF whenever anyone else uses them as bases for their arguments but you seemingly have cherry-picked using them this year.

        Again, dude, this is my favorite seahawks website on the entire internet and I will always support you through word of mouth and financially, and this is about my 3rd time ever posting in 10+ years and you’ve even published something shitty that I wrote about ten years ago :). But you seem to be a bit hypocritical this year. I hope it’s because you’re busy with family and your job that PFF seems to be an easy source to cite, but I have to point out that for once I do agree with the adversary here.

        • Rob Staton says:

          1. PFF don’t use advanced stats. They grade using their own analysis of the tape. It’s essentially one person’s opinion on one game. That’s nothing like using factual statistics to illustrate how well a player is performing in coverage.

          2. I literally ‘cherry picked’ the whole collection of advanced coverage stats from Pro-Football Reference. Not really sure how that can be titled cherry-picking.

          3. I ‘jumped’ on line-hawk because he accused the piece of lacking scientific relevance and then argued against it with mere opinion. That’s a clear contradiction. If I compare Kendricks’ coverage stats to other well-known linebackers — you can’t say it’s not enough statistical evidence and then say, ‘plus I don’t think he’s better than them’ as your own evidence. That’s ludicrous.

          4. You’ll have to explain why I’m ‘a bit hypocritical’ this year. What about this piece is hypocritical? Show me three articles where I’ve contradicted my own arguments. As for ‘I hope it’s because you’re busy with family and your job’ — you should realise how patronising that sounds. I basically run this place like a second full time job. It takes up hours of my free time. There isn’t another website like it on the internet. I’m pretty sure there isn’t a single fan-run blog that churns out the number of articles I do. This is often detrimental to my family time — and while I have a Patreon account for those who want to help out with running costs, I don’t ask for anything in return. There’s certainly not another ‘draft blog’ like this for any other team — and we’ve become a general Seahawks blog over the last 11 years too. So I take the accusation that I’ve been hypocritical this year quite seriously and would like some evidence.

        • brendon says:

          I hope you choose to keep your hot takes to your self from now on. what is the point of making personal criticisms of Rob’s work? I think your assertions were off base first of all. next, it is not your place to call his work shitty. keep that stuff on twitter with the rest of the fans who just hate on everything. Go Hawks.

    • Georgia Hawk says:

      Isn’t Yards per target and completion percentage literally the only thing that matters when talking pass coverage? How likely I am to complete this pass if I throw it to the guy he is covering and how many yards am I likely to get?

      How is that Cherry picking and what does it matter what position or scheme it is? He is covering the slot, same as a CB, S, or another LB on any other team. All that matters is how well does he do that compared to others doing the same job?

  10. Aaron says:

    Rams ain’t ready for the speed so far of the Ravens, same as us. Bodes well for the Whiners having a hard time against them, hopefully an L.

    • Coleslaw says:

      Lamar will give every team problems. Hes Michael Vick, man!

      Just an incredible talent. He’ll be up there with Russell Wilson for a long time. I dont care how good SF’s DL is, Lamar is gonna torch them. Guaranteed L.

      • Aaron says:

        The 2019 Ravens feel like the 2015 Panthers, an unstoppable force. The main difference is their QB is better and more humble than Cam. The only defenses that might be able to deal with them are the 49ers (hopefully not for our sake) and the Pats (second time Belichick sees them). Definitely don’t want any part of playing them again.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        A long time? I wouldn’t bet on Jackson’s longevity with his style of play. I certainly don’t wish injury on him, but statistically it’s only a matter of time before a player who runs so aggressively through traffic goes down with one.

        • Doug says:

          That is what I see also. QBs who like to run need to learn how to keep themselves clean like Russ does for the most part. Russ is very good at it. I cringed at some of Jackson’s plays–one bad hit/concussion can change the picture for the Ravens and who would want to see that? The guy is a force, no doubt.

          Still, it makes the Seahawks’ performance vs the Ravens on D more impressive. I still think the Seahawks would have won that game without the poor special teams play and fumbles. A repeat match in the SB would be fabulous!

