The Seattle Seahawks eased some players back after missing time with injuries, while other were thrown into the fire against the Carolina Panthers.
The Seattle Seahawks dismantled the Carolina Panthers 40-7 last Sunday. It was a dominant performance against last season’s NFC Champion.
The score and the game flow wasn’t the only story being told in this game. The Seahawks were working a quartet of defensive starters back into the rotation (though Earl Thomas was re-injured and is now out for the season). The team was also working to find some offensive success after being completely shut down a week ago.
Taking a look at the snap count provided by the NFL, there were some interesting stories that need to be told. These make up the foundations of my notes from last night’s name.
Thomas Rawls was in on 39 snaps, but only have 15 rushes. Doing the math, that means that the Seahawks run the ball on only 38% of the plays in which Rawls was on the field. The Seahawks ran the ball on 43% of their offensive plays. That means they were more likely to run the ball when Rawls wasn’t on the field than when he was on the field.
While that seems odd at first glance it isn’t cause for concern. On Seattle’s final drive, they ran the ball on 7 of 9 plays, and Seattle had already pulled Rawls off the field. That tipped the scales enough that the run/pass ratio is a bit misleading.
One more Thomas Rawls stat: He had 103 yards at halftime. He finished the game with 106 yards. After halftime he had 4 runs for a total of 3 yards. Somehow, the Seahawks got significantly better on third down when they went away from Rawls.
Jimmy Graham played 53 out of the 61 snaps (86%) before Seattle pulled their starters. He’s been doing a much better job of blocking in recent weeks, so the Seahawks have had less reason to take him off the field.
The Seahawks were in the nickel for just 58% (34 of 58) of their defensive snaps. That’s significantly less than their season average of 68%. Seattle clearly wasn’t afraid of Cam Newton and the Carolina passing attack.
Less nickel means more base defense. Mike Morgan played 17 defensive snaps in his first game after coming off of injured reserve. Kevin Pierre-Louis played 13, though 4 of those were in KJ Wright’s spot.
That is just about a 2:1 ratio for Morgan at the SAM linebacker spot. The Seahawks clearly wanted to ease Morgan back into things. That’s likely a smart thing to do for a guy who has been out for 8 weeks.
The Seahawks didn’t give Michael Bennett the same soft landing they gave Morgan. Bennett played 36 snaps on defense. While that is slightly less than he would normally play, only Frank Clark (41) and Cliff Avril (39) had more on the defensive line.