So, let me just start off by saying that, that was easily the worst ruling I think I've ever seen in the NFL. Granted, I've only been around some 22 odd years but man, that was terrible. Jennings clearly had possession, Tate probably gave Shields whiplash from shoving him so hard, and how in the world did they not get it right after reviewing it? It was just so blatantly clear.
Anyways, that's not what this post is about. Instead, I want to talk about our brilliant offensive gameplan in the 1st half. As you've probably realized, yes, I'm being sarcastic. For the life of me, I can't understand what McCarthy and Clements were thinking going into the game. Benson was coming off a spectacular game against a good Bears run D, and it should have been well known by McCarthy/Clements that the Seahawks were going to replicate exactly what the 49ers and Bears did to us. Why wouldn't they, after it worked so well? I thought for sure we'd try and estblish the run early to take some pressure of Rodgers and the receiving corps.
Instead, we come out in the first half and run the ball 3 times - 4 if you count Rodgers run - while passing it 22 times. Not only did we pass it 22 times but a large portion of those seemed to be 5-7 step drops with Rodgers primary target appearing to be a deep route. Now, I realize that's our "strength" (or at least has been in the past) but considering Seattle was playing a lot of two deep shell and that our offensive line clearly couldn't give Rodgers the time those deep routes take to develop, why did we continue to go with that strategy throughout the 1st half? And while the offensive line was horrid, some of the blame has to go to McCarthy for not doing anything to slow them down. When you run the ball only 3 times, it allows the DL to pin their ears back and rush the passer.
And then a funny thing happened in the 2nd half, we came out and ran the ball - and it worked. We also used some 3 step drops and got the ball out quickly. And when we ran play action, Rodgers dumped it off underneath to Benson/Kuhn for basically a free 6-7 yards. Let me just say, that's something that Rodgers needs to utilize a lot more. I know it's not flashy, but if the defense is going to give you 6-8 yards - take it! As a result of all of this, we absolutely dominated the entire second half. We basically moved the ball at will, and when we started to move the ball it allowed us to get into our hurry up stuff to catch Seattle tired and on their heels.
I'm hoping like hell that we'll continue to play this way. It's obvious how much McCarthy and Rodgers love to go deep, and I don't blame them. But when it's not there, an adjustment has to be made. We have to take those 5 yard out's/in's/slants, 8-10 yard curls, and 6-8 yard dumpoff's underneath to the RB. We also need to run the ball when there's 7 in the box. Not just to open up the passing game but because we actually can get some first downs by doing so. Doing all these things will suck the LB's up, and might cause opposing D's to sneak one safety up a little closer to the LOS. And then we can utilize those post plays in between the LB's and Safety's off play action, as well as the back shoulder throws against one on one coverage on the outside.