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liny195

I wrote earlier this season that Bradley McDougald was having an

All-Pro year. It’s certainly at a Pro-Bowl level; though winning that popularity contest for the underrated talent will prove tough. McDougald was incredible versus the Carolina Panthers Earl Thomas Color Rush Jersey , continuing his incredible year. In fact, I can only recall two bad McDougald plays this season. Both were tricky situations.Facing the Packers, McDougald lost at the line of scrimmage to Robert Tonyan yet managed to stay in phase with the tight end for an eternity downfield. Aaron Rodgers made a play that just a select few can, rolling right and lobbing a precise 54-yard deep ball right to his receiver for the touchdown.The other negative play came in Carolina from a brutally difficult assignment on Christian McCaffrey’s option route. Deep safety Tedric Thompson’s lunging tackle attempt, not showing a good short stride or aiming point, made this play far worse:But back to the subject of this article: McDougald was incredible last Sunday other than being beat by the quickness of McCaffrey on one occasion. He brought his man down in space, doing just enough to contain him on a day where the offensive star exploded in a career-high supernova.Evoking Kam ChancellorSeattle’s new safety tandem gets compared to the hall of fame duet Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas performed. That’s unfair on so many levels, but inevitable given the recent memories of that pair’s greatness. Yet McDougald managed to evoke Chancellor at Bank of America Stadium. The Panthers had the ball on the Seahawks’ 3-yard line and faced a 3rd and 1. Having failed in going for it on their first drive in a fourth down near the goalline, the scores are still tied at 0-0. Seattle’s defense this season has been excellent in third and short, ranking second in the league in conversions given up:Carolina’s jumbo formation saw the Seahawks respond with a goalline defense that had safeties Delano Hill and McDougald as the force defenders. The Panthers motioned their tight end away from the play, attempting to cause alignment issues, then ran an outside zone to the weakside. Nazair Jones, aligned at 3-technique, was the initial wrecker on this play. Responsible for what looked like the playside b gap, he squeezed inside through the playside a gap right into the backfield. Bobby Wagner, the run-through player at middle linebacker, took the b gap responsibility. It’s part of Seattle’s spill and then force philosophy. This has defensive linemen stepping inside to spill and play through their linemen, then linebackers flowing over the top of blocks to turnback the runner. The initial penetration would have caused McCaffrey to bounce the ball further outside.However, the exceptional play of McDougald prevented any bouncing. Taking on the fold block of right tackle Taylor Moton, McDougald does something never thought possible after the days of Chancellor. Getting lower than the offensive lineman, McDougald exploded upwards with a block destruct shoulder strike that propelled the 6-5, 325lb blocker backwards into McCaffrey. (McDougald is 6ft 1, 215lb!) Simultaneously, McDougald managed to stay in great outside-in leverage. The Seahawks talk about their safeties in this alignment against stretch plays “earholing” their man and being the “pure edge setter”. This was exactly that from McDougald, though instead of having to take on a fullback he rocked a tackle. As Jones contacted McCaffrey’s ankle, McCaffrey’s point of attack got smacked back into him and the runner was dropped for a loss. Carolina was forced to settle for a field goal on this occasion; Seattle’s defense showed why it is so tricky to convert 3rd and short against.“Everything I know is a lie” Cam Newton (possibly)If you play the latest Madden video game, under cover 3 beaters it’ll probably list “four verts” as a “cover 3-beater”. I wouldn’t know, because I despise how the next-gen Madden games play after they were wrecked by exclusive rights J.R. Sweezy Color Rush Jersey , the frostbite engine and an ultimate team focus—but that’s another article for a different day. (It doesn’t help that I now suck at video games but please don’t tell anyone else that)The point is, running four vertical routes is a standard cover 3 beater. That’s football 101. It’s why Nick Saban devised his rip-liz matching, which essentially turns into a four-deep coverage when faced with the route combination. It’s what made McDougald’s play on the ball so impressive initially.Carolina struggled massively inside the Seahawks’ redzone; they had 7 trips inside the 20 and came away with only 23 points. Following a highly questionable defensive pass interference call on Tre Flowers, Newton saw a clear single-high safety and decided to attack.The coverage that looked like a blatantly bland cover 3 wasn’t quite that. As Thompson cheated his deep middle third shell over to the boundary seam route, Newton’s excitement must have grown as he executed the run fake to McCaffrey. His other seam was bound to be open, right?Wrong. Thompson’s shading of roughly 60/40 to Greg