In their first matchup of the season, Jalen Ramsey all but took D.K. Metcalf out of the game. Metcalf finished with just 2 catches for 28 yards and was targeted 4 times. Russell Wilson seldom even looked his way, although there were some opportunities. Ramsey didn’t necessarily cover Metcalf on every play, but he aligned to his side on almost every snap. This was largely to keep him in Metcalf’s neighborhood and to help disguise man vs. zone coverage. In Week 16, Seattle adjusted.
The Seahawks knew Ramsey would align to Metcalf’s side. They also suspected that after Ramsey’s side had been established, Metcalf could motion to the other side of the formation and Ramsey wouldn’t always follow. If he did follow, it would provide an indicator of man coverage. If he didn’t, it was likely zone coverage and Metcalf would be able to get away from Ramsey. On this 3rd-and-6, the Seahawks were able to utilize this approach to get 17 yards and a first down.
After being static with Metcalf and keeping him wherever he initially aligned in their first matchup, Seattle used this type of motion a few times. They also had Metcalf align inside or in tighter splits and run routes across the field a little more often, again getting him away from Ramsey. He had a bit better of a day (6 receptions, 59 yards) than he did in their first matchup (2 receptions, 28 yards).
It will be interesting to see what types of adjustments are in store for round 3 between Metcalf and Ramsey. Do the Seahawks use more motion? And does L.A. have Ramsey follow Metcalf if they do?
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