Sunday, January 6, 2013

Is 'Getting Hot Late' a Lie?

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Nobody is hotter right now than the Seahawks. In fact, over the past six years, no team has had a larger point differential in the final four games of the season than the Seahawks. We're +127. The Redskins were +37. Both teams were 4-4. Nice numbers, but the 'Hawks have the advantage, right?

Well, no. Over the previous five seasons, getting hot late has meant squat. There is no correlation between winning games or winning the point spread over the final four games of the season and winning in the playoffs. None. Zip. I won't bore you with the math, but trust me, over the past five years, "getting hot late" means nothing.

What pundit hasn't said that "you want to get hot heading into the playoffs"? Everybody on ESPN says it. I've said it. You've probably said it too. But over the past five years, it simply hasn't been true.

The good news is that there is no negative correlation. Sucking in the final four games doesn't help either.

It looks like the cliche, "everybody is 0 and 0 going into the playoffs", is the more accurate statement. What happened in the regular season is just the warm up act.

So, why is this? In my opinion, the regular season is there to get less competent teams (and some competent ones too) out of the mix. Playoff teams have proven that they don't completely suck. Put two competent teams in the same stadium and almost anything can happen in the NFL.

Another factor is injuries. They can be random. Last night we saw Joe Webb for the first time this year. Is there any surprise that he couldn't beat Aaron Rodgers? The final four games of the regular season couldn't predict that Ponder wouldn't be active. It didn't matter that Minnesota went 4-0 at the end of the season.

Also consider that the record in the final four games doesn't predict seeding and matchups. It doesn't tell you if Miami has to play in Buffalo in a blizzard.

Maybe the weakest part of the "hot late" argument is that it doesn't take "heart" into consideration. A great team might have won their division early while a pretty good team might be clawing for a wildcard spot at the end. The great team might not be as motivated at the end of the season as they are once the playoff curtain rises.

Putting this together, I think the Seahawks are in a great position to win. It doesn't matter that they won at the end. What matters is that they are a competent team with a good quarterback and that they are healthy. Get into the playoffs with those assets and you have as good a chance as anybody. After that, it comes down to match ups. We match up well with the Redskins, the weather won't be insane, and RGIII is a bit beat up. And we just got Browner back.

Pete is right to coach the team to believe that every game is a championship game. We didn't win at the end simply because we were motivated. We weren't playing beyond ourselves. And we don't need to play beyond ourselves to win in Washington.

Hot or not, the Seahawks can feel good about their odds going into this game. And that's no lie.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Common Opponent: Seahawks and Redskins vs. Panthers

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This year, the Seahawks and Redskins played five games against common opponents, but one opponent best illuminates Sunday’s Wild Card teams: the Carolina Panthers. Like the ‘Hawks and ‘Skins, the Panthers have a young, gifted, physical quarterback, Cam Newton – last year’s offensive rookie of the year. And Carolina employs the zone-read option. This is as good a measure as we can get between the two defenses.

Over the year, Carolina ranked 13th in DVOA at +5.5%, so they were slightly above average. They were balanced, ranking 10th in offense and 11th in defense. The offense earned an average of 22.3 points while the defense allowed 22.7, which sounds about right for a 7-9 team. Say what you will about the Panthers, but they make a good strawman team.

So, how did the Seahawks and Redskins do against them? The Seahawks won 16-12 on the road. The Redskins lost 21-13 at home. You read that right. Seattle won on the road (and this was in Week 5, before OC Darrell Bevell unleashed Wilson) while RG3 & Co. lost at home in the ninth week of the season.

The Seahawks defense limited the Panthers to 190 yards with 108 in the air and 82 on the ground. Only the Jets and Cards had games with fewer yards against Seattle this year. Yes folks, the Seahawks can defend against the zone-read option. On offense, the ‘Hawks earned 310 yards with 212 in the air and 98 on the ground. Bruce Irvin, Jason Jones, and Chris Clemons were especially disruptive on D, though Jones is now on IR and won’t be a factor in DC. Mebane, Branch, and Wagner shut down runs up the gut. By many measurements, this was the worst performance of Cam Newton’s career. Seattle’s secondary had something to do with this, shutting down veteran Steve Smith.

Seattle’s D was so effective that at 2:03 in the 3rd quarter, Chris Clemons batted down a Newton pass – even though Seattle had only ten men on the field.

