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Formation Nation: Seattle Seahawks Week 12 Notes on Personnel Packages & Player Snaps

Not watching this game live was probably a blessing for me, and that pretty much sums up how I felt watching it last night for the first time after arriving home from New Orleans. Frustrating, dumbfounding, annoying... these are the words that come to mind when I think about what happened during the game and what led to the eventual outcome. Past that, I think Thomas, Kenny, and Charlie did a great job of analyzing Sunday's game so for my part I'll break down some of the personnel uses and snap counts for you, brought to us again by the awesome Chad Davis of

On offense, Seattle ran 62 offensive plays - running it 30 times, passing it 30 times, and taking two sacks. The 62 plays is down a bit from the last two weeks (68, 67), which were wins against Baltimore and St. Louis, and the time of possession reflected this. Seattle, after winning ToP the last two weeks while holding onto the ball for 35:01 and 35:00 respectively, lost that part of the game handily against Washington with a ToP of 26:40.

The run/pass balance is still around what Pete Carroll and company ostensibly want though, - 30/30-, and the run game continued to look strong. That, if anything, is one positive that can be taken from this game. The Seahawks managed 250 net yards of offense and 124 of them, almost half, came on the ground. They ran with a tight end, continuing the trend, in all but one of their offensive snaps, and used two tight ends in a whopping 30 of 62 plays.

The Seahawks most frequent set was their "11" personnel grouping - one running back and one tight end, and out of that formation they ran the ball four times and passed it seventeen times. Conversely, their "22" set, two running backs and two tight ends, was very run-oriented, with the Hawks rushing the football ten out of eleven times from that look. The rest of their formations were pretty balanced with regard to run/pass, and for the most part the Seahawks stuck to the basic looks - no three-wide, four-, five-wide spread looks this week, no 6OL looks.

One thing I did see was a snap or two with Marshawn Lynch at fullback, lead blocking for Leon Washington or catching passes out of the backfield, something that I wouldn't mind seeing a little more of to get both of those players on the field together more often.

4 out of "02" (0 RB, 2 TE)...4 passes...Golden Tate TD
1 out of "10" (1 RB, 0 TE)...1 pass
21 out of "11" (1 RB, 1 TE)...4 runs, 17 passes
15 out of "12" (1 RB, 2 TE)...8 runs, 7 passes
10 out of "21" (2 RB, 1 TE)...7 runs, 3 passes... Marshawn Lynch TD
11 out of "22" (2 RB, 2 TE)...10 runs, 1 pass

Notable Snap Counts:

Sidney Rice saw a pretty low number of snaps - 23 - and part of this was due to his injury that forced him out early in the third quarter and part of this was due to the fact the Seahawks had only one short possession in the first quarter. It looks like Rice has another concussion and could possibly miss this week's Thursday game as well. It will be interesting to see who benefits from this in more playing time.

Mike Williams similarly saw his snap count go down - from 55 two weeks ago, 31 last week - to only 21 plays this week against Washington. Part of that is due to injury, as BMW only played one snap in the fourth quarter, but we're also seeing late-season trend that has meant more of Ben Obomanu and Golden Tate out there and Williams' playing time has suffered as a result. I'm not sure if the Seahawks have specifically broached this situation in press conferences but I imagine it has something to do with Williams' lack of chemistry with Jackson and his inability to make a difference out there.

Doug Baldwin reaped the benefits of Williams and Rice's absence in the fourth quarter and played 14 snaps in that frame; 26 in the game. As mentioned above, Golden Tate continues to get a good look, with 39 offensive plays logged, but only reeled in one pass on three targets for fifteen yards that went for a touchdown. He then celebrated and picked up a 15-yard penalty. Tate has been steadily seeing more action - 24 snaps against Baltimore, 35 against St. Louis, and now 39 against the Redskins. Interesting, to say the least.

Quietly getting more snaps too was Ben Obomanu, who logged 31 plays, up from 14 against BAL and 24 against STL.

As for the tight ends, Zach Miller continues to get the lions' share of the snaps, checking in for all but one offensive play. Anthony McCoy is the unquestioned number two tight end, picking up 28 snaps, and Cameron Morrah only saw the field twice on offense.

Justin Forsett continues to see some snaps - logging 17 plays but only carrying the ball once for a yard. Michael Robinson played in 21 of 62 snaps, down from last week's 27 plays, but he's still a big part of the offensive gameplan. As detailed elsewhere, Marshawn Lynch was a beast again on Sunday, getting 34 snaps and making the most of them - 24 rushes for 111 yards and 4.6 yards per carry and reeled in a screen pass that went for 20 yards and a touchdown. He's still showing that he's got the capability to be a feature back for this team going forward, so I imagine we'll see more on these rumored contract talks in the near future.

