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ТЕМА: Everyone could see Shaquill Griffin was having a rough game last Sunday.

Everyone could see Shaquill Griffin was having a rough game last Sunday. 1 год 1 мес. назад #408

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Casual observers L.J. Collier Jersey , emotionally charged viewers and financially invested watchers; Dallas Cowboys fans, Seattle Seahawks supporters and NFL followers; Griffin was bad to the most inexperienced football spectator.I wrote the previous week about the ability of Tre Flowers resulting in “some teams,” targeting “Shaquill Griffin more.” Flowers’ excellent debut season has coincided with an underwhelming second campaign for Griffin. What started so brightly for Griffin with interceptions against the Chicago Bears dwindled. Sure, the 2017 third-rounder was bugged by an ankle injury. But his wild card round failures were not issues of athleticism or fluidity. While it’s impossible to determine the impact playing hurt had on Griffin’s confidence, his poor plays were based purely in ghastly technique and awareness. His performance was so disappointing that drafting another cornerback looks essential, irrespective of whether slot defender Justin Coleman is re-signed.One method Dallas utilized to attack Griffin was their “duo” run scheme. (I wrote about Seattle’s misdirection version here) The Seahawks’ front played the design well each time. Encouragingly for Seattle, Ezekiel Elliott was forced to bounce his read to the EDGE. Negatively, the two instances saw Elliott beat the unblocked Griffin one-on-one. Griffin out-leverages himselfOn the first occasion, the Cowboys aligned in a 2x2 11 personnel single back formation. They then shifted Tavon Austin into a “sniffer role”—so named for its location right behind the buttocks of the guard. On the 3rd and 1, post-shift, the Seahawks had nearly 9 men in the box for the 7 Dallas blockers. Their choice of dime personnel, rather than nickel, for the 11 personnel was somewhat strange given the short-yardage but was testament to their faith in Bradley McDougald as a box player. Pete Carroll and Ken Norton Jr. were likely fearful of being burnt again via an empty set too.The Cowboys managed to get 3 double teams at the line of scrimmage, but there were too many Seattle bodies for Elliott to run this up the middle. The ball carrier’s first read was middle linebacker Bobby Wagner. Wagner thundered downwards to close the cutback B-gap. Elliott then looked toward McDougald in the other A-gap and saw that closed. The running back’s sound process took him to the perimeter. The decision to bounce on 3rd and 1 was exactly what the Seahawks wanted to force. They just needed Griffin, the contain man, to make the tackle. Unfortunately, Griffin was conflicted by Austin’s sniffer location and had already aligned inside. After reading the overall downblock motion of the offensive line, and trying to follow Austin inside, Griffin totally out-leveraged himself by moving further inside. As the outside cornerback, Griffin’s run fit assignment is to never let the running back get close to being outside of him. His job is to turn the running back towards the help and not surrender the sideline. On this play, Elliott exploited Griffin’s relinquishing of outside-in leverage and scampered into the forbidden territory. What should have been a 3rd down stop became a 3rd down disaster. Having just taken the lead on the previous drive and with only 1:22 left in the 2nd quarter, this was one of the biggest Seattle mistakes of the game. These types of errors result in elimination. Griffin stiff-armedLooking to finish the game leading 17-14 with 3:59 remaining in the game, it was smart of Dallas to return to their “duo” play. The Seahawks only had two timeouts remaining and they desperately needed to get off the field on the Cowboys’ 1st and 10.Dallas shifted into a very similar 11 personnel look. Seattle at this point responded with nickel personnel over dime and Griffin, thankfully, remained firmly outside. The gaps for the Elliott to run through were well filled by the Seahawks once more. Wagner was waiting clean in the B-gap. Center Joe Looney was fortunate to escape a holding call on the penetration of Poona Ford in the A-gap. K.J. Wright lurked in the playside A-gap. Elliott again read across the line of scrimmage and was forced into bouncing the run. In stark contrast to the first play, Griffin had superb leverage here. Facing zero resistance, he came downhill outside of Elliott needing to turn the runner back inside. The corner’s biggest mistake was not staying on the near-hip of Elliott. Instead, he paused his feet as Elliott faked to cut up inside. The defender would have been better suited closing the gap between Elliott and him while attacking the near hip firmly outside-in.The result of Elliott’s superiority was the outside opening slightly. In the footrace to the outside Gary Jennings Jr. Jersey , Elliott gave Griffin a nasty off-hand stiff arm and shoved the hurrying cornerback to the floor. Elliott 2 Griffin 0. First down Cowboys. Switching sidesWhat made the two Elliott duo runs so frustrating as a viewer, and I’m sure as a Seahawks player too, was that the rest of the defense executed. The two Griffin mistakes serve as clear examples of the importance of assignment-sound football. “Do your job” is a fatigued clich茅, yet it’s so true’ just one person needs to mess up and the whole thing collapses. It was telling that Dallas chose