The Redskins D didn’t do nearly as well, allowing Carolina 330 yards with 201 in the air and 129 on the ground. On offense, the ‘Skins moved the ball well but weren’t able to convert yards to points. They had 337 yards with 186 in the air and 151 on the ground but only visited the end zone once, late in the 4th quarter.

DeAngelo Hall defended well, but former Seahawk Josh “Shorty” Wilson gave up big yards and had a couple of PI calls against him. Tyler Polumbus (a recent Seattle alum) gave up 11 of 20 quarterback disruptions. If anybody knows Polumbus’ weaknesses, it’s the Seahawks.

People talk about London Fletcher still being effective, but after the visit from Carolina, he had eight negative grades in nine games from ProFootballFocus, failing to collect a stop and giving up all four passes that came his way for 36 yards.

These games don’t give a lot of insight into the Seattle and Washington offenses. The Carolina defense won’t be on the field, and a lot has changed particularly for Seattle’s offense since Week 5. No, these games tell us about defenses and how they handle a quarterback who can present multiple threats and get down the field in a hurry. The Seahawks measured up well against Carolina and they did it on the road. The Redskins D, on the other hand, had some soft spots, even when playing at home.

Advantage: Seahawks. Even when playing on the road.

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Seattle's Run Defense Puzzle

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As Mike Sando recently posted, the Seahawks were 2nd against the run (3.3 YPC) in weeks 1-6, but fell to 32nd against the run (5.3 YPC) from week 7 through 15. If you wonder why we're less comfortable with our defensive prowess recently, this is it. (Yes, we're not great on 3rd down either, but that's been true all year long.)

So... let's dig a little deeper. During our recent 8-game span we faced the number 1, 2, and 4 running teams (MIN, SF, BUF) and we won two of the three games. Of those, the Vikings game was an outlier.  They put up a whopping 9.0 YPC on us with 243 yards on 27 carries. Yes, it was Adrian Peterson. Yes, we missed some assignments - badly. And, yes, that led to some long runs, including a 74 yarder that Kam Browner ran down at the last moment. Hill KJ Wright was injured in concussed on the first play of that game, and our inexperience (Mike Morgan, 2nd year, USC) showed. Let's call it a "learning experience".

Looking at the other games, we held most teams near their average - some slightly above, some slightly below - except one. Miami. The Dolphins put up 6.8 YPC (189 yards on 28 carries) against us. On average, they gain 4.0 YPC which ranks 20th in the league. (Keep in mind that our bad defensive performance helped inflate that number!)

WeekTeamYPC RankOverall YPCYPC vs. SeahawksDifference

It's not like we can chalk up the Miami game to one breakout run. Their longest gain was 22 yards. It also wasn't that one guy got hot. Tannehill averaged 8.25 YPC (33 yards on 4 carries). Bush got 6.21 YPC (87 yards on 14 runs). Thomas earned 6.67 YPC (60 yards on 9 runs). That tells me that this one was on us.

As I recall, Miami got many of their yards with speed to the outside. It was after this game that Carroll announced that Red Bryant had been suffering with plantar fasciitis. Maybe we were more banged up than we had expected. Maybe we were sluggish after the bye. Whatever the reason, this was a bad day for our run defense.

If you remove the Viking and Dolphin games (yeah, it's a cheat), we end up with 4.2 YPC from Week 7 on. It's still not the 3.3 YPC we started with, but it's a whole lot better than 5.3. In fact, it's right around the league average. We should be doing much better than this.

Fortunately, we don't face Adrian Peterson on Sunday night. Unfortunately, San Francisco's offense is #2 in YPC and Kaepernick adds the threat of speed to the edge to compliment Gore's power between the tackles.

We have to hope that our young players take their experience to heart and that Red's foot is on the mend. Mostly, we need to shut down explosive run plays to keep it close. Keep in mind that even with Minnesota's 9.0 YPC, we beat them. Against Miami's 6.75 YPC, we only lost by three. And even with San Francisco's trap game gashing us with 5.5 YPC, we were within a touchdown.

Finally, keep in mind that this game will be in Seattle. 9.0 YPC wasn't enough to beat us at home.