  11. Denver Hawker says:

    RIP Rams.

    Next week’s MNF has quite the weight on Hawks playoff seeding. I’m sure I could say that about every renaming game this year.

    I feel like I’m waiting for the magic to rub off. Hawks don’t pass my eye test compared to NFL elite but they just keep piling on wins.

    • Aaron says:

      I’d put my top 10 as…

      1. Patriots
      2. 49ers
      3. Ravens
      4. Saints
      5. Seahawks
      6. Vikings
      7. Packers
      8. Chiefs
      9. Texans
      10. Buffalo

      The Hawks are not as talented top to bottom as my top 4, but they aren’t far off from contending for a Super Bowl. This is only year two of a soft reboot and they’re ahead of schedule. All the draft capital and a good amount of cap room will make 2020 the year to compete for a title. As for this year I see an 11-5 team that’s the 5th seed.

      • Trevor says:

        1. Ravens
        2. Pats
        3. SF
        4. Sea
        5. Saints
        6. Vikings

        None of the rest have any shot IMO.

      • Denver Hawker says:

        I probably slot SF, Saints and Vikings ahead of Hawks right now.

        That said it’s all pretty close- any given day. Lot of season to play, injuries to happen and weather to impact games.

        Hawks are trending in right direction. Not an easy game left though, all will be tough, hard fought, and likely result in a few injuries.

        It’s nice to be in contention. I pegged 10 wins to start the year, happy it’ll likely be more. Especially satisfied we haven’t seen a complete came against a good opponent where all three phases shine. Still more ceiling here.

        • Sean Vernon says:

          Even if we don’t have Clowney or Reed, we’ll take down the Vikes on MNF. They’re solid but focus on Cook and Cousins will choke. Maybe it’s recency bias but they let a garbage Denver QB light em up in their house.

          Hawks cover the spread and win by 7.

  12. Trevor says:

    That Ravens team is legit. Hate to say it but the tide has definitely swung nationally for Lamar as MVP.

    I don’t think Russ would care a lick if he could beat the Ravens in a rematch and there is only one way to do that.

  13. Ishmael says:

    Can’t even be mad if Jackson wins MVP playing like this, what a monster. Perfect match of player and scheme. Huge lol at the Chargers for wanting to turn him into a WR, and all the analysts who had a meltdown about him refusing to run a 40. Absolute jet, what a pair he and Mahomes will be to watch for the next decade.

  14. Paul Cook says:

    Yup. Goodnight LA. They’ve become an afterthought for the year.

    Nice stat work. McDougald has perhaps been my most under-appreciated player on the team till late. My respect for his play has definitely gone up a few notches in recent weeks. It’s funny though, all stats aside for a moment, sometimes it’s hard to accurately see what’s really going on with a particular player or unit when things are really going bad with another unit on the field (our DL, for instance). There’s that domino effect that can warp stats just a bit.

    It is nice to see our LB corp playing more like I expected them to this year. I thought going into this year that we had one of the top 3 units in the game, a unit I didn’t have to worry too much about, especially with our recently acquired depth at these positions.

    Anyway…

  15. Paul Cook says:

    PS> I couldn’t give a rats azz about the MVP award, really. It makes for a talking point, I guess, but that’s about it for me. Yeah, it would be nice if RW won it. But it wouldn’t bend me out of shape in the least if he didn’t.

    • Simo says:

      How about Super Bowl MVP for Russ instead? Has a nicer “ring” to it!!

      • Paul Cook says:

        Sounds good.

        Man, the Ravens are just freight-training the Rams tonight. Running right over them. Rams are looking like such a beat team out there in every way. This is a good thing for our Hawks. We’ll probably take them pretty handily if we show up to play. They are really trending downward.

        • Simo says:

          I love it! Ravens are stealing their souls, just flat out embarrassing them in their home! Had enough of the Lamar is God talk though lol!!

  16. DC says:

    The Ravens & 49ers rise in tandem once again. Possible XLVII rematch in the cards.

