Schottenheimer has received some early criticism this season. Some of that has been deserved; particularly the play-calling on Monday Night Football against the Chicago Bears Authentic Quinton Jefferson Jersey , which was a mess not helped by Pete Carroll’s interference. But, with less of Carroll’s meddling, Week 3 against the Dallas Cowboys appeared to be better. The Seattle Seahawks played with a coherent offensive identity that matched their offseason moves, and attempted to fulfill their stated goals for 2018.It was a run-heavy performance, with the Seahawks handing off 39 times for a paltry 2.9 yards per carry. However, what really impressed and stood out as something that Seattle should do more of was the way Schottenheimer deployed tight receiver splits in formations.With tempo versus zoneThe effectiveness of this was made most obvious on Jaron Brown’s touchdown. The score’s tied 0-0 with 9:37 left in the second quarter. Wilson, having just converted a 3rd and 10 on a 19-yard gain to Chris Carson in the flat, hurries to the line. (His usage of tempo as a weapon was far better this game; the Seahawks should continue to utilize this.)They align quickly in an under center doubles formation with two wingbacks. By going tight, they have the same 11 personnel (1 RB—1 TE—3 WR) on the field. Nonetheless, the alignment congests the defense’s nickel personnel into putting eight men in the box. The two extra gaps the wingbacks create—from which you can wham, crackback to outflank or split zone in the run game—have to be accounted for by the defense in terms of run fits.(This was a favorite of Jim Harbaugh, and Sean McVay loves these kinds of formations.)That therefore restricts the defense to a one-high safety. Furthermore, Wilson can quickly key things like a one-high safety. This is due to the crowded nature of the formation, reducing the area to scan pre-snap. The ramifications are the quarterback can get the snap off even quicker. Wilson can easily spot the one-high safety, diagnosing the coverage as cover-1 or cover-3. At a similar time, the leverage of the defenders against the tight formation tells Wilson that the coverage is going to be cover-3.The snap ends up happening before the defense is properly aligned on the back end, giving the receivers an additional head start. They already have an advantage, because there is more room towards the sideline to run and establish leverage. In cover-3, the outside cornerback has more horizontal grass to cover to get to his deep-third landmark. That sees the boundary corner widen, and Jaron Brown’s seam route come open up the hash. Xavier Woods, the deep middle safety, is already playing catch up after trying to get the coverage set in time. He’s left in a bind because there is another seam route in his zone, from David Moore up the opposite hash.Brown slows well in the honey hole between the two deep-third zones. It’s an easy touchdown for Wilson, with the coverage uncomplicated to simplify run fits for the defense. If the coverage had been man, Wilson would have hit one of the switch-release wheels outside.With normal paced play-action versus manTight formations are more likely to get defenses in zone coverage rather than man, because they require extra defenders to be involved in the box run fit. A man coverage assignment puts a defender in direct conflict of his run responsibility. He can be run off, or he can be slow to fit his gap in the box.This differs from zone where, in an underneath zone, the defender can read step and come down with more confidence, as he isn’t matched one-on-one with a receiver who he mustn’t let behind him on a pass.Playing man on the wingbacks and everyone tight, like in the previously covered example, would be risky due to the possibility of jet motion and switch releases. Nevertheless, there are other instances where defenses do elect to run man against tight formations. Seattle comes out in a gun doubles formation with 12 personnel on the field—just three plays before Brown’s touchdown. On the nine first downs they’ve had so far, seven have been hand-offs to a running back. The defense again pops eight men in the box to deal with the two additional gaps the duo of tight ends creates. Their leverage on the pair of tight ends is forced into an outside shade, due to the defensive ends needing room to line up. The Cowboys opt to go with a press cover-1, the two defenders over the tight ends presumably jamming and then keying on whether they need to fill the alley (D-gap) or not. This time they are in base 4-3 personnel, meaning Nick Vannett gets matched up against linebacker Damien Wilson. The smash concept Schottenheimer calls is ideal for beating this man-free defense. However, Wilson Youth Tom Johnson Jersey , rather than looking to the mismatch Vannett faces first, instead chooses Will Dissly as his primary target. That’s understandable given the early chemistry the two have enjoyed, except Dissly struggles to separate against the jam of safety Jeff Heath. Unfortunately for Wilson, it’s at this point the beating left guard J.R. Sweezy is handed by Tyrone Crawford starts to cause pressure.That leaves the quarterback unable to step into the throw, so the ball sails over the wide open Vannett incomplete. An opening is slammed shut. That said, it was there and initially bright:Keep employing tight formationsThe effects of tight formations on the passing game that we haven’t yet seen are: The array of rub opportunities; the way that mesh isn’t telegraphed with a reduced split from one receiver; the shorter time it takes for receivers to run over and across linebackers off play-action; and the fully-opened route tree for outside receivers with multi-directional potential.So, tight formations really should be employed more often by Schottenheimer. They ease Wilson’s job as a quarterback, blend well with tempo and fit nicely with the running philosophy. More please!Vikings 21 Seahawks 20: Winners and Losers from a fun night in Minneapolis The Seattle Seahawks fell to 0-3 on the 2018 NFL preseason, which likely displeases Pete Carroll but bothers me not one bit. Apart from a truly unwatchable 3rd quarter, this was an entertaining exhibition game, and credit to the Minnesota Vikings for snatching a last-minute 21-20 defeat once it became the battle of the third-stringers. Believe it