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Monday, December 10, 2012

58 Reasons that the Seahawks Beat the Cardinals

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Here are the 58 reasons that the Seahawks beat the Cardinals in Week 14 of the 2012 NFL season (in no particular order):

1 Wilson, Russell
2 Hauschka, Steven
3 Ryan, Jon
4 Kearse, Jermaine
5 Martin, Charly
6 Flynn, Matt
7 Rice, Sidney
8 Lane, Jeremy
9 Turbin, Robert
10 Trufant, Marcus
11 Lynch, Marshawn
12 Sherman, Richard
13 Robinson, Michael
14 Thurmond, Walter
15 Thomas, Earl
16 Chancellor, Kam
17 Johnson, Jeron
18 Washington, Leon
19 Shead, DeShawn
20 Parker, Ron
21 Maxwell, Byron
22 Maragos, Chris
23 Gresham, Clint
24 Wright, K.J.
25 Irvin, Bruce
26 Smith, Malcolm
27 Wagner, Bobby
28 Farwell, Heath
29 Hill, Leroy
30 Morgan, Mike
31 Unger, Max
32 Jeanpierre, Lemuel
33 Johnson, Rishaw
34 Sweezy, J.R
35 Omiyale, Frank
36 McQuistan, Paul
37 Giacomini, Breno
38 McDonald, Clinton
39 Moffitt, John
40 Person, Mike
41 Okung, Russell
42 Bryant, Red
43 Tate, Golden
44 Moore, Evan
45 McCoy, Anthony
46 Miller, Zach
47 Baldwin, Doug
48 Jones, Jason
49 Clemons, Chris
50 Mebane, Brandon
51 Howard, Jaye
52 Scruggs, Greg
53 Branch, Alan
54 Bradley, Gus
55 Cable, Tom
56 Bevell, Darrel
57 Schneider, John
58 Carroll, Pete

Note: We should have scored more so I could have listed all of the coaches, members of the front office, and our practice squad.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Swimming with the Seahawks

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While my favorite fan sport is Seahawks football, my personal sport is competitive swimming. So here I was, doing a half mile of freestyle as one segment of my workout, going at a good clip, making flip turns, and counting the lengths of the pool, 1, 2, 3, 4... I'm feeling pretty good as the swimmers in the other lanes are older and slower than I am, 5, 6, 7, 8... At the quarter point, I've loosened up a bit and turn up the juice, 9, 10, 11, 12. But not too much, 13, 14, 15, 16. I've got to do 32 lengths, 17, 18, 19, 20. And I want to finish strong, 21, 22, 23.

23?!!! That's my favorite number. The Lotus 23 is my favorite old sports car. And Marcus Trufant has long been one of my favorite Seahawks!

I gotta do Tru proud, so I really crank it up - way beyond what I can maintain for the next nine lengths. And then I do my flip turn. ...24.

Crap! 24 is Marshawn's number! Marshawn gives it his all until the echo of the whistle. I can't let him down!

So I crank up my kick and swim with determined power - my arms a bit wider than usual to mimic Lynch's wide-legged style. I'm swimming in Beast Mode! I flip again and push off the wall. ...25

25?!!! Holy hell. That's Richard Sherman's number. He's my very favorite Seahawk. We both grew up in Southern California, moved to Northern California, and ended up in the Pacific Northwest. I'm just shy of his height and weight. He's my Seahawk doppelganger. The minute the Pro Shop gets his jersey, it's mine!

So I push even harder, getting my arms and legs pencil narrow and pulling in long, fluid - and fast - strokes. I'm like #25 covering a go-route. With that speed, I get to the wall quickly, grab a big breath, summersault, and count ...26.

26?!!! That's Mike Rob's number. Pro Bowl fullback. Co-captain on special teams. Real Rob Report. There's no slowing now!

So I hammer my kick as hard as I can, like a fullback racing toward a collision with Ray Lewis. By the end of that length, I'm losing my speed. But hey, fullbacks aren't built to win the 100 yard dash.

I finally slow back to normal on the 27th length. I didn't have enough oxygen to remember or care if that was Winston Guy's number. I remembered Atari Bigby - and the team let him go.

I've got to admit, I didn't do Earl Thomas (29) or Kam Chancellor (31) justice as my mind was elsewhere. But #32, Jeron Johnson earned my respect with his excellent play in the preseason, so I finished my half mile at a full-on sprint - like a rookie who needs to earn his spot with excellent special teams play.