  17. Aaron says:

    Ravens with total utter domination. An absolute shellacking of the Rams. Ravens making a statement that they are the best in the NFL. Absolutley amazing!!!

  18. Trevor says:

    Rams fans must be praying they have an out of that Jared Goff contract. If not they are in huge trouble going forward.

    • Aaron says:

      Yeah, they screwed themselves with that contact. Per @EvanHillSEA…

      The Rams can’t realistically cut Jared Goff until 2022 (his 2021 base salary is fully GTD for injury and vests into a full GTE in 2020).

      Goff’s upcoming cap hits:

      2019: $10.6M
      2020: $36M
      2021: $32.5M

      Cutting him in 2022 would = $10M in dead money.

      https://twitter.com/EvanHillSEA/status/1199147154582855680?s=20

      • Simo says:

        Ouch, that gonna hurt next year and beyond! They still have to sign Ramsey to a mega deal as well. Rams will be in cap trouble and have little draft stock the next couple years as well. Love it!!

    • Pran says:

      Many of us called it out at the beginning of the season, Rams miss play offs.

      • Also the Rams don’t have any first rounds picks for the next two years..I am pretty sure j
        Jalen Ramsey agent knows the Rams have to resign him . The Rams looked terrible tonight at home on Monday night.i think they could be in trouble.i think the maybe done for this year

        • cha says:

          I’m thoroughly confused with the strategy of giving up big time draft picks for a star player and NOT conditioning the deal on signing star player to an extension -or- immediately signing him a la what KC did with Frank Clark.

          When you don’t do that, you cost yourself a chunk of money, because you immediately signal to the player’s agent, “we LOVE your guy and are hugely invested in his success!” but let him keep plowing towards free agency without locking him down. But it does seem to be happening.

          LA did it with Ramsey

          Houston did it with Tunsil

          Anyone know? What advantage do you gain by not locking the guy down immediately? I suppose you have protection against a career ending injury, and you keep the player hungry. But every year the cap goes up 15 or 20% and top level player contracts can go up even more. You’ve traded your best shot at getting cheap young impact talent with those multiple high picks, but at the same time, have declined to lock down the very player you paid so dearly for.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s not so much Goff’s contract as the fact they’ve invested most of their cap in a handful of (admittedly good) players but because of all the trades they have absolutely no means to improve their O-line or add any young early round talent.

  19. JJ says:

    Is it just me or does Tony Pauline look like Jeff Bezos?

  20. Trevor says:

    The Ravens are going to put up 300 yds rushing on Rams. That’s sick!

  21. Ishmael says:

    This Ravens team is my favourite non-Hawks team I’ve seen in years. They’re absolutely rolling. Big boy football. I’d love to see what Greg Roman could have done with the Hawks. This whole season has been a massive slap in the face to the passing obsessive. Love to see it.

    • John_s says:

      It’s funny that In the day and age where nerd calculator football tells us that running the ball is an absolutely stupid way of playing football the best teams (Baltimore, San Fran, Sea) are 1, 2 and 6 in total rushing.

      Don’t let the nerds tell you that big boy football has no place in this league.

    • Coleslaw says:

      Could you imagine if they’d managed to keep Zadarius Smith?

  22. RWIII says:

    Rob: Those completion numbers against our defensive backs are very impressive. It looks like John Schneider, Pete Carroll, Ken Norton and Co. are rebuilding the defense. This is exciting times if you are a Seahawk fan.

  23. Volume12 says:

    God, that trap and trap option the Ravens offense runs is the sexiest thing I’ve seen in the NFL in years. Trap option. In professional football!

  24. EranUngar says:

    The consensus top 3 NFL teams are NE, BAL, SF.

    Those are also the 3 teams you are better off playing against in base defense. In games against SF and BAL the stats for those offenses were:

    BAL: 16 points, 9/20 143 yards 0 TDs.
    SF: 20 points, 24/46 248 yards 1 TDs 1 INT.

