The result, and ending, were greatly overshadowed by Earl Thomas’s season-ending leg injury. Barring something unexpected, Thomas will join Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman as players who appeared in a Seahawks uniform for the final time in Glendale, Arizona.
Also overshadowed in Sunday’s win were some points of interest stemming from Seattle’s snap counts against the Cardinals. Check out the team’s full snap counts here, and what stands out below:
David Moore worked into the offense
After a promising preseason, Moore began the season well behind both Brandon Marshall and Jaron Brown in the wide receiver group. Marshall put together a few lackluster weeks, capped off with a drop-filled start against the Dallas Cowboys, which saw him lose snaps to Brown.
In Week 4, both veteran additions were passed by Moore. The second-year receiver played a season-high 65% of the offense’s snaps, catching two passes for 39 yards. Moore’s day could’ve seemed a lot worse had it not been for a lucky bounce which saw a fumble return to his hands.
Marshall was washed up in 2017 and is another year older in 2018, with two more surgeries behind him as well. Brown was never more than a part-time player in Arizona. Moore, a highly athletic, big-bodied receiver, should be seeing more snaps than Brown and Marshall. It took a month, but it appears the Seahawks finally see it that way.
Doug Baldwin featured in his return
Even before going down with a second knee injury in Week 1, it appeared that Baldwin’s snaps were being managed by the team. Making a quicker return than expected in Week 4, it didn’t seem as though Seattle was concerned about pushing Baldwin.
The team’s best offensive weapon played 76% of the offense’s snaps in his return, second to just Tyler Lockett among all wide receivers. Baldwin finished with five catches for 41 yards, and was at the center of a couple odds moments as the Seahawks continued to throw short of the sticks on third down.
Expect Baldwin’s playing time to grow in the next couple weeks, as he slides back into his role as Seattle’s number one wide receiver.
Frank Clark’s consistent playing time
Not only did Clark put together his best game of the season in Week 3, it was his busiest, as well. Eased in over the first two weeks as he recovered from offseason surgery, Clark played 77% of the defense’s snaps in Week 3. In Week 4, that figure was matched.
As the Seahawks’ premier pass rusher, Clark should hover around the 80% range over the course of the season. It’s the perfect workload for a starter who also needs to remain fresh to impact the game on passing downs. If weeks three and four are any indication, Clark is exactly where he should be moving forward.
Nazair Jones’ continued absence
When the inactives were announced ahead of Seattle’s Week 1 game against the Broncos, Jones was a surprising inclusion. He was one of the better rookies for the Seahawks in 2017 and was expected to take on a greater role in 2018. Instead, he seems to have gone backwards.
In Week 2, Jones played 12 snaps. In Week 3, six. In Week 4, Jones’ playtime grew to a grand total of eight snaps. A ninth was whistled dead when Jones was flagged for a neutral zone infraction. Making matters worse for Jones is that he’s seemingly been passed by UDFA Poona Ford, who was also inactive to begin the year. Ford played over twice the amount Jones did in Week 4, playing 28% of Seattle’s snaps.
The defensive tackle group is a depleted position for the Seahawks in 2018, but Jones cannot crack a rotation he was a key part of in 2017.
Now .500, Seattle returns home in Week 5 to face the buzz saw that is the Los Angeles Rams. With L.A. missing Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters still slowed by an injury, Moore will get a chance to continue his increased role against a depleted secondary, in a game that will surely see Russell Wilson dropping back to throw a lot.