Snap Count Synopsis: Seahawks Modify Defensive Rotations in Cleveland

Corbin Smith

Moving to 5-1 for just the third time in franchise history, the Seahawks shrugged off early defensive mistakes and erased a 14-point deficit to capture a 32-28 road victory over the Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on Sunday.

Checking out Seattle’s snap counts, here are several takeaways from yesterday’s whacky contest in Cleveland.


· Playing without Rashaad Penny for the third time in four games, Chris Carson resumed his role as Seattle’s bell cow, making the most of his 66 snaps. He eclipsed the 100-yard mark for a third consecutive game, this time amassing a season-high 124 rushing yards against a suspect Cleveland run defense. He also scored his second rushing touchdown of the season, which pushed the Seahawks ahead for good during the closing minutes of regulation. Replacing Penny in a backup role, C.J. Prosise played 17 snaps, or 20 percent of Seattle’s offensive plays. Despite seeing a limited workload, he was on the field for several high-leverage situations, including getting denied on a two-point conversion rushing attempt at the end of the first half. He also lost a key fumble in the second half, but did record a 15-yard reception in the passing game.

· Following Will Dissly’s unfortunate Achilles injury suffered in the first half, Luke Willson played a season-high 56 snaps and will likely take over as Seattle’s No. 1 tight end moving forward. He contributed in the passing game with two receptions for 16 yards and also helped open up running lanes for Carson. Behind him, Jacob Hollister made his Seahawks debut and due to Dissly’s departure, wound up playing 29 offensive snaps. He didn’t receive a single target in the passing game.

· As expected, George Fant and Jamarco Jones played all 83 offensive snaps replacing injured starters Duane Brown and D.J. Fluker respectively. With Fant in the starting lineup, reserve Joey Hunt took over as Seattle’s sixth swing lineman and pseudo tight end, reporting as an eligible receiver for seven snaps. Though he did catch a 20-yard reception from Russell Wilson, fullback Nick Bellore saw diminished playing time, lining up for just three offensive snaps as a lead blocker in the backfield.

· Appearing in his fourth game since returning from offseason shoulder surgery, defensive end Ziggy Ansah only played 39 percent of Seattle’s defensive snaps on Sunday. He wasn’t able to generate any quarterback pressures in his limited field time, but did punch the football out of running back Nick Chubb’s hands for a key fumble recovery in the third quarter. Active for just the third time in six games, rookie L.J. Collier barely saw the field as well, playing just five total snaps against the Browns and recording no statistics. Clearly game-planning to have more size up front for this game, Quinton Jefferson and Poona Ford both played at least 58 snaps.

· Despite playing against an offense with several dangerous receivers such as Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, the Seahawks returned to form by sticking with their base 4-3 defense for most of the game. Mychal Kendricks played all but 10 defensive snaps, finishing with three tackles and a key pass deflection that took away a potential second touchdown for tight end Ricky Seals-Jones. With Kendricks on the field most of the afternoon, cornerback Jamar Taylor checked in for only 17 snaps and recorded two tackles against his former team.

· Tedric Thompson doesn’t appear to be in jeopardy of losing his job, especially after making a critical second quarter interception in the end zone to eliminate a scoring opportunity for the Browns. But as coach Pete Carroll noted, the Seahawks are “still searching to get it right” at both safety positions, which explains why Lano Hill and rookie Marquise Blair combined to play 23 defensive snaps. On several occasions, the Seahawks deployed their big nickel sub-package with three safeties on the field as they did frequently during the second half last season. Look for Seattle to continue experimenting with ways to get Blair and Hill on the field as the year progresses.