Sidney Rice played in 23 of 62 plays (3 in 1st quarter, 15 in 2nd, 5 in 3rd, 0 in 4th)
Mike Williams played in 21 of 62 plays (5, 11, 4, 1)
Doug Baldwin played in 26 of 62 plays (2, 7, 3, 14)
Ben Obomanu played in 31 of 62 plays (0, 4, 9, 18)
Golden Tate played in 39 of 62 plays (3, 4, 13, 19)
Zach Miller played in 61 of 62 plays (6, 19, 18, 18)
Anthony McCoy played in 28 of 62 plays (4, 8, 10, 6)
Cameron Morrah played in 2 of 62 plays (0, 1, 1, 0)
Marshawn Lynch played in 34 of 62 plays (4, 13, 9, 8)
Justin Forsett played in 17 of 62 plays (1, 5, 2, 9...8 on 3rd down)
Leon Washington played in 7 of 62 plays (0, 1, 6, 0)
Michael Robinson played in 21 of 62 plays (2, 7, 10, 2)

On defense, the Seahawks saw 64 plays, not counting Rex Grossman's final kneeldown. The Hawks went out of their base 4-3 almost the entire game - coming out of it and into their nickel package 10 times, and their dime package only twice.

They were in base 4-3 personnel on 50 plays
They were in nickel personnel on 10 plays
They were in dime personnel on 2 plays
They were in goal line personnel on 2 plays

Notable Snap Counts:

The most notable snap counts are related to the absence of Alan Branch in the middle. Because he was a scratch, Clinton McDonald saw the field most of the game, logging 57 snaps (up from 29 last week), and Brandon Mebane was on the field more, playing in 50 defensive snaps (up from 40 last week).

Red Bryant deservedly continues to see a lot of action, and he checked in for 47 plays, but none at DT, a change from the last two weeks where he was getting some time in the middle. He did, of course, block two kicks from that spot on special teams though. Bryant's snap count increased from his 32 plays last week.

Anthony Hargrove got more looks this week after healing up from his hamstring issue, checking in for 14 plays. He made the most of these snaps, getting the Seahawks' only sack, a tackle for a loss, and a QB hit. Not bad. Recently re-signed Pep Levingston too continues to see the field, logging 11 snaps. He had one tackle.

Raheem Brock saw his snap count decrease this week - down to 24 from his 44 at St. Louis. Brock's impact is something to watch as the season goes on.

K.J. Wright also saw increased workload, and as Chad noted, David Hawthorne finally missed some snaps after getting injured, albeit only for a short time. David Vabora filled in on the outside, forcing K.J. Wright inside. Therefore, Wright finally saw a few snaps in nickel personnel. In fact, Wright's 55 snaps must be a season high.

ET, Bam Bam, Browner and Sherman remain the steady secondary for the Seahawks, and Roy Lewis and Atari Bigby got some time on the field as well, logging 12 snaps and 4 snaps respectively. David Vobora played 7 snaps in base as David Hawthorne went out, but was placed on the IR following the game. Not sure who is next on the depth chart should Hawthorne miss any time, but I would guess it's between Malcolm Smith and Heath Farwell.

Chris Clemons played in 53 of 64 plays (39 base, 10 nickel, 2 dime, 2 goal line)
Brandon Mebane played in 50 of 64 plays (43 base, 5 nickel, 2 goal line)
Clinton McDonald played in 57 of 64 plays (47 base, 8 nickel, 2 goal line...season high?)
Red Bryant played in 47 of 64 plays (42 base, 3 nickel, 2 goal line...0 at DT)
David Hawthorne played in 54 of 64 plays (43 base, 7 nickel, 2 dime, 2 goal line)
Leroy Hill played in 62 of 64 plays (50 base, 8 nickel, 2 dime, 2 goal line)
K.J. Wright played in 55 of 64 plays (50 base, 3 nickel, 2 goal line...season high?)
Kam Chancellor played in ALL 64 plays
Earl Thomas played in ALL 64 plays
Brandon Browner played in 62 of 64 plays (50 base, 10 nickel, 2 dime)
Richard Sherman played in 62 of 64 plays (50 base, 10 nickel, 2 dime)
Raheem Brock played in 24 of 64 plays (15 base, 7 nickel, 2 dime)
Pep Levingston played in 11 of 64 plays (7 base, 2 nickel, 2 goal line)
Anthony Hargrove played in 14 of 64 plays (7 base, 5 nickel, 2 dime)
Malcolm Smith played in 2 of 64 plays (2 nickel)
David Vabora played in 7 of 64 plays (7 base)
Roy Lewis played in 12 of 64 plays (10 nickel, 2 dime)
Atari Bigby played in 4 of 64 plays (2 dime, 2 goal line)

Once again, as always, big ups to Chad Davis from over at Draft Breakdown for logging these numbers. It's been really great to take a look after each game!

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