Griffin as the weak link rather than targeting Tre Flowers, who has largely been excellent in run support. Griffin had been guessing a lot in the latter weeks of the season, most notably biting on double moves and relying on his athleticism to recover. A surprising aspect to 2018 was that teams didn’t target Griffin more. A bad performance was coming, it just needed a team to highlight the weakness. Sure, there’s no better coach than Carroll to rectify the sophomore problems Griffin experienced. However, there may well be offseason discussion over Griffin and Flowers switching sides in 2019. If the Minnesota Vikings make the playoffs this weekend, it will mean that the Seattle Seahawks have played every NFC postseason team this year save for themselves and the New Orleans Saints. In those games, they beat the Dallas Cowboys and Vikings, while losing twice to the LA Rams and once to the Chicago Bears.In my opinion there’s only one team in the NFC — in reality, the whole NFL — that I don’t think you want to face if you don’t have to and that’s the Saints.New Orleans is one home game against the Carolina Panthers away from finishing 14-2 and that alone puts them a step ahead of every team. Records can be deceiving but the Saints’ isn’t. It’s surprising to me that they’re only third in DVOA, but they’re second in weighted DVOA and only .2% behind the Kansas City Chiefs for first. Yes, Drew Brees is the face of the city and having another season appropriate for potentially the best quarterback of all-time but what sets this Saints team apart from the many that have let Brees down over the years is a defense that ranks 10th by DVOA.Consider that New Orleans has twice looked this good: in 2009 and in 2011. They went 13-3 in both of those season with a point differential of +169 in the former and +208 in the latter. This season, they are +170 and actually if they lost 21-20 to the Panthers this Sunday, they’d have the exact same record, point differential, points scored, and points allowed as they did in ‘09.And they won the Super Bowl that year.The issue in 2011 was that there were too many good teams and beyond all reasonable expectations, the Saints won their last eight games, finished 13-3, and still had to play a wild card game. They hosted the Detroit Lions and won 42-28 but then had to go on the road to face the 13-3 San Francisco 49ers. The 15-1 Green Bay Packers took the one-seed (and had an even more disappointing postseason) while San Francisco got the two-seed by way of conference record. The Niners scored 380 points that year, compared to 547 for Brees and co.The Saints went 9-0 at home that season, including the wild card game, but were just 5-4 on the road following a divisional round loss to the Niners. As you probably recall in that classic game, the lead changed four times in the final four minutes, with Alex Smith giving San Francisco the 36-32 win by way of a touchdown throw to Vernon Davis with :09 seconds left.If that game is played in New Orleans , I could see a different result. This year, the road to the Super Bowl does go through New Orleans. At least, unless you get super lucky and avoid it, which is what the Seahawks should be hoping to do.If Seattle beats the Arizona Cardinals this Sunday, they’ll guarantee themselves the five-seed. If they lose, they open the door for the Minnesota Vikings to take the five and push the Seahawks down to the six. There is only one opponent they could possibly face in that scenario, which would be the Chicago Bears. No, they cannot face the LA Rams in the first round because in order for the Rams to fall to the three seed, it will mean that the Bears beat the Vikings and therefore, Seattle would be the five seed.Say whatever you want about the matchup vs the Cowboys compared to the matchup vs the Bears, here’s what I can guarantee: If the Seahawks are the six seed, and they win, they have no choice but to go to New Orleans. That’s not a scenario I’d be looking forward to and it’s one you want to put on hold while also crossing fingers that somebody can upset the Saints in the same way that the New York Giants shocked everyone and upset the Packers in 2011.But if they’re the five seed, there’s still a chance that the Seahawks will play the two seed if they happen to advance past the wild card round. If that team happens to be the Rams, you, me, and everyone we know is aware of how close Seattle was to beating LA in both matchups this season. If it’s the Bears, I’d still say that they present a much more favorable matchup than New Orleans does, even in freezing, outdoor conditions.And of course if the Seahawks secure the five seed and it ends up mattering in that way, i.e. if the six seed upsets the three seed and sends Seattle to the two seed, then it keeps hope alive for the most important scenario of all: not just avoiding New Orleans entirely but hosting an NFC Championship game. All of that is too far down the line to really care about, I know it, but what all of that information actually does is this: gives more weight to Seattle’s game against the Cardinals this Sunday.It does matter. They can’t bank on the Vikings losing. They’re at home vs the worst offense in the NFL. They do need to win this one and move into the playoffs with a 10-6 record and a better opportunity. Seeding has had huge implications throughout NFL playoff history and this is no different. It may seem like a small thing, but this win could actually be very significant.
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