    Could PC be ahead of the curve again realizing that running tough is making a comeback?

  25. Jamho3 says:

    These stats actually matter.

    How?

    Some thoughts that come to mind for me.

    They give us an idea of how SEA will proceed going forward in terms of player retention. They
    also renew our belief that SEA is fantastic at coaching and developing secondary players. In spite of all the Chicken Little’s running around trying to say we’ve lost it.

    If you blame players character for onfield short comings most of the time you’re missing out on whats really going on.

    Huge boon to our Defensive Coordinator for showing us that he’s able to make incredibly “deft” adjustments not just in 2019 but in 2018.

    Many wanted him FIRED a few short months ago and I fully understand that slow people and racists still think the can’t coach but those of us who are evidence based may be able to take the data points and make some connections.

    Example late 2018 SEA employed some very novel defensive tactics to slow down Green Bay. KC and Minnesota Vikings to get 3 unlikely but important wins late in the year to propel us to the playoffs.

    How does that pertain to 2019? SEA defense was reeling if we’re honest with ourselves and the solution wasn’t:

    Junk the main coverages or strategies
    Blitz all the time
    Change players
    Catch the ball
    Or to entirely change our defensive line play

    It was the proper amounts of each that has resulted in a better product and outcomes on the field.

    Make no mistake we changed how we deploy Kendrix. Our entire defense is no longer seemingly predicated on his excellence. And he’s playing better. Presumably because we’re no longer allowing him to be isolated vs WR’s as easily.

    For a while in 2019 it seemed that was SEA’s strat: Employ Kendrix and if you beat him in pass coverage more than he beats you rushing well played.

    In fairness we are who we are 2 great performances don’t negate 9 other games.

    Just last few weeks

    Eagles were incredibly compromised 49ers were w/o Kittle and SEA still has 5 tough games ahead but the defense has made an appreciable upturn in some measurable ways over time and that is newsworthy.

    Having taken a fairly deep dive into SEA’s defensive stats a few weeks ago. It was pretty clear that pass rush was the #1 #2 and #3 priorities, none the less SEA got it done and has tightened up in an array of measurable ways.

    These stats actually do show us important things take heed Gents.

    • cha says:

      Many wanted him FIRED a few short months ago and I fully understand that slow people and racists still think the can’t coach but those of us who are evidence based may be able to take the data points and make some connections.

      Can you please tone it down a bit? SHDB isn’t just a great place for knowledge and insight but civility as well. Hot takes aren’t unwelcome but let’s not stoop to the level of typical social media uglyness.

      • Jamho3 says:

        @Cha Point taken

        Though I find it an interesting ask on your part because when that same civility is not extended to Seahawks staff and or players then when I speak to it, months later you ask me to tone it down?

        That doesn’t sound or feel right to me.

  26. Jamho3 says:

    This is a fine time to recognize @Rob Staton for something he said 2-2.5 years ago.

    RS said something to the effect of

    “Shaqeems #1 ability is to rush the passer in college with tremendous speed. Given the size speed and skill of the other players if SEA drafts him how would they be able to employ him effectively?”

    This is important to me because not not only was it seemingly true. It also shows why his other contributions have been a little more muted AND why his being employed in this role shows such promise.

    Thanks SEADraftBlog.

    It’s what he was best at before.

  27. Jamho3 says:

    Aside from injuries and some fear about RTM biting my fav team in the nether regions.

    Things are going great! So with that said looking forward to next weeks game.

    Weather forecast

    LOW WIND and low chance of precip (Both kind of a huge deal)

    https://www.wunderground.com/hourly/us/wa/seattle/98101/date/2019-12-2
    That’s promising news but given

    Minn will be bringing

    A top 10 offense and defense
    A Top run game
    QB who actually likes to play vs us.
    SEA being the ONLY team coach Zim hasn’t beaten in his career 0-4
    Minn has number of stars returning from injury.
    Minn off of a bye.
    Minn probs being a better team than Packers tied for NFC North the division lead

    Then from SEA side

    Injuries to 2 of SEA’s top 3 defenders

    SEA’s #1 WR can’t run
    SEA’s best RB leads league in a category you don’t want to
    SEA’s 2nd RB (I love him but) hasn’t shown the same propensity to break tackles in the pros.

