Another week.....another loss........another game where we show the inability to cover the seam routes. It's not even one particular coverage that is burning us. It's Cover 2, Cover 3, Cover 4, etc. In years past, fans have complained that the Redskins have found a new way to lose each game, but this year they're doing the same thing pretty consistently. That obviously isn't anymore reassuring. Let's take a look at some of the struggles:
Wow. Deep middle of the field was frighteningly open on that Wilson scramble.— Paul Conner (@P_Hazard) October 7, 2014
He might have had a TD pass. Dont know how he didnt see it. Unless there was something I didnt see— Paul Conner (@P_Hazard) October 7, 2014
I couldn't tell 100% from the TV angles but it looked like Seahawks should have had an easy touchdown on the first drive (ended in a touchdown anyway). Looking back at the tape, I was right.
1. This is on the first drive. Redskins had been ridiculed about their ability to play a Cover 2 zone in the red zone as both the Giants and Eagles scored against it but this isn't the red zone so it shouldn't be as bad right? Cover 2 zone. Typically, the MLB (Perry Riley) will drop to the deep middle of the field. We're in nickel so E.J. Biggers is standing next to him.
Here is the Seahawks play call so you know where the seam route is coming from.
Like I said, typically, MLB drops to deep middle and defender beside him drops at a 45 degree angle. Both players start carrying the seam route. Biggers is even deeper than Riley.
Well....they carry the seam route until they see the 5 yard hitch route. Then David Amerson (cover 2 CB), Biggers and Riley all crash on it.
As you can see, Brandon Meriweather is occupied at the top of the screen by the deep in route and Ryan Clark is covering the corner route at the bottom of the screen. Russell Wilson is starting to scramble and he's always praised for keeping his eyes downfield. We're lucky he didn't use that skill on this play.
2. Or were we lucky? They still scored a touchdown on the first drive. As I noted, Redskins had been struggling while running Cover 2 zone in the red zone so they go with a Cover 3 here. A seam route? Shocked.
Riley is held by the route in front of him, Biggers runs to the route in the top flat and Amerson/Meriweather don't squeeze on the seam route.
Amerson probably should have crashed on the route when he noticed the route he was lined up over was a hitch. Either way, uncontested touchdown.
3. Is this even a good play call? How did Bashaud Breeland even get home on this play? Jim Haslett dials up a CB blitz from the long side of the field and Breeland doesn't cheat towards it at all. Because of the blitz, Ryan Clark's attention is devoted solely to the receiver at the bottom of the screen so he can't give assistance to anything in the middle of the field.
The Seahawks run a play-action which brings Brandon Meriweather up two yards.......that's all it takes. Percy Harvin is just too fast to not take advantage of that. He runs right by #31.
Breeland cleans out Russell Wilson but because of the separation Wilson was able to just lay it up and let Harvin run underneath. Obviously, it was called back on a penalty but it's still a bad look.
Oh? Fight fire with fire? Redskins running a seam route from the 5 yard line against the Seahawks Cover 3.
Redskins actually had seam routes from both slots and that puts the FS into a bind. Ryan Grant is open at the top of the screen. Kirk Cousins decides to go to Andre Roberts (which I'm not entirely sure was the right read) but Earl Thomas moves off his spot and Cousins fits it in for the touchdown.
The seam route hasn't been as nice to the Redskins as it has been to opponents (that happens when your top two TEs have been dinged). Teams are going to continue to attack it until the Redskins can show that they can stop it. More disciplined play from Biggers, Riley, and Meriweather are the biggest factors along with a few little ones. A game against the Cardinals, who might be starting their 3rd string rookie QB might be a good place to start building confidence in the area.