Snap Count Synopsis: Group Effort Helps Seahawks Offset Loss of Jadeveon Clowney
Winning their fourth straight game overall and staying perfect on the road this season, the Seahawks took care of business in a physical 17-9 win over the Eagles on Sunday to keep pace in the rugged NFC West.
Checking out Seattle’s snap counts in Philadelphia, here are several takeaways heading towards the month of December.
- After only seeing the field for 14 combined offensive snaps in wins over the Buccaneers and 49ers, Rashaad Penny played a season-high 30 snaps for the Seahawks and rushed for a career-best 129 yards against the NFL’s fourth-ranked run defense. This is a huge deal for several reasons. For one, Penny entered Sunday with just 167 rushing yards in seven games and Seattle desperately wanted to get him going. Secondly, starter Chris Carson had logged 89 percent or more of the team’s snaps in three of the past four games. At that pace, he would’ve been worn down by the time the playoffs arrived. Watching Penny torch the Eagles in the second half provides hope the Seahawks will be able to keep Carson fresh down the stretch without their ground game missing a beat.
- Playing just two weeks after suffering a significant lower leg contusion, Tyler Lockett played 56 of Seattle’s 65 offensive snaps, while DK Metcalf led the team with 57 snaps. The two combined to catch four out of eight targets for 73 yards, though Metcalf dropped a potential 38-yard touchdown late in the first half and Lockett wasn’t targeted until the fourth quarter. Most of the damage was actually done by Seattle’s reserve receivers, including Malik Turner, who again made the most of his limited playing time (17 snaps) by catching a 33-yard touchdown on a flee flicker from Russell Wilson. David Moore also caught a 31-yard pass in the first half, while Josh Gordon drew a defensive pass interference and his lone catch was a 10-yard slant that moved the chains for a first down.
- Playing without Luke Willson, who was inactive with a hamstring injury, the Seahawks used both George Fant and Jamarco Jones as a sixth lineman against the Eagles. Jacob Hollister still logged 69 percent of Seattle’s offensive snaps and Tyrone Swoopes played 18 snaps in his first game back from the practice squad, but Fant was used extensively in this game. The reserve tackle reported as eligible on 22 snaps, or 34 percent of Seattle’s offensive plays, while Jones apparently played two snaps in a similar role while also filling in briefly for D.J. Fluker at right guard.
- Many questioned where Seattle would find a pass rush without Jadeveon Clowney, but the defensive line performed admirably without him, especially considering Jarran Reed left with an ankle injury in the second quarter. Eight different defensive linemen played at least 25 snaps, good for 33 percent of the Seahawks defensive plays. Rasheem Green played one of the finest games of his career, recording a strip sack against Carson Wentz and two quarterback hits while playing 46 snaps. Ziggy Ansah turned in his first signature performance as a Seahawk with 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble, while Shaquem Griffin played 25 snaps as a situational rusher and proved to be disruptive flying off the edge. Branden Jackson recorded a pass defensed, Quinton Jefferson produced a sack, and rookie L.J. Collier played a season-high 26 snaps. And that’s not including strong play against the run by defensive tackles Poona Ford and Al Woods. The unit as a whole played outstanding football, a great sign with one month left to play.
- While the Seahawks still played a ton of base defense, coach Pete Carroll and defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. decided to roll with veteran cornerback Akeem King in this game when they transitioned into nickel packages. Considering the Eagles were short-handed at receiver and their two best weapons in the passing game were tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert, using a bigger nickel cornerback such as King made a ton of sense. King wound up playing 26 total snaps, producing a tackle and a quarterback hit against Wentz blitzing from the slot. As for rookie Ugo Amadi, the fourth-round pick didn’t play a single defensive snap even after veteran Jamar Taylor was released earlier in the week. He still made quite an impact on special teams, however, downing two of Michael Dickson’s punts inside Philadelphia’s two-yard line.