    Likely RTM in terms of being the #1 MNF team of all time and prime time games
    How can SEA pull off ANOTHER huge game on national TV against a statisfically better team

    We’re all the way up against the wall here.

    GO HAWKS!

    • Ukhawk says:

      Think Minny will be our biggest test to date,
      almost a mirror image to us.
      My guess is we either live or die by the pass as it’s their offensive strength and defensive weakness

  28. charlietheunicorn says:

    All I can say… Fork meet Rams… they are cooked.

  29. Brazilian Hawk says:

    The Seahawks have a big test coming up for this secondary. I am satisfied with the last two games, and let’s hope this trend continues.

    If we can handle Thielen and Diggs, we can handle pretty much every receiving corps in the league. The only exception being maybe the 49ers because of George Kittle and our struggles to cover TEs.

  30. Volume12 says:

    The NFL will figure it out eventually, might need an off-season, but I’m dead a** when I say, how do you even stop the Ravens coverage wise at this point?

    You don’t wanna play man to man. Then not only are you putting your defense in a disadvantage against their run game, but Lamar will take off for big gains.

    Maybe Cover 3?

    And besides all that. How many teams legitimately have the personnel to slow down their dual rushing atrack?

    • Georgia Hawk says:

      To be fair, I thought the Hawks D did a dang good job. The Offense let them down and spotted Balt 14 pts

      • CaptainJack says:

        Agreed. Felt like we could have won that game if not for our offensive meltdown.

      • Volume12 says:

        But Lamar still gashed them with his legs.

        Crazy as it may sound, I also think Lamar has dramatically increased his ability as a consistently accurate passer in a months time.

      • Volume12 says:

        Interesting for sure.

        I guess my concerns with that strategy would be on early downs you risk getting dominated by their running game with 7 DBs. Gotta be a nightmare to try and gameplan for it. Not easy to defend at all.

        • cha says:

          Advantage Seahawks. They draft and train their CBs and DBs to be good, willing, tacklers in the run game. None of this pansy Deion Sanders “I’ll run with a guy and push him out of bounds but don’t ask me to lower my shoulder” baloney.

      • EranUngar says:

        Interesting indeed but I believe it is missing a major point.

        You can come up with a surprise, a formation that a rookie has never faced and use it to come up with a win. Do it over and over and you need to win by merit against a team ready to play you.

        There is a reason why teams go to “base formation” against the run. Running the rock and fast runners has been around way longer than high flying passing and the lore of stopping the run has been around for the same time.

        Facing a 7 dbs formation on a regular bases would actually work for the Ravens. They have to tools to run all over that formation constantly, score less but eat up the clock more and grind your wins.

        I believe that the way to hold the Ravens is playing a stout run defense in base formation but know how to use your base personal against the pass off the run game. Most NFL teams do not have the personal or the experience to play the pass effectively from base formation because NFL defenses are playing nickle/dime most of the time to counter the wide spread air attacks.

        There is one NFL defense who use base formation on 65% of their snaps. They faced the Ravens on week 7. They held the Ravens attack to just 2 FG in the first half of the game and to a total of 16 points in the game, 1 point less than the Chargers did.

        The key in limiting the Ravens attack is not countering Lamar’s speed. The key is limiting everything else while keeping his performance to “reasonable RB damage”. Treat the Ravens as the great running team they are and ignore the fact that it’s actually the QB doing the running. Play base with personal that are adapt in playing passing plays and suddenly 15/20, 5TDs becomes 9/20 1 TD.

        I have watched the Ravens and while being amazed with what the guy can do, as a passer he is not Mahone or Rodgers. His passing efficiency comes from playing off the run game, something PC knows something about.

