Seattle Seahawks at Miami Dolphins
Seattle has the #3 offense and while it’s the big, splash plays that stand out most in our mind, the reality is the majority of their domination comes simply in their sustained passing efficiency. They rank just 16th in overall explosive pass offense, but are #3 in passing efficiency. And it’s through the air where they should have edges, particularly with the Dolphins missing CB Byron Jones.
The Seahawks rank #2 in efficiency to WRs and #5 in efficiency to RBs.
The Dolphins Defense ranks #25 in efficiency to WRs and #32 in efficiency to RBs.
Strength on weakness in both positions. In fact, the Dolphins are allowing 9.1 YPA to WRs and 8.7 YPA to RBs, with TE targets clocking in at 8.6 YPA for good measure.
Obviously Russell Wilson is balling out, but he’s made a habit of doing so on the East coast. Since drafting Russell Wilson in 2012, Seattle has a league-best 22-9 (17-7-2 ATS) record playing in the Eastern Time Zone, including nine straight wins (7-1-1 ATS).
Seattle’s defense, even with Adams, ranked #32 vs explosive passes and #29 in defensive pass efficiency. The Dolphins have played an easy schedule of pass defenses to date, but rank #12 in efficiency and, with extra rest since their last game, should get DeVante Parker back and feeling fresh for this matchup.
While Seattle’s defense has done extremely well defending RBs and TEs, they rank #32 vs WRs, allowing 10.8 YPA and a 63% success rate.
There is zero doubt the Dolphins side is razor sharp, and the betting market has shifted from Seattle laying soft-7 at open down to as low as 5 points. If Miami is capable of trading scores with the Seahawks, and if the red zone offensive production for the Seahawks regresses slightly, this game could come down to the wire.
In the first half, they used it on 67% of Cam’s passes, and against man he averaged just 1.0 YPA, an 11% success rate, tossed 1 INT and recorded a rating of 2.8. Meanwhile, against zone, he averaged 10.4 YPA with a 60% success rate.
For whatever reason, after halftime, the Raiders used zone far more often, and the Patriots made and adjustment and Cam was better against the man coverage. Let’s watch what the Chiefs decide to use against Newton this Sunday.
The NFL average is to use 2-RBs, most often a fullback and tailback, on the field on just 8% of offensive snaps.
Of the NFL’s 5 teams that use it on at least 15% of snaps, two are in this game: the Falcons and the Packers.
The difference is, while the Packers are fine when they use it, the Falcons are terrible.
The Falcons get far more success removing their fullback and simply using 11 personnel, and should not be using as much 21 personnel. But this is nothing new, as I wrote at length about this issue in the offseason.
One interesting note on the Packers use of 21 personnel on 3rd down:
on 3rd down, the Packers have used 21 personnel on 6 snaps, double that of any other team.
Defenses may expect runs when adding a fullback, but instead of running, they've passed the ball on 100% of these plays, tricking a defense that may expect run.
The Packers Defense has faced 3 straight QBs playing without their #1 WRs/deep threat:
It’s to be determined if the Packers are able to face the Falcons without Julio Jones on MNF?
Calvin Ridley is the deep threat, no doubt, but not having Jones would be a huge benefit for the Packers D for yet another week.
The Falcons have played great, average and poor offenses, in the form of the Seahawks, Cowboys and Bears… and allowed 30+ to all and lost to them all.
That said, remarkably their overall defense ranks about middle of the road from an efficiency perspective.
Their biggest problem is Atlanta ranks dead last in red zone conversion rate.
And now, the Falcons must face the Packers, the NFL’s #2 red zone conversion offense.