or not, this is the first time ever under Russell Wilson that Seattle has dropped the “dress rehearsal” game as it’s unofficially known.Final scoreline aside, this game certainly had more positives than negatives, and we’re going to review them in the penultimate preseason edition of Winners and Losers.WinnersGermain Ifedi (and the rest of the offensive line)Most of us have been staunch Germain Ifedi critics, and I know that he wasn’t going up against Everson Griffen on Friday night, but he held up quite well in pass protection and sprung Chris Carson forward for his touchdown run. Also important? Zero penalties. With George Fant in competition at right tackle, Ifedi is under pressure to perform, and for at least one preseason game, he looked like a really competent NFL right tackle. Hopefully that boosts his confidence. The rest of the o-line also gets a tip of the hat for keeping Russell Wilson clean and giving him room to step up in the pocket, as well as opening up holes in the running game.Barkevious MingoI do have to ding Mingo for his early missed tackle on CJ Ham, but overall he had a really good night. He clotheslined Vikings kick returner Jeff Badet (legally! No penalty!), had an early pressure on Kirk Cousins, plus a diving pass break-up on the Vikings’ two-point conversion. Mingo has been a disappointment throughout his NFL career, but thus far he’s performed well in preseason for the Seahawks, and figures to be the starting SAM linebacker.Brandon MarshallMarshall didn’t catch anything last week, but he did draw a defensive pass interference penalty. This week he snagged three balls for 34 yards, including a jumping grab over Xavier Rhodes to set up the Carson TD. He’s fighting to make the team and this was a pleasant sight to see.Chris CarsonThe final stat line will show Carson only had 26 yards on 7 carries (plus a touchdown), as well as two catches for 20 yards. Carson just does the little things right. He maneuvers space and seems to always find a way to fall forward or push the pile for extra yardage. Carson notably broke an open field tackle from Erik Kendricks on one of his receptions, and got the touchdown that eluded him the previous week. As long as they can stay healthy, I can’t wait to watch the Chris Carson-Rashaad Penny combination.David MooreSay it with me, “David Moore is making this team!” The second-year pro out of East Central University caught a 36-yard touchdown in the 4th quarter, and had a punt return TD called back on an iffy holding penalty against Trevon Reed. Moore has been acing these contested catches and made splash plays in every preseason game, backing up the hype from training camp.Alex McGoughI know, 5/14 for 140 yards, a TD, and an INT is hardly awe-inspiring, but he looks better than he did in his preseason debut, and has to be favored to get the backup QB spot. The rookie is certainly far from starter material http://www.seahawksauthorizedshops.com/authentic-tre-flowers-jersey , which is to be expected, but the man is fearless, has some wheels on him, and made some nice sideline throws... of which not all were caught. Bad luck on the Hail Mary at the end of the game being two yards short, as that would’ve been insanely exciting.Justin ColemanThe slot corner doubles as a very effective blitzer, and he denied Adam Thielen a catch with a well-timed hit. Coleman impressed in 2017 after being traded from the New England Patriots, and he continues to look like a great acquisition.Erik WaldenNot a bad way to make your debut. Two sacks on the evening in limited action. It’ll be a fight for Walden to make the final 53-man roster, but we know he’s brought in basically for one thing and one thing only, and that’s to rush the passer.Second-unit defensive lineRasheem Green (who had some snaps with the 1s), Poona Ford, Branden Jackson, and Jacob Martin made life miserable for the miserable-to-watch Trevor Siemian, and also shut down the running game of the Vikings. They held Siemian’s offense to -4 yards in the 3rd quarter, with Martin getting a strip-sack along the way. Good stuff all around.Michael DicksonLook at this. Just look at this, dammit! His punting abilities are out of this world, and that’s going to go a long way towards fixing Seattle’s recent special teams woes.Sebastian JanikowskiThe old man has still got it. He hasn’t missed any kicks all preseason, and when trotted out to kick one from 55 yards, he just knocked it past the left upright. Meanwhile, the Vikings’ rookie kicker Daniel Carlson missed two field goals, which must be cause for concern. Maybe they bring in Blair Walsh for competition.LosersFirst-team pass rushI’m sure someone will correct me/verify my own memory here, but I counted one pressure by the Seahawks’ first-team defensive line without blitzing, and that came from Tom Johnson. Apart from the blitzes, the pass rush was hardly getting to Kirk Cousins, who admittedly threw a lot of quick passes, but had plenty of time for longer developing routes. It’s going to be a tall order to replace the productivity of Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril, that’s for sure.Austin DavisHe’s terrible. 2-of-3 and -1 yard was his shift for the day. With McGough looking more comfortable after a shaky first game, I’m ready to cut ties with Davis.Akeem KingKing saw early action when Cousins was still in the game, and was fortunate not to be burned twice over. Cousins overthrew an open Adam Thielen, who easily beat King, and then King got turned around by Laquon Treadwell for a 27-yard gain. To cap his day off, King had the chance to stop Jake Wieneke short of the goal line to preserve a Seahawks win, but bounced off his man and Wieneke stretched the ball forward and broke the plane. Mike TysonIn King’s defense on the deciding two-point conversion, he shouldn’t have been in that situation if not for Mike Tyson giving up the touchdown to Chad Beebe on a crosser. Tyson has been beaten deep-ish downfield at least once in each preseason outing. He did have one positive moment in the form of a QB pressure on a blitz, but it’s clear the safety-to-corner conversion isn’t working. I am not expecting Tyson or King on the roster.Tanner McEvoyZero catches on three targets, including a weak effort on McGough’s interception. He’s not coming back. Not with what the other Seahawks receivers have shown.