        In other words – the way the Seahawks play defense this year could leave them vulnerable against a quality passing team with multiple options and a better than average OL. However, they are perfectly built to face the Ravens or the niners.

        • EranUngar says:

          P.S. – the Ravens just lost their pro bowl Center for the rest of the year. Penetration and pressure up the middle is one of the basic fundamentals for stopping the run from a 4-3 formation…

      • cha says:

        I think one thing the article didn’t really dive in to, is yes that is what the Chargers used to beat Baltimore in the playoff game, but the Chargers had excellent players to cover potential weaknesses of the scheme. Bookends of Bosa and Ingram, and a pretty good stout rotation in between them. So the front 4 could consistently occupy 5 (maybe 6 with a RB/FB blocker) and accomplish a lot on their own. As well, Derwin James had earned a lot of trust and freedom as a rookie to patch any holes the formation might leave open.

        So yes, scheming is a big, big part of it. But it’s also about having superior talent to execute that scheme as well.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      46 defense out of big nickel. You can stack 7-8-9 in the box w/o subs. 3 shell like you say.

      Remember that CAR run game when they kept Tolbert and DAW in the backfield w Newton and they were so multiple in the looks they made you prepare for?

  31. Sea Mode says:

    NFL Update
    @MySportsUpdate

    Russell Wilson/Lamar Jackson this season:

    Wilson:
    • 2,937 passing yards
    • 67.3 comp %
    • 24 TDs
    • 3 INTs
    • 271 rushing yards
    • 3 rushing TDs
    • 9-2 record

    Jackson:
    • 2,427 passing yards
    • 66.8 comp %
    • 24 TDs
    • 5 INTs
    • 876 rushing yards
    • 6 rushing TDs
    • 9-2 record

    Nov 26, 2019

  32. Paul Cook says:

    Minnesota would be a good game to begin reasserting our home field mojo. One thing that stood out for me watching the Ravens/Rams game last night was how much belief and emotion play a part in the game, especially later in the season. The positive emotional vibe of the Ravens last night was palpable. They were so confident, almost as if to say…bring it on…bring anyone on… The Seahawks could really use some more of that now.

    On the other side, the Rams looked positively anemic emotionally. I seriously wonder if players on that team might start packing-it-in for the year from an emotional/psychological standpoint, no matter what they might say to the contrary.

    If you asked me 2-3 weeks ago which team/game I would be more fearful/wary about between the Rams and the Cards on our remaining schedule, it would have been a no-brainer, the Rams. But now I have to pause about that. The Cards could be equally or more dangerous than the Rams because, from an emotional/psychological standpoint, they might feel like they have more to play for (next season) then the Rams do.

    Anyway…

    • Couldnt agree more about getting the home field back. This is a monster game for that possible #5 or #6 seed. I would much rather go to Dallas again then go to whoever the #3 seed might be just in case we cant catch the Niners.

      • Paul Cook says:

        Definitely a big game from a playoff positioning standpoint. I would argue it’s an even bigger game from an emotional/psychological standpoint. The Hawks need to start getting that eye-of-the-tiger look to them. Obviously injuries could potentially present us with some difficulties in that regard. But I think what’s missing a bit from this team is that infectious confidence that has the effect of putting everyone on notice that it’s time to up-their-game and join the party. Contenders or pretenders?

        It’s going to be a fun and interesting end to this regular season. Still so much could happen, so much still left unresolved.

  33. RWIII says:

    I have said for years that games are won/lost at the line of scrimmage. The Ravens offensive line DESTORYED the Rams defensive line. The Rams traded TWO first round picks for Jalen Ramsey. Jalen Ramsey might be a top cover corner but he was not much help stopping those Raven bulldoziers. The Raven completely decimated the Rams defense. This looked like Nebraska in the 80s & 90s steam rolling the oppostion. I don’t think I have ever seen anything like this in the N.F.L. The Ravens had 285 yards rushing vs. the Rams 22 yards rushing. If you can’t stop the run. It’s going to be a long night.

