Ain't no Fluke-r: How DJ has helped the Seahawks run game and OL play
Updated: Oct 29, 2018
Two weeks into their 2018 campaign, the Seahawks looked to have fallen short on their goal to run the ball more and establish a more physical style of offense, averaging just 69 rushing yards and 0 TDs. From weeks 3 to 5, the Seahawks have averaged 158 rushing yards per game with 4 total rushing TDs. What has attributed to the recent surge of rushing production over the last three weeks? Sure, the attempts per game has nearly doubled over the last three weeks, averaging 35 attempts per game through weeks 3 to 5 as opposed to the 18 average rushing attempts through weeks 1 and 2. But an important piece missing through those first two weeks was Right Guard, DJ Fluker.
Fluker has been making his presence felt and seen, helping the Seahawks revamp their physical run game while improving their sack percentage by 62% (6 per game in weeks 1-2 compared to 2.3 per game through weeks 3-5). According to ESPN.com's rushing split statistics, 3 of the 4 Seahawks rushing TDs came the through middle of the line, a play direction that has the most success in the Seahawks rushing attack.
When running through the middle, the Seahawks have accumulated: 16 first downs (out of 32 - 50%)
5.3 yards per attempt (Team best)
37 yard rush (Team longest)
271 yards (out of 613 - 44%)
It's also worth adding that the right side of the line has the second most success in terms of rushing play direction for the Seahawks. This shows the effectiveness of Ifedi and Fluker on that side of the line. (Yes, Ifedi has been playing decently over weeks 3-5).
With just a $1.3M contract for this year, Fluker has been a steal for the Seahawks. According to Spotrac.com, similar players to Fluker does not have a Annual Average Value over $1.6 Million per year (Marshall Yanda). So, if this is a prove contract for Fluker and if he remains healthy, it would be in the best interest of the Seahawks to sign the 6'5", 340 lbs., 27-year old, during the 2019 off-season.