Formation Nation: Seattle Seahawks Week 11 Notes on Personnel Packages & Player Snaps

Back at it again this week with some notes and thoughts on the Seahawks use of personnel and offensive/defensive scheming against the Rams on Sunday. Big thanks to Chad Davis of DraftBreakdown.com for charting the game - it's a big undertaking and it's much appreciated.

Without further ado, here we go. The Hawks ran 68 offensive plays this week, one more than last week if you're not counting kneel downs. Two straight weeks with 65+ offensive plays is a good thing, and the time of possession is showing that improvement. The Hawks had the ball for 35:00, compared to St. Louis' 25:00, and that was just off last week's ToP of 35:01 against the Ravens. Interesting similarities for sure, and encouraging.

This week they used similar run-heavy strategy on offense, rushing it 39 times (57%) and throwing the ball 25 times (while getting sacked 4 times). Last week, they ran the ball 39 times (58%) and threw it 28. Will they keep up this pace? If so, that would probably be the highest run:pass ratio in the NFL outside of Denver.

This week, the Seahawks continued to heavily utilize their tight ends. Only six offensive plays went without them, and thrice the Seahawks trotted three tight ends out on the field, running once and passing twice. The Hawks went with their spread look - 5 wide receivers - 3 times as well, and passed on all three of those plays.

They used a 'no-back' look on four snaps, passing each time, obviously, and used their '10' personnel grouping of one running back and no tight ends three times, running it once and passing twice.

Probably most interesting in these groupings was the heavy use of two running back sets. The Hawks used their '21' and '22' packages 27 times and ran it 22 times out of those formations. Marshawn Lynch's touchdown was one such occasion and Lynch was actually lined up at fullback for that snap, which was an entertaining look.

Here are the groupings:

Offensive Personnel Information

• 3 out of "00" (5 WRs)...3 passes
• 2 out of "01" (0 RB, 1 TE)...2 passes
• 2 out of "02" (0 RB, 2 TE)...2 passes
• 3 out of "10" (1 RB, 0 TE)...1 run, 2 passes
• 15 out of "11" (1 RB, 1 TE)...8 runs, 7 passes
• 13 out of "12" (1 RB, 2 TE)...5 runs, 8 passes, including Sidney Rice's TD.
• 3 out of "13" (1 RB, 3 TE)...2 runs, 1 pass
• 14 out of "21" (2 RB, 1 TE)...10 runs, 4 passes
• 13 out of "22" (2 RB, 2 TE)...12 runs, 1 pass, including Marshawn Lynch's TD.

Notable Snap Counts:

Again, the offensive line snap counts are omitted because there were no substitutions there this week. The first thing you may notice is the diminished role of Mike Williams in the Seahawks' offense this week. Williams saw only 31 of 68 snaps, down from 55/67 last week. He wasn't injured, as far as I saw, so this is definitely something to keep an eye on. He was targeted a team-high (tied with Sidney Rice) five times though, so he made the most of his snaps. It woudn't surprise me to see the Seahawks keep moving in this direction, rotating Golden Tate, Ben Obomanu, and Doug Baldwin in more frequently.

Tate was the biggest beneficiary of the Williams' absence, surprisingly logging 35 snaps, ten more than Baldwin and 11 more than Obomanu. Tate was targeted three times and caught one pass for 16 yards but I expect the Seahawks are resolute in their desire to develop him.

Another interesting snap count would be that of Michael Robinson, who checked in for 27 plays (most likely his high for this season, though we'd have to double check that with Brian McIntyre's numbers, as he's been keeping track all year). That was a big jump from his 16 snaps last week, and as I noted above, the Hawks have been using their two-back power-I formation more frequently with Robinson lead-blocking for Marshawn Lynch. A possible corollary of this has been the Hawks' improvement on the ground.

Zach Miller saw 57 snaps and 2nd year TE Anthony McCoy checked in for 35. Cameron Morrah played in only four snaps, three of which were the Hawks 3TE looks. Interestingly, the Hawks used at least one tight end on 61 plays but only targeted them once the entire game, a 10-yard Zach Miller completion.