    The Ravens need to keep LaMarr Jackson’s runs to a minimum. If you don’t believe me. Just ask Robert Griffin III. Griffin was rookie of the year. Now he is the back up to Jackson. In 2015 Cam Newton was M.V.P. Now his body is badly broken. Jackson did take a couple of big hits last night. The Ravens keep in mind Jackson’s long-term success. Not just for the here and now.

    Getting back to the Ravens/Rams game. The Rams basically surrendered midway through the 2nd quarter. They were done. They were toast. Their fight had been taking away from them. There is nothing better than OWNING the line of scrimmage.

    BTW: Does it look like Jared Goff is hearing footsteps. It looks like he can’t get rid of the ball fast enough. Goff is a different QB this year. It looks to me that Goff cannot take a hit. He wants to get rid of the football as fast as possible. What a difference this year is. Last year Goff had a healthy running back and TONS of protection. This year he has neither.

    • Group Captain Mandrake says:

      It was kind of like when the Rams came to Seattle a couple years ago and just destroyed the Hawks 42-7. Almost the same final score too.

  34. Starhawk29 says:

    The Rams are another interesting lesson in roster management. Just a year ago every journalist in the biz was lauding their leadership for their method of building through free agency and big trades. It is starting to look like, despite the SB appearance, they may have screwed up. Les Snead has consistently been an average to below average GM in the draft, and now they’re beginning to see the drawbacks of that. Don’t get me wrong, anyone who thinks the Rams aren’t still dangerous is wrong, but they are a clear shell of themselves from a talent standpoint.

    I’ve thought, since the Rams’ rise in 2017, that McVay was going to have a similar career arc to Jim Harbaugh with 9ers, and so far that seems to be pretty accurate. There is no doubt he’s a brilliant coordinator, but he’s failed to adapt to the fact that defenses have adjusted. There are three teams running variants of his offense now, and the NFL is adjusting. Goff is not the type of QB that can elevate a team, he needs open reads and brilliant scheming to be successful. The combination of a collapsing line and a failure to adjust to new defenses has left Goff out to dry.

    Goff and Wentz this weekend have both supported a long held belief of mine: saying a player is elite after one or two years is a premature judgement. Now, I legitimately think Wentz can be great, and his team is doing him no favors, but it blew my mind how quickly the media anoints young QBs as all time greats. The last three years have been “defined” by second year QBs. In 2017 it was Goff and Wentz, with Wentz being hyped as MVP. His team won the Superbowl without him. In 2018, Patrick Mahomes set the league on fire and won MVP (this is not to say he didn’t deserve it or isn’t great, only that its very early to be talking hall of fame). This year it’s Lamar Jackson. All of these players were great in that season, but the longevity of these players will be interesting.

    It should not be understated the effect of “new” offenses have had on these QBs. Doug Pederson was praised for his innovative attack. McVay was being compared to Bill Walsh. The Ravens are literally just doing the same thing the 49ers did in 2012-13 with Kaepernick. They have the exact same coordinator, and run the same offense. Every scheme is beatable, even the revolutionary ones. The thing that is more difficult to beat are truly elite players. I think we should refrain from judging players as elite until after teams have adjusted to them. Someone will find a way to stop Jackson, just as they stopped Kaep or Goff. The question will be, can he find a way to adjust and win anyway.

    • Volume12 says:

      So your saying to beat the Ravens and Greg Roman’s offense teams should do what the Ravens did in the SB against the 9ers and a Greg Roman offense?

      Control the T.O.P and assign an EDGE to try and force Lamar up inside? And if he does hand it off on those RPO’s, don’t trail the RB just hit Lamar snap after snap?

      Hmmmmm….. 🤔

      • Starhawk29 says:

        Possibly. I think the 9ers game will be telling that way with their talent at EDGE and their ability to run the football. I don’t know if the 49ers have the linebacking corp to really match up with them, but it should be a really cool game.

    • cha says:

      The combination of a collapsing line and a failure to adjust to new defenses has left Goff out to dry.

      I’m not disagreeing but Gurley no longer being Gurley is factor #1 IMO. He covered up a multitude of Goff warts.

