Seahawks Insider Blog

Morning links: Does a fullback help Lynch's rushing?

Good morning.

We'll start today with the snap counts vs. Arizona:

game 15 arizona 1

game 15 arizona 2

We see a couple notable things. Paul McQuistan has taken over most of the snaps at left guard. The fullback was hardly used. Lots of run for Michael Bennett.

A few times, I've been asked about the Seahawks' fullback usage, primarily when the Seahawks don't run well. Digging back through the snap counts, there is no direct correlation between a large amount of fullback usage and more yards for Marshawn Lynch.

In the table below, we see that a fullback was on the field for 30 percent of the snaps when Lynch ran for a season-high 145 yards versus Atlanta.

The next week, the same fullback, Michael Robinson, played 48 percent of the snaps when Lynch carried 17 times for 54 yards (it should be noted two other backs, Robert Turbin and Christine Michael, combined for eight carries in the blowout of Minnesota. So, that increased Robinson's time on the field that day).

A fullback has played as few as 12 percent of the offensive plays three times (at Indianapolis, at Arizona and vs. Arizona) and Lynch has 102 yards (6.0 YPC), 91 yards (4.3) and 71 yards (3.9), respectively, in those games. His season average per game is 77.3 yards and 4.2 yards per carry. In those three games with minimal fullback usage, his average is 88 yards per game and 4.7 yards per carry.

Here's the table with the percentage of snaps a fullback played that game and the total offensive snaps, who the primary fullback was and Lynch's results:

Here's another way to look at it. Lynch's yards per carry in descending order and the percentage of offensive snaps played by a fullback in the same game:

The perfect way to analyze this would be to look at all of Lynch's carries and figure his yards per carry with a fullback versus without. That's a chore we may save for another day (I'd also like to know his directional success, yards per carry by quarter and more).

But, the information above gives us a pretty clear view that a fullback on the field isn't the determining factor for Lynch's success or lack there of.

And one aside to pass along: The Cardinals had 16 first downs Sunday. Four were rushing, six were passing. The other six? Via Seahawks penalties.

Links:

> For today's paper, I wrapped up  yesterday from the VMAC with Pete Carroll reminding everyone the sky is not falling.

> Our Dave Boling writes that Carroll went looking for his leaders following the loss.

> 710's Danny O'Neil on what we learned from Sunday's loss.

> Here's the wrap-up of yesterday from the Everett Herald.

> Seahawks.com writes that third downs have come back to haunt the Seahawks.

> Brandon Browner put out a couple tweets yesterday:

[HTML4]> The 49ers survived a surprising challenge from the Atlanta Falcons on Monday night to win, 34-24. Linebacker NaVorro Bowman came up with an 89-yard pick-six with 1:10 remaining to keep Atlanta from tying the game or taking the lead after the Falcons recovered an onside kick and made it to the San Francisco 10-yard line. Atlanta threw on 2nd-and-1 from the 10, leading to the pick after a tip.

So, if the Seahawks win Sunday, they take everything. If they lose and the 49ers win, San Francisco wins the division. The Seahawks could fall as far as the No. 5 seed, if they don't win Sunday.

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