Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:25 am
Welcome to SB Nation FanPulse — a survey of fans across the NFL Quinton Jefferson Color Rush Jersey , powered by SurveyMonkey. Each week, we send 32 polls to 100+ plugged in fans from each team. Seahawks fans, sign up HERE to join FanPulse.It is Rivalry Week here at SB Nation, and every NFL teams’ fanbases were asked a simple question: “Who is your top rival?”For Seattle Seahawks fans, this was a fairly easy choice that I think would’ve been the clear-cut number one answer in any other season except perhaps the 2012-2014 campaigns. Whether they’re in St. Louis or Los Angeles, the Rams are Seattle’s biggest rival.Since Russell Wilson entered the NFL in 2012, the Rams are the only NFC West rival Seattle has a losing record against. The season sweep for 2018 puts Seattle at 6-8 through 14 games. Just when you thought that the mind-numbing mediocrity of Fisherball was tough enough for the Seahawks, boy genius Sean McVay swoops in and is tearing up the NFL with ridiculous offensive schemes. The Rams see the Seahawks as their #1 rival, so the feeling of hatred is mutual. In second-place are the San Francisco 49ers, who haven’t beaten the Seahawks since December 2013, and haven’t actually won in Seattle since 2008. Those Harbaugh-era years were unforgettable though, and for a brief period in time the 49ers-Seahawks was arguably the best rivalry in the NFL. Oddly enough, 49ers fans are split between the Seahawks and Rams over who’s their top rival.The Green Bay Packers are third Tom Johnson Color Rush Jersey , and I suppose that’s a combination of playing them seven times in the Wilson era alone, along with the infamous “We want the ball and we’re gonna score!” playoff game. We’re third in Green Bay’s poll results, behind the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears.I guess the Arizona Cardinals yielded no votes, which isn’t surprising, but they see us as their biggest rivals though.We shouldn’t restrict the Seahawks vs. Rams rivalry strictly to the Russell Wilson era. Even when the Rams were mediocre or complete garbage for several seasons, there were plenty of memorable moments to be had for both teams. Back in 2003, a potential winning touchdown from Matt Hasselbeck to Bobby Engram was thwarted by a last-ditch tackle by... an official.Seattle was famously swept 3-0 by the Rams in 2004, and they’re still the only team to beat the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field in the playoffs. A promising season turned to frustration starting with the 27-10 collapse in Week 5 of that year, with Terreal Bierria becoming a name to dislike.Then things changed. The fortunes of the Seahawks turned for the better in 2005, and their dramatic 37-31 win in St. Louis kick-started an 11-game winning streak to clinch the #1 seed in the NFC. It was this game that started the “Big Play Babs” moniker.The 2006 squad relied on the leg of Josh Brown to beat the Rams in both meetings, one of them started by Seneca Wallace.For those who recall the goal-line stand the Seahawks made against the Rams on Monday Night Football in 2013, there was another dramatic moment under similar circumstances in 2007. 4th and goal at the 1-yard line, Gus Frerotte under center Rasheem Green Color Rush Jersey , and... HE FUMBLES THE BALL.Of course, the first year of the Pete Carroll era saw the Seahawks win the NFC West at 7-9 with a 16-6 primetime victory over St. Louis, with Charlie Whitehurst as the starter.I love this play so damn much.So yeah, I’d say this has been the undisputed top rivalry in the NFC West at the very least since realignment in 2002, and perhaps it may develop into a great rivalry for the NFL for years to come. And I’ll leave you with this fun fact: All four of Seattle’s NFC West titles under Pete Carroll have been clinched by defeating the Rams. The Seattle Seahawks set themselves up for the very strong possibility of making the playoffs on Sunday with the victory over the Carolina Panthers on the road, and one of the biggest plays of the game was the 35 yard touchdown pass to David Moore on 4th & 3 with less than four minutes to go in the fourth quarter. Some fans have speculated that the throw was simply a gamble by Russ that paid off with the tying score, but based on the evidence available, it’s my feeling that Moore was the primary target on the play and that the touchdown was yet another example of Pete Carroll being willing to take a risk and put faith in his players. There are several pieces of evidence I believe point to Moore being the primary target, so let’s work through them one at a time. The ProtectionThe first thing that sticks out when watching the play is that the Seahawks send only three receivers into the pattern. This is unique because the offense traditionally puts all five skill position players into the pattern, but that was not the case here. Instead, Seattle kept both tight end Ed Dickson and running back Mike Davis in for pass protection, meaning the Hawks had seven players providing protection. In an offense in which the passing game is built around stressing the defense, only sending three targets out doesn’t really add up. Unless Will Dissly Color Rush Jersey , as was the case here, the way the team was stressing the defense was by creating an advantageous one on one matchup that would likely need time to develop. Here’s a look at the offensive line, with Dickson and Davis helping in protection at the moment Russ reaches the bottom of his drop and pushes forward off his back foot. I have seen speculation on social media that Wilson’s primary target was Doug Baldwin on the offensive right side or Tyler Lockett on the crossing route, and this seems to be largely based on the fact that Wilson’s helmet is pointing that direction as he makes his drop. However, in having watched so much film of Brian Schottenheimer’s offense, one thing that becomes apparent is that the majority of the time the quarterback is looking a safety off until he reaches the bottom of his drop. Mark Sanchez did it while Schotty was with the New York Jets, Sam Bradford did it while Schotty was with the then St. Louis, but now Los Angeles Rams and Wilson is now showing the same thing with the Hawks. So, to that end, let’s take a look at what Russ does with his head once he’s reached the bottom of his drop. Here we see Wilson has barely had time to lift up his back foot, and his head is already snapping to the left. Continuing to focus on his feet, let’s watch how he INSTANTLY repositions his feet, and where that foot repositioning sets him up to deliver the pass. When using proper quarterbacking technique Michael Dickson Color Rush Jersey , a line connecting the heels of the quarterback should point in the direction where he is preparing to deliver the ball. In this image the day glow green arrow seems to indicate that Wilson is either preparing to throw the ball well behind Lockett, or he’s looking past Lockett to another receiver. Transitioning out to the all-22, let’s take a look at what the entire field looks like. I’ve drawn another arrow based on Wilson’s foot positioning, and it pretty clearly shows that Wilson is preparing to throw the ball to Moore at the top of the picture. Lockett’s crossing route is pretty well covered, and Baldwin does not have any separation at the bottom of the screen. However, of note is Eric Reid, the safety circled in red in the image. It appears that based on having attempted to read Russ’ eyes, Reid is heading to the offensive right side. This makes sense not only because of the fact that Russ was seemingly looking that way, but also because there are two receivers on that side of the field. Welp, he’s wrong. That is most certainly not the prettiest form I’ve ever seen on a catch, but I’m certainly not going to complain about the result.