News & Analysis

NFL Divisional Round PFF ReFocused: Green Bay Packers 28, Seattle Seahawks 23

The story of the game was quite easily the Seattle Seahawks‘ inability to force Aaron Rodgers to go anywhere other than Davante Adams. Seattle went into man coverage on a number of crucial third downs and didn’t have a corner who could hang with Adams. Most notably on the Green Bay Packers‘ game icing drive when they chose to put rookie Ugo Amadi – who had played all of 90 snaps all season heading into this week – one-on-one with Adams. The result was a slot fade with a massive window for a 32-yard gain.

Passing Chart Takeaway

Rodgers was supremely efficient throwing downfield, going 6-for-6 on throws 10-plus yards downfield with three of those coming more than 20 yards downfield. Wilson was unable to overcome the second dropped pass of the game by Malik Turner.

On the other side of the ball, it was clear that Russell Wilson had little to nothing going in rhythm. His average time to throw on his 42 dropbacks was over 4.0 seconds – an eternity in the NFL. The Seahawks called a good deal of max protections, and the Packers' secondary deserves credit for shutting them down more often than not. Seattle’s mini surge in the second half came off the backs of Wilson scrambling and making something out of nothing, but the designed shot plays that had driven Seattle’s offense for so much of the season were completely ineffective on Sunday.

player team targets tgt_share air_yds_tgt rec rec_yds rec_air_yds
Davante Adams GB 11 52% 9.2 8 160 91
Jimmy Graham GB 3 14% 11 3 49 33
Aaron Jones GB 2 10% -1.5 1 4 2
Geronimo Allison GB 1 5% 11 1 11 11
Jace Sternberger GB 1 5% -2 1 2 -2
Jake Kumerow GB 1 5% 6 0 0 0
Jamaal Williams GB 1 5% 0 1 9 0
Marquez Valdes-Scantling GB 1 5% 4 1 8 4
Tyler Lockett SEA 10 36% 13.1 9 136 116
Jacob Hollister SEA 7 25% 12.3 5 47 32
D.K. Metcalf SEA 5 18% 14.8 4 59 38
Travis Homer SEA 3 11% 2 2 27 1
Malik Turner SEA 2 7% 16.5 0 0 0
Luke Willson SEA 1 4% -5 1 8 -5
Target Chart Takeaway

Adams accounted for 52% of the Packers' targets and gained more yards through the air than the rest of the Packers receivers gained in total. D.K. Metcalf was also unable to get loose deep, gaining just 38 yards through the air.

tm down_dist plays epa/play suc_% pass_% epa/pass epa/run suc_%_pass suc_%_run
GB 1st 26 0.07 42% 46% 0.03 0.1 42% 43%
SEA 1st 29 0.26 59% 69% 0.32 0.13 55% 67%
GB 2nd_1-3 6 -0.64 17% 17% -1.42 -0.48 0% 20%
SEA 2nd_1-3 4 0.08 25% 25% -0.35 0.22 0% 33%
GB 2nd_4-7 4 1.06 75% 75% 1.51 -0.28 100% 0%
SEA 2nd_4-7 8 -0.27 50% 88% -0.24 -0.45 57% 0%
GB 2nd_8+ 12 -0.11 33% 58% 0.08 -0.38 43% 20%
SEA 2nd_8+ 9 1 67% 78% 1.33 -0.16 71% 50%
GB 3/4_1-4 5 0.3 60% 40% -1.34 1.39 0% 100%
SEA 3/4_1-4 4 -0.01 75% 75% 0.68 -2.09 100% 0%
GB 3/4_5+ 10 1.04 70% 90% 1.46 -2.73 78% 0%
SEA 3/4_5+ 6 -0.21 33% 83% -0.74 2.45 20% 100%
GB all 63 0.2 46% 54% 0.42 -0.06 53% 38%
SEA all 60 0.22 55% 72% 0.28 0.08 56% 53%

EPA (expected points added): The amount that a play adds (or subtracts if negative) to the number of points the offense is expected to score on the next scoring play. Positive EPA represents a successful play (e.g. suc_%), EPA takes into account down and distance where yards per play does not.

EPA Chart Takeaway

The Packers were successful on 7-of-10 3rd-and-5-plus plays, averaging 1.1 EPA per play while the Seahawks were successful on just 2-of-6 for -0.2 EPA per play. Overall, the Seahawks' offense had a better EPA per play than the Packers but lost the passing battle, which did them in.

Green Bay’s success defensively will need to continue next weekend if they’re going to topple the 49ers in San Francisco. Last time they faced the 49ers, Jimmy Garoppolo went 6-for-6 on targets 10-plus yards downfield. Another performance like that, and the Packers will be home come February 2nd.

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