Seattle skyline mount Rainier plane blue sky north west city center downtown architecture corporations business working places outdoors modern landmarks Space needle tower trees colorful metropolitan cosmopolitan living skyscrapers USA picturesque post card d
No play captured the ability of Pete Carroll’s staff to make halftime adjustments than Big Red Bryant’s pick-6 on the second play of the Bears first possession of the second half. Caleb Hanie had gained 21 yards scrambling in the first half, nearly out-gaining Marshawn Lynch (27 yards). His lone touchdown came on a play where he escaped the pocket as well. You will see below a stark contrast in how the Seahawks opened up defending Hanie and the Bears versus how they adjusted in the second half.
This was Hanie’s first scramble in the first half. The Seahawks sent four rushers and dropped everyone else into coverage. Notice the linebackers have dropped into deep zones, leaving nobody underneath. The Bears line blocks the rushers well, and leaves Hanie good passing or running lanes. He ends up gaining 12 yards on a run to the right.
Three plays later, the Seahawks are in a similar man coverage. The defensive line has completely lost contain to Hanie’s left. Hanie would eventually turn and run for 6 more yards in that direction.
This is the alignment prior to the interception. Notice four d-lineman, and K.J. Wright all the way up to the line at the top of the formation. Both corners are rolled up in press (I never get tired of seeing that, btw)
The Bears had not run a bootleg in the first half. They had set it up by running this play to Barber 2-4 times with the pulling guard moving from right-to-left. The most important part of this play is the discipline of the linebackers. Either Malcolm Smith or Leroy Hill (couldn’t make out the number) stays home behind Chris Clemons, and is ready to go after Marion Barber should he get the ball. David Hawthorne is right next to him and is closing in. K.J. Wright is still up top, but is not chasing the running back from behind. He is staying home.
Hanie fakes the handoff and starts rolling to his right. The Bears tight end (#87) is the intended target, and Wright has made the split-second decision to leave him and attack the passer. He read the bootleg immediately, or this would not be possible. Red Bryant is right behind him, providing additional contain should Wright swing and miss. Look at the game clock. It reads 12:18.
The Bears tight end is wide open, but Hanie never has time to make the play. The game clock still sits at 12:18, and Wright is already one step from destroying Hanie. Bryant is coming up behind Wright. I love Brandon Mebane turned completely the wrong direction next to Hawthorne. What’s he doing?
The clock has ticked off one second since Hanie faked the hand-off, and Wright is laying a lick on Hanie who is trying to get enough on the ball to float it out to his wide open tight end, but his arm hits Wright’s helmet on the follow-through and causes it to go nearly straight down.
Big Red catches one in the bread basket. Still only one second off the clock from the fake hand-off.
Bryant is high-stepping and Wright is literally jumping for joy.
Bryant goes Primetime as he crosses into the endzone and Wright is still jumping around like a kid who got a Nintendo for Christmas.