The Seattle Seahawks kept their wildcard hopes afloat and returned to .500 in a massive victory on Thursday night, taking down the Green Bay Packers 27-24. The Packers had a pair of scores come about as a result of curious, or noteworthy player usage.
Check out the full snap counts below, before we get into notes of interest:
A balanced backfield
On Thursday night, we saw what Seattle and Pete Carroll likely envisioned all along, after drafting Rashaad Penny in the first round. All three backs—Penny, Chris Carson and Mike Davis—were involved and we saw a true rotation for the first time.
Penny and Carson handled the early downs, playing 24% and 41% of the offense’s snaps, respectively. Davis, meanwhile, continued his role as 3rd down back, and played 31% of snaps. Week 11 was as balanced as the Seahawks’ backfield has been all week, and they’re about to add another chess piece, with the return of J.D. McKissic around the corner.
Malik Turner appears
Turner’s promotion to the active roster over Keenan Reynolds, following Brandon Marshall’s release, was a curious decision. Though Turner’s yet to catch a ball, he has been getting a handful of snaps on a weekly basis.
In Thursday’s win over Green Bay, Turner played 13% of the offense’s snaps, not far from Jaron Brown’s 20%. Though it’s almost certainly nothing, the former practice squad receiver encroaching on Brown’s snaps is something worth following. McKissic’s return will lead to a difficult roster decision, and it could go any number of ways.
Bradley McDougald: Safety, warrior
Following Seattle’s Week 1 loss to the Broncos, Carroll mentioned McDougald was dealing with a sore patellar tendon. His knee has pretty much plagued him all season since then, and it led to him exiting both of the Seahawks’ two previous contests (though he returned against the Rams).
On a short week, and still fighting a knee issue, McDougald played every single defensive snap. It wasn’t all great, as McDougald was burned on Aaron Rodgers’ perfect 54-yard touchdown, it was a spectacularly gritty performance from an emerging leader on Seattle’s defense.
Austin Calitro as the nickel ