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Snap Reactions: Notes on the Seahawks’ snap counts from Sunday’s win over the Raiders

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Seattle Seahawks v Oakland Raiders Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks again got back to .500 on Sunday, strolling through a dominant four quarters and defeating the Oakland Raiders 27-3.

As was often the case in 2012-2014, the Seahawks big lead led to reserve players seeing a fair amount of action, and so some player’s snap counts from Sunday should be taken with a pinch of salt. Take a look at the full snap counts below, and then we’ll get into specific players of interest:

Rashaad Penny’s reemergence

In last week’s loss to the L.A. Rams, Penny played just a single snap—on special teams. Despite Chris Carson playing great, Penny’s lack of playing time was a reason for pessimism.

With Seattle easing through Week 6’s win over the Raiders, Penny was afforded a chance to get back into the offense. On 20% of the offense’s snaps, Penny carried the ball nine times for 43 yards and added two catches for 27.

As has been the case for the majority of 2018, whenever Penny has seen the field, he’s looked pretty good. It’s just a case of finding the balance between Carson and Penny.

Barkevious Mingo as the Seahawks’ second linebacker, again

In Week 5, Seattle combated a Rams offense that will stretch a defense by using Mingo, not Austin Calitro, as Bobby Wagner’s running mate in sub packages. Mingo played 97% of the defense’s snaps, easily the high on the season for him.

Against a much more traditional offense, that plan remained the same. Mingo played 93% of the defense’s snaps on Sunday, again remaining on the field when the Seahawks were in sub packages. Mingo has been quietly terrific for Seattle in 2018, and as much credit as Mychal Kendricks received for holding it down in K.J. Wright’s absence, Mingo has been just as important, if not more.

For two seasons between Bruce Irvin’s departure and Mingo’s arrival, the Seahawks depended on a traditional linebacker at the SAM position. Mingo gives them the flexibility Irvin afforded them, and it’s been a great signing.

Jacob Martin’s workload

A benefactor of Mingo’s playtime was his backup, Martin. With Mingo playing off the line of scrimmage for so much of the game, Martin took on Mingo’s pass rushing snaps and played well. The rookie played 47% of the defense’s snaps and his speed was a serious issue for a depleted Oakland offensive line.

Though Martin is still a raw pass rusher, his first step and burst off the edge are tremendous traits and make him a problem for slow-footed tackles. Wright should return in Week 8, giving Seattle more flexibility with Mingo, but Martin should continue to see snaps in a rotational role moving forward.

Nazair Jones’ emergence

For the first time in 2018, Nazair Jones was a part of the defensive line rotation. Jones played 43% of the defense’s snaps, more than Poona Ford, who had passed him in the rotation and was regularly playing over Jones.

Though, like Penny, Jones’ playing time can be attributed to the nature of the game, it’s still encouraging to see the sophomore hasn’t been completely frozen out. Regardless of what has gone on behind the scenes or in practice that has led to Jones’ second-season regression, if the Seahawks can work him back into the fold and get him contributing like he did as a rookie, it would be a huge boost to their defensive line.

Seattle’s now on their bye week, before returning on October 28 to take on the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. With plenty of time to get healthy, we should see some interesting snap counts in Week 8 as new (and returning) players get worked in.