Week 2 Lions preview: Film review on the Seattle Seahawks offense

USA Today

When watching the Seattle Seahawks from their week one matchup with the Los Angeles Rams, you’ll notice a lackluster performance. The Seahawks only managed 20:37 for time of possession and they only had 13 total first downs. Not ideal for an offense that features wide receivers D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Kenneth Walker.

Even though the Seahawks had a slow start to the season, it doesn’t mean they should be taken lightly. As we know, the Lions have lost 5 straight games to Seattle. That includes last season where the Lions lost 48-45 in a game that determined later on who was going to the playoffs. Let’s jump into the film room and take a look at what the Lions defense could expect against the Seahawks offense!

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Variations of the Go-Go Offense 

One thing that immediately stood out when watching the Seahawks offense this week was the variations of the Go-Go offense they run. Now it’s not the traditional, uptempo offense that is primarily focused on the run. They sprinkle in passes to the flats and don’t strictly run it out of 20 (two running backs and no tight ends) or 21 personnel (two running backs and one tight end) either.

Instead, the Seahawks will put two tight ends in the backfield and try to run outside zone or split-zone from it. But there are times that they try to run two plays within 15 to 20 seconds so I’d expect a much faster pace than what most teams run for when they play the Lions.

As you look at the play above, the Seahawks are in a pistol formation with 12 personnel (one running back and two tight ends). Prior to the snap, they shift the tight ends to the right side of the formation and it forces the inside linebackers to shift over a gap.

Once the ball is snapped, both tight ends run down the line-of-scrimmage towards the left side and the running back follows behind. Had Kenneth Walker (RB 9) not tripped up on the turf, there’s a chance that he would have gained a few extra yards.

Seeing this type of play keeps defenses honest as the pre-snap formation looks like a potential run to the outside. However, the actual play-call is for an inside run. With both offensive tackles for Seattle out for this game against Detroit, I’d expect to see the Seahawks tight ends (Noah Fant and Colby Parkinson) help the backup offensive tackles on the edge for both run and pass plays.

In addition to the 12 personnel (one running back and two tight ends) that we just saw from the Seahawks, we should get some looks like the one above. Both tight ends will be aligned to the right of quarterback Geno Smith while the running back will either be aligned behind Smith or they’ll motion the running back to him.

On the play above, that’s exactly what the Seahawks do. Both tight ends are aligned to the right of the quarterback and there’s a jet-motion for Kenneth Walker to get a designed touch pass to the perimeter.

With two lead blockers (tight ends) paving the way and a wide receiver getting up to the safety, this could lead to a massive gain for Seattle. It’s noteworthy because the Lions did show a lot of Cover 1 looks on defense against the Chiefs in week one. With a single-high safety, the play side receiver could have a much easier time picking that block up.

Lastly, the Seahawks can and will pass out of this Go-Go offense. The play above is full-house formation but they’re in 21 personnel (two running backs and one tight end.). Once the ball is snapped, you’ll see Smith fake to the running back behind him and off that play-action, he slowly rolls to his right before finding the other running back (Kennth Walker RB 9) in the flats. This completion leads to a first down and could be something the Seahawks turn to when they’re in 3rd and < 4 with their down and distance.

The Playmakers on Offense

It’s no secret that the Seahawks have some of the best playmakers in the NFL. In fact, they have one of the most consistent ones over the 7 or 8 years with Tyler Lockett. Even though Lockett only recorded two receptions for 10 yards against the Rams, the Lions will have to honor him, especially on the deep ball. In addition to Lockett, I’d say the two best offensive players the Seahawks have are D.K. Metcalf and Kenneth Walker.

Starting with the play above, it’s a completed pass off a fade route to Metcalf that goes for a touchdown. Despite facing man coverage, Metcalf gives the corner a head fake to the inside while exploding off an inside jab step that allows him to separate. This leads to him being wide open in the back corner for the touchdown. If the Lions aren’t careful, Metcalf could be a big time playmaker for Seattle in week two.

Lastly, I want to talk about running back Kenneth Walker and what he provides for the Seahawks offense. Despite the loss in week one, Walker did record 64 yards rushing and he averaged 5.3 yards per carry. Even though last season the Lions limited Walker to only 29 yards rushing, he could easily break off a big run at anytime.

Looking at the play above, it’s a perfect example of the type of back that Walker is for the Seattle. He has terrific flexibility with his lower half and he can bounce runs at the snap of a finger. Despite the Rams looking like they have him stuffed in the backfield, he shows the vision and the patience to get outside and make a big run happen. If the Lions can find some way to contain that, they should be able to slow Walker and the Seahawks rushing attack down.

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