After that, the 400 IM and butterfly sprints that followed didn't intimidate me at all - after a bit of a blow and a few sips of water.

Maybe I'll do a 2,500 meter swim this weekend, trying to remember all the uniform numbers on the team. I can fill in some of the holes with guys like Hasselbeck, Alexander, Strong, Jones, and Largent. I'll swim to the right of the lane on length 3, scrambling like Russel Wilson. By the time I get to Alan Branch, I'll be whooped.

Anyway, it was fitting to finish with Jeron Johnson's #32 today. 32 is 23 backwards.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Lynch, Wilson Haunt Patriots

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In the Reader’s Digest version of the Seahawks’ win over the Patriots, Seattle’s stingy defense and rookie Russell Wilson’s big-time passes surprised Tom Brady as the Seahawks’ running game struggled to gain traction. That last part is only true if you measure the running game by yards gained on the ground by actual, living humans. To fully understand how Seattle’s running game helped beat New England, one must look to the paranormal: phantom footsteps, cold breezes, and beasts that appear only to suddenly vanish. Rather than attacking the Seattle offense, Patriots’ defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia, was left chasing apparitions, grasping at phantoms, and tackling shadows.

Play after play, the Patriots stacked the short middle of the field in fear of Beast Mode and in hopes of frustrating a short quarterback who would rather run than pass. But like a house of mirrors, Seattle OC Darrel Bevell twisted our reputation for tough runs, conservative passes, and quick scrambles into a game of wide throws and deep bombs. While the Patriots would position players for expected action, they ended up sinking in quicksand, neither rushing the quarterback nor covering receivers. That gave Wilson target after target in one-on-one coverage. Given that advantage, Wilson and his receivers were able keep New England off balance while making a series of big plays. The rest is history.

Let’s look at the key plays of our scoring drives…

Scoring drive 1: 1st quarter, 9 plays, 84 yards, 5:17, Field Goal.

3-1-SEA 25(11:20) 3-R.Wilson pass short left to 22-R.Turbin for 6 yards.

The Patriots crowd the line looking to stop the run on a short yardage play as the Seahawks load three tight ends on the left side. We fake a zone right – except that Turbin goes left, fakes taking the handoff, and receives the pass for a gain of 6 and the first down. Presto-change-o.

1-10-SEA 31(10:53) 3-R.Wilson pass deep right to 18-S.Rice for 29 yards. Penalty for Illegal Contact, declined.

A typical, zone right play with two backs and one tight end – except that it’s play action and three New England defenders end up standing around in the short middle. After illegal contact by Chung, Sidney Rice gets wide open on the right side for a gain of 29 yards. It started out one-on-one (good) and ended up zero-on-one (great).

1-10-NE 40(10:29) (Shotgun) 3-R.Wilson pass deep right to 86-Z.Miller for 22 yards.

In a three receiver set, the Pats start out with eight in the box. Miller goes deep at the numbers, is covered by a linebacker (nice mismatch) and the safety is late. Wilson puts it up high for Miller, who comes down with a great catch for 22 yards. This is as close to the shallow (22 yards?) middle as we get on our scoring drive plays.

Lynch goes on to get stuffed in the backfield on 3rd and 1 (McQuistan went left on a zone right play - oops!) and we settle for three points.

Scoring drive 2: 1st quarter, 7 plays, 85 yards, 3:59, Touchdown.

2-3-SEA 22(5:05) 3-R.Wilson pass short left to 81-G.Tate for -6 yards.

With eight in the box, the Patriots bring pressure while respecting the run to the right. Wilson throws a quick screen left to Tate that would have been killer, except for a missed block by Robinson. Great setup. One flaw in execution. Loss of six.

3-9-SEA 16(4:25) (Shotgun) 3-R.Wilson pass deep middle to 89-D.Baldwin for 50 yards.

On 3rd and 9, our run threat should be no help here. Pats initially play pass with two deep safeties. However, New England still dedicates a man to Turbin and a safety comes up to monitor Wilson. Baldwin beats his man deep, one-on-one, and our line has no problem with a four man rush. 50 yards, almost all in the air.

1-10-NE 34(3:37) 3-R.Wilson pass short left to 18-S.Rice for 6 yards.

The Patriots load up the middle again, leaving the two receivers on the left, one on one. Our backs fake right. Rice crosses from the slot to the left sideline for a six yard reception.