Olsen’s seam was by design of a matching coverage Pete Carroll runs out of his over front (called Boston). In this coverage, Thompson’s deep middle third shell has a seam alert, meaning he’s assigned Olsen’s route primarily. Dropping back in his “soft sky” hook zone, McDougald quickly diagnosed Newton’s downfield intentions and carried the seam route from tight end Chris Manhertz deep. Not dissimilar to rip-liz itself, it’s Carroll’s soft version. For that reason, it’s a common call against 2x2 receiver alignments as it takes away four verts—even with a play-fake.Seattle Seahawks Over Zone Y (Boston)Found on Zach S. Dunn’s twitterHere’s how it looked on McDougald’s pick:Newton released what he thought was sure to be a touchdown, expecting McDougald to stop in a buzz/hook-curl zone. Instead, McDougald continued and attacked the football. He leapt, raising his near arm to high-point the pass. After softly cushioning the weight of his own deflection, McDougald then secured the ball with a two-handed clasp. What a staggering turnover! It was Seattle’s first in four games, coming at a crucial time with the Seahawks only down by 3. Having flashed his skills playing the run, McDougald showcased his ability covering the pass. He continues to provide valuable versatility. The Wave TechniqueIt was hard not to notice McDougald’s frantic waving and jumping on that lovely, fantastic, brilliant Graham Gano 52-yard miss. Sure, it’s amusing to jokingly overstate the potential impact of the wave. BUT, it may have affected Gano. It’s fun to think this whatever the case:Pro-Bowl, at LeastI mentioned in the introduction that the Pro-Bowl is largely a popularity contest. For this reason, McDougald will likely miss out on an honor he thoroughly deserves. His best bet to gain the attention of voters is to keep intercepting the football. McDougald has three picks; the leader amongst safeties is Damonte Kazee with six; D.J. Swearinger, Shawn Williams and Eddie Jackson have four each.Pro-Bowler or not, once more I’m left marvelling at the fantastic business John Schneider did this past offseason. McDougald’s deal has two years to run after 2017, where the cost against the cap is $4,733,333 and $5 Quinton Jefferson Color Rush Jersey ,433,334 respectively. McDougald, at this level of play, has every right to be asking for more money at the end of the season. Given Seattle’s leverage, they can afford to stick firm and enjoy his value for another season at least. Thanks to Beast Pode contributor and online friend @cmikesspinmove for more valuable schematic conversations. Welcome to SB Nation FanPulse — a survey of fans across the NFL, 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.There isn’t much to report in terms of our own FanPulse. Seattle Seahawks fan confidence only moved a tick from 88% to 89% after Monday night’s win against the Minnesota Vikings, which you can see in this graph.Just for my own curiosity, I wanted to see how the confidence levels were affected for Seahawks opponents immediately after their team lost to Seattle. Vikings fans confidence dipped from 21% to 17% after Monday, but how do they fare compare to the other seven teams? Check out the table.FanPulse resultsWinTeamPre-Game ConfidencePost-Game ConfidenceChangeCurrent Confidence (Week 15)WinTeamPre-Game ConfidencePost-Game ConfidenceChangeCurrent Confidence (Week 15)Only the Arizona Cardinals fans actually had confidence in the direction of their team’s franchise go up immediately after the Seahawks beat them. Why such a sharp increase? Well they benched Sam Bradford, who was completely rotten for three weeks, and Josh Rosen showed promise in his first start, almost leading the Cardinals back from 17-10 down before losing 20-17 on a Sebastian Janikowski game-winner. That’s reason to not be so glum in the moment, I would say. Funnily enough though, this week the Cardinals are the only team with 0% fan confidence, so they’ve made FanPulse history by being the first to hit literal rock bottom.The Dallas Cowboys had one of the largest post-Seahawks game crashes, going all the way down to 6% after falling to 1-2 and watching Earl Thomas intercept Dak Prescott twice when Thomas could’ve been the one on the Cowboys. They’re sitting at 8-5, with confidence levels at 68% and on the verge of an NFC East title. How things can change.One game that humors me the most is Seahawks at Lions, as Detroit’s fans overwhelmingly believed they’d make the playoffs entering that game, and then plunged from 86% confidence to 36% after getting mostly dominated in their own building. They now sit at 40% on the year but also not in playoff contention.Also of note are the Carolina Panthers, who went from 6-2 down to 6-7, and are theoretically still alive in the wild card hunt... but they’ve got the New Orleans Saints twice in three weeks. Their confidence polling dropped from 22% to 15% after the dramatic Seahawks comeback win a couple of weeks ago, and now they’re way down at 2% after losing to the Cleveland Browns.We’ll keep this FanPulse table updated for the rest of the season, aka for as long as the Seahawks keep on winning.

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