2013 Seahawks Red Zone Offense Report
by Jordan Plocher
I charted every offensive play in the red zone (25yd-GL), for all 19 of the Seattle Seahawks Regular Season and Playoff games in 2013. This report of the 2013 Seahawks’ red zone offense presents some of my charted data and will provide an idea of what the Seahawks do, how they do it, and who they do it with in the red zone. The report is broken down in to 5 sections; play calling philosophy, pass targets, carries, tendencies by personnel grouping, and a conclusion. Below are my findings.
Play Calling Philosophy
The play that the entire offense is built around is the “Outside Zone” run play. The outside zone play is a run featuring zone blocking principles that is run towards the Offensive Tackle. This is why the play is also often referred to as the “Tackle Zone.” The outside zone is the Seahawks’ preferred red zone play call in nearly every personnel grouping and is the most-heavily called play in their red zone offense by a wide margin.
The Seahawks’ offense as a whole can best be described as being based on West Coast Offense (WCO) principles. However, it is more run oriented than a traditional West Coast Offense and it doesn’t feature as many passes to Running Backs as a traditional WCO either. Additionally, a true WCO relies heavily on 2 Running Backs and the Seahawks are predominantly in one-back sets. The Seahawks’ offense features a run-first mentality that uses predominantly a zone running scheme. The run game also employs toss plays, designed Quarterback runs and a dose of read-option runs.
They also like to run play-action passes off of the zone runs. These play-action passes are predominantly Three-Level concepts that flood one side of the field with three players but at different levels of route depth. The Seahawks’ offense also features several other common passing concepts such as Vertical, Corner, Quick-Game, Two-Man, Drag, Three-Level, and Horizontal. While the run game is what makes the Seahawks’ offense tick, what really makes it run efficiently and effectively is Russell Wilson.
Seattle Seahawks Red Zone Pass Targets
Red Zone Pass Targets:
- Baldwin: 16 Targets, 12 Catches, 107 Yards, 5 TD
- Kearse: 15 Targets, 8 Catches, 84 Yards, 2 TD
- Miller: 10 Targets, 6 Catches, 42 Yards, 5 TD
- Tate: 10 Targets, 5 Catches, 49 Yards, 2 TD
- Rice: 9 Targets, 2 Catches, 34 Yards, 2 TD
- Lynch: 4 Targets, 3 Catches, 20 Yards, 2 TD
- Willson: 2 Target, 2 Catches, 20 Yards
- Lockette: 2 Targets, 2 Catches, 13 Yards
- Turbin: 2 Targets, 2 Catches, -1 Yards, 1 TD
- Harvin: 2 Targets, 0 Catches, 0 Yards
- Davis: 1 Target, 1 Catch, 1 Yard, 1 TD
- Coleman: 1 Target, 1 Catch, 8 Yards, 1 TD *Caught a deflected pass
- Robinson: 1 Target, 0 Catches, 0 Yards
- Walters: 1 Target, 0 Catches, 0 Yards *Pass was intercepted
Russell Wilson Red Zone Passing Stats:
45/80, 56.2 % completion rate, 379 Yards, 21 TDs, 2 INTs.
Although Russell Wilson did not have a Sophomore slump on his way to guiding the Seahawks to a Super Bowl Championship, his accuracy numbers were down ever so slightly in his second season from 57% as a rookie down to 56.2% in 2013. He also threw the first red zone interceptions of his career in Week 9 against the Buccaneers. However, his overall performance is still strong and he seems to constantly be doing the right thing with the ball in his hands. Wilson is cautious in the red zone and doesn’t take unnecessary risks with the ball. He is capable of making plays with his legs or arm when there is no play to be made. He is an extension of the Coaching staff on the field.
Darrell Bevell called less red zone pass plays in 2013 than he did in Russell Wilson’s rookie season in 2012. The number of red zone passing attempts in Russell Wilson’s rookie year was 5.72 per game but the number in 2013 was 4.21 per game.
Rice was leading the team in red zone pass targets before he went down with injury. His slack was picked up by Kearse and Baldwin. For example Kearse only had 2 red zone targets through the first 8 games and had 13 targets over the final 11 games. Harvin’s two targets were designed to get him the ball in space with quick passes into the flat. The Running Backs are not heavily targeted in the pass game. Lynch and Turbin were only targeted 6 times all season with all but one of their catches coming out of 11 Personnel. Play action passes are not very efficient in the red zone for the Seahawks as they only completed 45% of the passes.
Seattle Seahawks Red Zone Carries
Red Zone Rushing Stats:
- Lynch: 79 Carries, 171 Yards, 2.16 YPC, 14 TD
- Wilson: 17 Carries, 102 Yards, 6 YPC, 1 TD
- Turbin: 7 Carries, 34 Yards, 4.85 YPC
- Ware: 3 Carries, 10 Yards, 3.33 YPC
- Michael: 1 Carry, 9 Yards, 9.0 YPC
- Harvin: 1 Carry, 9 Yards, 9.0 YPC
- Jackson: 1 Carry, 5 Yards, 5.0 YPC, 1 TD
- Baldwin: 1 Carry, 3 Yards, 3.0 YPC
Red Zone Read-Option Run Stats:
26 carries, 118 Yards, 4.53 YPC, 5 TDs
- Lynch: Averaged 3.35 YPC
- Wilson: Averaged 5 YPC
- Turbin: Averaged 13 YPC
- Jackson: Averaged 5 YPC
- 25 out of 26 runs were on first or second down.
- 15 out of 26 were on downs with 10 or more yards to go.
- 19 out of 26 were out of 11 Personnel.
- 18 out of 26 were out of a Trips set.
In 2012 the red zone read-option numbers were 22 carries, 157 Yards, 7.13 YPC, 5 TDs. It is apparent that the Seahawks are still using the read-option as a featured part of their red zone offense but that opposing defenses are doing a better job against it as their average yards per carry fell from 7.13 in 2012 to 4.53 in 2013. The Seahawks also tended to rely more heavily on the run game and particularly the legs of Marshawn Lynch as the year wore on. Through the first 8 games of the 2013 season Lynch averaged 2.87 red zone rushing attempts per game. In the last 11 games of the 2013 season Lynch averaged 5.09 red zone rushing attempts per game.
Next up – Part 2 of “Sea-ing Red” – 2013 Seattle Seahawks Red Zone Report