1-15-NE 24(1:59) 3-R.Wilson pass deep middle to 89-D.Baldwin for 24 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

With three receivers and one back, the Pats play pass but respect Wilson by continuing to guard the short middle. Again, our protection holds up against a four man rush as Baldwin ends up one-on-one in the end zone with no safety help. Touchdown.

Scoring drive 3: 4th quarter, 5 plays, 83 yards, 2:00, Touchdown.

1-10-SEA 17(9:17) 3-R.Wilson pass deep middle to 81-G.Tate for 51 yards. PENALTY, Unnecessary Roughness, 15 yards.

The Patriots put six on the line and cheat three more on 1st and 10 to stop the run. Tate gets to their deepest man and wins the one-on-one battle for 51 yards. Add 15 more for unnecessary roughness to get 66 yards in one play.

4-3-NE 10(7:26) 3-R.Wilson pass short left to 17-B.Edwards for 10 yards, TOUCHDOWN. Penalty, Defensive Pass Interference, declined.

On 4th and 3 at the 10 yard line, New England leaves four defenders standing around in the middle of the field with nobody to defend but ghosts. Edwards is one-on-one on a fade route to the left side of the end zone. Touchdown. Did I mention that this was 4th and 3? This was a HUGE 4th quarter play.

Scoring drive 4: 4th quarter, 4 plays, 57 yards, 1:20, Touchdown.

1-10-SEA 43(2:38) (Shotgun) 3-R.Wilson right end 9 yards. Designed run.

With three receivers and shotgun formation, the Patriots have two deep safeties and are one-on-one on the outside. As Lynch runs left, New England leaves one defender dedicated to Wilson as the quarterback executes a planned run to his right. Wilson is able to juke the bigger man for a gain of nine. The Pats finally position a defender where we will run the play – and we still burn ‘em.

3-1-NE 48(1:59) (Shotgun) 24-M.Lynch left tackle for 2 yards.

With four receivers in shotgun formation, we run a zone left, the Pats get a jump on our left side, and they get push on Carpenter and Giacomini. Lynch knows he only needs one yard as he bashes into Giagomini for two yards and a critical first down. This time, we turned the tables - the Pats were afraid of the pass and we ran. They got a quick, first step and we still beat them for the first down.

1-10-NE 46(1:27) 3-R.Wilson pass deep middle to 18-S.Rice for 46 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Play action against a base defense. Even with a fast get-off against the left side of our line, we have no problem in pass protection.  Rice surprises them by going over the top, beating their deepest man. Touchdown. An extra point gives us the lead and the win.

Throughout the game, the New England D dedicated linebackers to guard against the power of Lynch and the breakaway ability of Wilson. Time and time again, we ended up with a four man rush and with one-on-one matchups at the edges and on deep go-routes. Wilson and Bevell must have been licking their chops time and time again as we zigged when they kept expecting us to zag. For many of our biggest plays, New England dedicated defenders to covering nothing but pixies and sprites.  

We should still give credit to Wilson as he threw some beautiful passes – and we should give credit to our receivers as they consistently made great, tough catches. This win doesn't happen without pulling the trigger, accurate throws, and solid grabs.

That execution was especially impressive on the last drive. With the clock running down, we no longer had a scheme advantage. They knew we needed passes to stop the clock and make yards. In the final drive, it was no longer about how we matched up. And it wasn’t about the Pat’s defense. It was all about our offense making plays.

But for the first three drives, we scored not because of strong runs in this game, but because of strong runs in the previous five contests. On this Sunday in October, we didn’t beat the Patriots with Beast Mode. We beat them with Ghost Mode.

Hey, New England… BOO!!!

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Robert Turbin's Breakout 3rd Quarter

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There were a number of bright spots in Sunday's disappointing loss to the Rams, including Carpenter's return to the active roster, a total of 179 yards in the run game, and Lynch taking over the top rushing spot in the league with 423 yards. But what really got my attention was the 3rd quarter performance by rookie and 4th round pick, Robert Turbin.

In case you don't know who Robert Turbin is, he's the one with the biceps...

Let's look at the numbers: In the 3rd quarter, Turbin got 44 yards on five touches for 8.8 yards per carry. This wasn't a matter of one giant run and four duds. Of his five runs, three were for first downs. His shortest run was for two yards and that followed his 9 yard run to gain a first down. Oh yeah, his second shortest runs were for nine yards. Overalls, they were for 9, 2, 9, 9, and 13 yards.