      • Starhawk29 says:

        You’re absolutely right. Gurley is a shell of himself, and his pass catchers have let him down. Cooks, Woods, and Kupp are not playing as well as they had last year, and it shows.

  35. CaptainJack says:

    I think they like BBK as another linebacker who can essentially be a slot defender. Just like Kendricks

  36. CaptainJack says:

    Next weekend such a huge weekend for Seahawks.

    Ravens clash with niners and we play the Vikings who are right there in the NFC race.

    It will be hard to beat the Vikings (they’re really good) especially with clowney’s status still up in the air and our passing offense sputtering as of recently.

  37. RWIII says:

    Starhawk: Jackson is a more complete QB than Kaepernick. He is much more accurate then Kap. I think Jackson might have a better head on his shoulders than Kap. Kap has very little common sense. What will determine Jackson’s future is: Will he stay healthy. Russell Wilson has been able to stay healthy. Cam Newton and RGIII have not been as fortunate.

    • Starhawk29 says:

      RWIII, I’m not saying that Jackson is Kaepernick 2.0, just that they run an offense designed by the same guy that functions very similarly. Jackson right now is better than Kaep, no question, but teams will figure out the scheme, and how he adjusts will define his career. I personally think Jackson is a fantastic athlete and player, and I am rooting for his long term success for the good of the league. I agree that injuries might be the killer for him, but it’s impossible to be certain.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      🙄 Yikes

  38. GerryG says:

    Nice write up and summary Rob, thanks!

    Very interesting to see the progression. I have been critical of base D, not because I think I am smarter than Pete, but because the results for most of the year were not working. The last two weeks things are working way better. This week will be huge to see if they D resurgence can continue.

  39. Sea Mode says:

    😍

    Adam Jude
    @A_Jude

    Rashaad Penny is No. 1 among NFL running backs in yards per carry (for those with >50 carries), and third overall. Russell Wilson is ninth, via pro football ref.

    https://twitter.com/A_Jude/status/1199393836268539904

    bUT iF YoU taEk AWaY hiS LoNg rUNs…

    • Pickering says:

      I assume tHiS is sarcasm font so will add ‘he missed a block’, which of course no first round draft choice should ever do. For some reason, some fans need to find witches on their team, and once a player shows any witch tendency, e.g.missing a block (‘he coulda got Russell killed’), once the Twitter sphere and social media start digging through past games for other possible ‘egregious’ (overused word by the witch hunters) examples of his witchiness, and the quants skew their data to confirm their bias, the meme’s set: He’s a witch. There are as many ways to be a fan as there are fans (even more when their shifting moods are factored in), but the witch hunters get old.

      • cha says:

        Exhibit A: The Penny piece on Field Gulls was just sickening. One of the premises of the piece was based on Baldy’s Breakdown, that it was all poor execution by the Eagles D that led to Penny’s 3 big runs. Completely refused to give any credit to crack playcalling, excellent execution in the blocking or Penny having the skill to take advantage of the opportunities presented.

        • TomLPDX says:

          It gets really old reading people putting down players because they’ve made up their minds about them.

          I’m going to go on record and say to the world that I AM A PENNY AND IFEDI SUPPORTER!

          Penny had a really good game and the fact that we hardly hear Ifedi’s name anymore is a good thing, because he is doing his job. I also think DK will only gets better as he gets more experience under his belt. We have talent on this team at many positions.

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        Germain Ifedi is the head witch.

        (That has to be the new name for team scapegoats)

    • Jamho3 says:

      https://twitter.com/Doorakz/status/1199400266975662082

      “Russell with 3 more rushing attempts than Penny though….. “

  40. RWIII says:

    I mentioned earlier that I will be really interested to see how well Rasheem Green and Ziggy ANsah finish the season. The Hawks also have to see what L.J. Collier can do. Long term. It is possible that when John Schneider signed Ziggy he knew that might not be at his best until the home stretch. I am just speculating on Ziggy.