In the end, that turned out to be true. The Seahawks rolled to a 28-14 victory, led by a nearly perfect performance from Russell Wilson.
With a host of players returning from injury or making their season debut, Seattle’s snap counts are interesting. Check out the full snap counts below, before we get into specific notes of interest:
David Moore and an established WR corps
With Doug Baldwin back to full health and Moore established in the offense, the Seahawks’ three WR set seems firmly in place. Moore and Baldwin are the team’s number one and two, while Tyler Lockett stays as one of the league’s most explosive slot receivers.
On Sunday, Moore played one more snap than Lockett. Early in the season, due to both Brandon Marshall’s ineptitude and Baldwin’s injury, Lockett was being shoehorned into the role of an outside receiver. He played well, but it isn’t where he belongs. Moore’s development allows Seattle to keep Lockett where he is best suited.
Eligible receiver George Fant
After Will Dissly’s injury and before Ed Dickson’s return, Fant was counted on as a pseudo tight end—more a 6th lineman than a true tight end. Despite getting both Dickson and Nick Vannett back in Week 8, Fant was leaned on again, playing 38% of the offense’s snaps.
Fant was one of four players to see considerable snaps at tight end, along with Dickson (32%), Vannett (49%) and Darrell Daniels (14%). Though personnel groupings from Week 8 haven’t been updated yet, I’d imagine the team’s use of 12 personnel increased considerably—something I suggested in my pre-game column.
Brandon Marshall’s short day
Marshall’s fall from the offense continued in Week 8, as the veteran played just two snaps total (both on offense). Without bringing any value on special teams—or offense, really—it’s fair to wonder if he is the one released when J.D. McKissic returns.
Though it would be safe to assume one of C.J. Prosise or Tre Madden is moved to make room, Marshall makes more sense. Prosise, despite a lack of involvement, remains ultra-talented and could provide value in a third down role if forced into action. Alternatively, he could be a trade target. Madden has inexplicably been on the roster this long and there’s no reason to think the Seahawks would want to release him, besides the natural RB-for-RB swap.
K.J. Wright featured heavily
Making his season debut against the Lions, Wright immediately returned to the role he’s quietly excelled in for so many years. Wright played 85% of the defense’s snaps, certainly a higher mark than expected—especially with Barkevious Mingo performing so well as a sub package defender well in Wright’s absence.
Mingo saw his play-time plummet as a result of Wright’s return, down to just 29% of the defense’s snaps. Despite being freed up to play more often at the line of scrimmage, Mingo didn’t take Jacob Martin’s place in the pass rush rotation. The rookie saw 32% of the defense’s snaps and performed really well. As long as Martin keeps this level of play up, Mingo could be restricted to his SAM linebacker spot moving forward.
Rashaad Penny’s quiet day
If talk of Penny’s play-time is exhausting to you, I get it. Chris Carson has been incredible and Seattle doesn’t need Penny at the moment. But, he’s a first round pick who played just two snaps (both on special teams). That’s worth noting, regardless of the running game’s performance.
The process was bad at the time and it looks worse every week, as Carson excels and Penny is largely forgotten. If something were to happen to Carson, Penny would provide excellent insurance and could thrive with a heavy workload. But for a team expected to push for the playoffs, not getting anything from your top pick is a bad look.
After playing two 10 AM games in a row (with a bye week sandwiched between), the Seahawks will return home in Week 9 to take on the L.A. Chargers at 1:05 PM.