Finally, Justin Forsett saw 11-snaps, many in garbage time, but took advantage by rushing for 31 yards and a touchdown, including his 22-yard scamper into the endzone. Leon Washington upped his snap count by three from last week and saw 7 plays.

Individual Offensive Snaps

• Sidney Rice played in 41 of 68 plays
• Mike Williams played in 31 of 68 plays (down from 55 last week)
• Doug Baldwin played in 25 of 68 plays
• Ben Obomanu played in 24 of 68 plays
• Zach Miller played in 57 of 68 plays
• Anthony McCoy played in 35 of 68 plays
• Cameron Morrah played in 4 of 68 plays
• Golden Tate played in 35 of 68 plays
• Marshawn Lynch played in 43 of 68 plays
• Justin Forsett played in 11 of 68 plays (6 on 3rd downs)
• Leon Washington played in 7 of 68 plays
• Michael Robinson played in 27 of 68 plays (season high?)

On to the defense. The magnificent eleven were on the field for only 61 plays, five fewer than last week. They played out of their base 4-3 on 20 of them, heavily utilizing their nickel package the rest of the time. They eschewed their 'dime' and 'bandit' packages this week despite the Rams' 45 to 17 pass:run ratio. This shows confidence the coaching staff has in their players executing.

Defensive personnel information

• Seattle saw 61 plays on defense
• They were in base 4-3 personnel on 20 plays
• They were in nickel personnel on 41 plays
• They were in never in dime personnel

Notable Snap Counts:

Chris Clemons was a beast, racking up three sacks, three quarterback hits, and two forced fumbles, and he saw 59 of their 61 snaps. Only David Hawthorne, Kam Chancellor, Brandon Browner, and Richard Sherman played all 61 defensive snaps.

Red Bryant moved to the inside again in the nickel package, taking 14 snaps as his originally-projected position of defensive tackle. Love that they're getting creative with the big man. It's interesting to note the use of our 'big-3' of Red Bryant, Brandon Mebane, and Alan Branch - all three are seeing snaps in the nickel (Red 14, Branch 20, and Mebane 24) and are clearly rotating in and out to stay fresh. This seems smart.

Also getting snaps in the rotation at DT were Lazarius Levingston and Clinton McDonald. Pep saw 10 snaps, 2 in base and 8 in the nickel, and McDeezy saw 29 snaps this week, a big jump from last week's total of 17. Great to see, and I think he's been showing a lot of promise in the middle.

K.J. Wright went off on nickel plays, making way for Roy Lewis, who had a bounce back game in my opinion. Raheem Brock rotated in for most nickel plays and a few base plays, logging 44 total snaps.

Individual defensive snap information

• Chris Clemons played in 59 of 61 plays (19 base, 40 nickel)
• Brandon Mebane played in 40 of 61 plays (16 base, 24 nickel)
• Alan Branch played in 30 of 61 plays (10 base, 20 nickel)
• Red Bryant played in 32 of 61 plays (17 base, 15 nickel...14 at DT)
• David Hawthorne played in ALL 61 plays
Leroy Hill played in 54 of 61 plays (19 base, 35 nickel)
• K.J. Wright played in 20 of 61 plays (ALL in base)
• Kam Chancellor played in ALL 61 plays
Earl Thomas played in ALL 61 plays
• Brandon Browner played in ALL 61 plays
• Richard Sherman played in ALL 61 plays
• Raheem Brock played in 44 of 61 plays (5 base, 39 nickel)
• Clinton McDonald played in 29 of 61 plays (11 base, 18 nickel...season high?)
• Pep Levingston played in 10 of 61 plays (2 base, 8 nickel)
Malcolm Smith played in 7 of 61 plays (1 base, 6 nickel)
• Roy Lewis played in 41 of 61 plays (ALL in nickel)

That's what we got for this week. Again, big ups to Chad Davis (follow him here) of DraftBreakdown.com for doing the legwork on this. I honestly can't get enough of these kinds of numbers, so it's hugely appreciated.

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