There are a bunch of people on this forum that look at the number "7" in our point total and think that it tells you everything we are doing on offense is wrong and needs to be changed immediately. As I was trying to explain previously, this is not a video game or something you can just "plug something into." If our zone-read offense scored an average of 22 points per game, you cannot just make a blanket statement of "Well, the seahawks only scored 12 points, so if we had last years offense, we would have won 22-12!!" I guess many of you aren't aware, but sports don't work like that. Every play has adjustments, consequences, and reactions from the other team that affect the outcome. If we came out more opened up on offense and scored more points, so would they. We knew we were going against one of (if not the BEST) secondary in the NFL. We also have a make shift offensive line and a semi-accurate QB. Against a team like Seattle, one big mistake could have cost us the game. So we played conservative, and the game plan worked. We were the team 9 yards away from scoring the go ahead touchdown with only minutes to plat vs the team that 50% of experts predict will represent the NFC in the SuperBowl. The game plan worked. The players didn't execute and this is clearly evident below:
For people saying we didn't "open-up the offense," if you're referring to the 3rd and 1 and 4th and inches play calls, I agree. But we had close to 50 other plays in the game and a few cost us big time. But yes, the opportunities we're there and we didn't execute.
1. on the very first drive of the game, we wanted to open up strong. After making it to mid-field and looking considerable strong doing so, Olsen dropped one of the easiest catches we've seen in a long time. As you can see from the pic, this would have not only given us the first down, but also put us directly in FG range since there isn't a defender within 5 yards.
1-Olsen Drop.png 881.19KB 185 downloads
2. After Olsen dropped the easy pass, 2 plays later Smitty has Richard Sherman clearly beat at the 34 yard line, which would have again given us the first down and put us in range to kick a FG
2-Smitty open1.png 1.07MB 230 downloads
Another good play call that was botched by the players. With Smitty that open (and Richard Sherman stumbling), Cam throws a terrible throw behind Smitty and should have even been picked-off
3-Smitty open2.png 785.61KB 190 downloads
After these 2 plays, it's very easy to look at the scoreboard and see "0" points and Cam being 0-2 throwing on those passes. However, that's clearly NOT the fault of the gameplan and was just terrible execution by the players that resulted in a punt and what appeared to those uninformed fans as "Terrible play calling and not opening up the offense!"
3. On our very next drive, we are once again close to midfield and Cam throws an absolute laser to Olsen on 3rd down which was literally in Olsen's hands as he hits the ground and he just completely drops it. Again, a fine play call, unbelievable throw, and it was a single drop that prevented us for having 1st down at the Seahwaks 35, and instead, just went to another punt.
4-Olsen Drop 2.png 1014.79KB 124 downloads
We had 4 possessions in the 1st half (technically 5, but on the last, we just ran the clock until halftime). 1 ended in a TD and as you can see, these 2 drives are killed by 2 complete gimmies by Olsen that he dropped. We had one bad drive which was just a 3-and-Out. But this makes 3/4 drives that we were around mid field, and 3/4 that should have been at least to the Seattle 34 yard line.
No we didn't go deep that often, but we really didn't have to. Even with all the botched plays I showed, the 2 punt penalties, the Punt return fumble we had, the penalty on Alexander, and all that combined, we still we're at the Seahawks 9 yard line when DWill put the ball on the ground.
6-DWill fumble.png 941.04KB 77 downloads
Had DWill not fumbled, and we scored 2 plays later, we would have been up on arguably the "best team in the NFC/NFL" with under 4 minutes to play. Does our D hold? Who knows. But the point is from an offensive standpoint, our strategy worked perfectly and we had more then enough chances to put ourselves in a position to win the game. We tailored this gameplan for Seattle knowing they have the best secondary in the league, and getting into a shoot-out with them, would have not ended well for us. We called it conservatively, kept it close, and couldn't close the deal.