Seattle have one of the best defences in the NFL and although it has been up and down this year, it’s still a unit for teams to fear. Seattle play in a 4-3 scheme under defensive coordinator Kris Richard. I’m going to break down the Seahawks defense and see what makes them successful against both the run and the passing game.
It all starts up front! let’s take a look at their defensive line:
Seattle are a team who like to use a rotation with their defensive line. In this particular play against Los Angeles, defensive end Frank Clark is playing as a defensive tackle on this passing down. He lines up at the 3-technique position and will be our main focus in this play. The defensive end is going to rush inside to confuse the offensive lineman without having to blitz, Seattle are known for getting pressure with just the front four.
The guard picks up the defensive end rushing inside but the tackle with poor awareness doesn’t pick up Frank Clark who now has a clear shot at the quarterback and gets the sack.
Now let’s see this unit against the run:
Tampa Bay are in 11 personnel (1 RB 1 TE) and are going to run the ball with the running back going to the outside behind the crack blocks. Tampa’s offensive line are going to push to the right with the tight end and the wide receivers blocking to the left hoping to create a big running lane. The focus will be on the tight end on the left of the line blocking defensive end Frank Clark.
Not much to break down here as Seattle instantly get penetration into the backfield, a quick swim move against the tight end and Frank Clark makes the tackle to stop the run.
Now let’s see an example of the talent in their secondary:
Seattle are in a match-up against the New York Jets who are in 11 personnel (1 RB 1 TE) in a 3×1 formation. At the top photo X receiver Brandon Marshall is going to try and sell a fade route but will run a comeback and is matched against cornerback Richard Sherman.
Brandon Marshall runs his comeback but fails to fool Richard Sherman who intercepts the back shoulder pass. Not only is Sherman talented physically but also mentally. This is an example of a cornerback who keeps his eyes in front of him and reads the quarterback. The Jets have been using the back shoulder fade a lot this season to Brandon Marshall and Richard Sherman was totally aware of it and makes the play.
Well there you go, a strong unit up front with fresh rotation and a talented defense overall helps this team win games and is a big reason behind their dominance in the NFC West.