This was the first time Turbin got a sustained set of carries in a real NFL game and he made the best of his opportunity. Clearly, he's not just a preseason flash. In St. Louis, Turbin also collected a couple of passes for 13 yards, contributing a total of 58 yards in eight plays.

Here are Turbin's 3rd quarter run plays:

[10:01] 1st and 10 on the SEA 34. '22' personnel.
There are 2 TEs, but McCoy sets up wide left. The line play is zone left as Turbin makes a nice cut back inside Carpenter at left guard. Turbin tries to avoid a man and is then carried forward another three yards by Unger only to get smashed by Giacomini and his man. 9 yards with a tough ending.

[9:25] 2nd and 1 on the SEA 43. '22' personnel.
Even with '22' personnel, Rams show pass D. (2nd and 1 rocks!) The Rams then load up our right side just before we run zone to that side. Turbin cuts back left as we create a textbook crease. Turbin then cuts back inside and makes the safety miss. Unfortunately, Unger didn't make his 2nd level block stick, otherwise the Seahulk is in free space. Still, we got 2 yards and the first down.

[8:47] 1st and 10 on the SEA 45. '11' personnel. Shotgun.
Inside zone right as the Rams D plays the pass. McCoy slashes back as Giacomini and Unger open a huge hole and McQuistan goes forward. Turbin smashes the safety at eight yards, gets another three and earns 11 yards and the first down.

[:41] 1st and 10 on the STL 40. '21' personnel.
Zone left as the Rams D plays the run. Turbin cuts back hard, breaks a tackle at the line, another at five yards and is finally taken down after a gain of 9 yards.

[:06] 2nd and 1 on the STL 31. '22' personnel.
Zone left as Rams play run again. Turbin sneaks through a sliver of a hole into open space. Seahulk powers between two tacklers for 13 yards and the first down.

On the first play, Turbin becomes a super-Hulk with Unger carrying him. #22 showed his toughness by staying in the game after getting smashed. In the second play, Turbin made a great read for a sharp cut into the line followed by a second cut away from the defender. Had Unger not let his linebacker keep his arms extended, it would have been yet another long run. On runs three and four, Turbin makes like Beast Mode, Jr., breaking tackles and smashing forward solo. On his fifth, and signature, run, Turbin hits the hole quickly, gets narrow like Justin Forsett, and bursts into space. He ends the run by splitting his tacklers, maximizing the gain.

While Turbin doesn't have the wide-legged stability and the mad ferocity of Beast Mode, he's equally willing to do the one cut and downhill running style that Cable's zone blocking scheme demands. Like Lynch, he's willing to pound forward to take one yard and leave three bruises. (Okay, Lynch would get two or three yards and leave five bruises.) But there are a few differences: Turbin's cuts are quicker and tighter. For a guy with that much upper body mass, those quick moves are impressive. He's also got a faster top gear than Lynch, so once Turbin gets into open space, he's got more potential to beat the opposition downfield.

The surprising thing to me, however, is Turbin's ability to get small at the point of attack. He's like a puffer fish who takes in water to show off his guns, but who can spit it out to get skinny through a closing hole. I've seen this a couple of times now in the regular season, and it's like a David Copperfield illusion. One moment you think he's slamming into a mass of linemen and split second later, he's popping out the other side at speed. This simply isn't in Marshawn's toolkit and Turbin will likely surprise a few teams with that skill down the road.

Marshawn improved his receiving game this week with four catches for 37 yards. This was nice to see as Lynch hasn't been a strong outlet receiver since joining the team. Turbin, by contrast, has shown great hands since he arrived, catching both passes that came his way. It was great to see both backs make those screen and outlet catches smoothly without a drop.

The days of a half-injured Shaun Alexander, Mo Morris, and Julius Jones running behind an undisciplined line are behind us. Not only do we have a line that can run block, we now have two backs who can perform in a well-defined system and who can both run and catch.

Mostly, it was great to see Turbin get an opportunity to show us his stuff. Given that we want Lynch to be strong all season long (and then some) and given that some teams will let down their guard when they see that #24 has left the field, I hope that Turbin's opportunities keep on coming.

"I have an Army!"
"We have a Hulk."


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