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Snap Reactions: Notes on the Seahawks’ snap counts from Sunday’s loss to the Rams

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NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Despite putting together one of their most impressive performances of the season, the Seattle Seahawks came up short against the L.A. Rams, losing 33-31.

Heading into Sunday, there was usage worth tracking on both sides of the ball: Tedric Thompson’s first start, Austin Calitro back in the lineup, Frank Clark battling illness or George Fant’s role as an eligible receiver. We received clarity on the majority of those topics on Sunday.

Check out the snap counts below, and we’ll highlight some points of interest:

George Fant as an eligible receiver

In the lead up to Seahawks-Rams, Russell Wilson let it slip that Fant would have a significant role to play. It made sense, with Will Dissly done for the season and a fearsome L.A. front coming into town. The Rams defense wasn’t allowed to completely takeover the game, while Fant played sparingly.

In total, Fant came in as an eligible receiver on 12 plays (though the NFL’s play-by-play data credits him for just 11). The 11 plays he is marked as eligible resulted in 34 yards on eight carries, and 2-3 passing, 42 yards and a touchdown for Wilson.

The use of Fant as an extra blocker was a pleasant sign of Seattle being proactive in a matchup they have been blown out of all too often. He wasn’t used as often as expected, but Fant’s usage on Sunday was a success.

Rashaad Penny’s single snap

There isn’t all too much to add here, but it has to be mentioned. With C.J. Prosise inactive, Mike Davis coming off a big game and Chris Carson returning, Penny saw his snaps drop to just one single snap. On special teams. As one of the three deep on a return. And he didn’t get the ball.

Frank Clark again proving athletes aren’t regular people

Earlier on Monday, I wrote about Clark’s week leading up to Sunday’s loss. It included being hospitalized twice and losing 12 pounds. I mentioned that it seemed as though the week caught up to Clark in the 4th quarter, as he was on the field sparingly.

Turns out, the first three quarters more than made up for it. Clark played 82% of the defense’s snaps on Sunday, right around where he was the past couple weeks and where he will be moving forward.

In the aforementioned article, I also mentioned how a transatlantic flight on Wednesday may not be conducive to Clark’s recovery from food poisoning. I don’t think we need to worry about that affecting Clark anymore, as he is not human.

David Moore’s arrival in the offense

Week 5 saw Moore become a mainstay in the Seahawks’ three wide receiver sets for the first time this season. He rewarded their faith with two touchdowns and should see his role continue in the next couple weeks.

After battling with Brandon Marshall and Jaron Brown for snaps out of the gate, that battle is over. Marshall has essentially been wiped out of the offense, playing just 12% of the offense’s snaps. Moore’s rise over Marshall was perfectly encapsulated during a third down on Sunday: Marshall came onto the field, a TV timeout was called and when it was time to run the third down, Moore had replaced Marshall again.

Brown, meanwhile, saw more snaps than Marshall at 15%. The clock is ticking on Marshall’s time in Seattle.

Barkevious Mingo as the 2nd linebacker

An area of concern for the Seahawks heading into Sunday was Austin Calitro, coming back into the lineup following Mychal Kendricks’ suspension. In my pregame column, I wrote about how dangerous the Rams’ offense can be for a linebacker.

Seattle, again proactive in their preparation for L.A., worked around those issues by leaning on Mingo as the second linebacker next to Bobby Wagner. Mingo is more comfortable in space and was less likely to be exploited than Calitro.

By the end of the game, Mingo had played a season-high 97% of the defense’s snaps, while Calitro played just 6%. A week after Anthony Barr allowed over 100 yards in coverage against the Rams, the Seahawks didn’t allow the same to happen to their ‘backers. They deserve credit.

Seattle has a strange week ahead of them, with a trip to London condensing everything. Following the flight overseas and the extra hype in the lead up to Sunday’s game, the Seahawks will play the Raiders at 10 am PST.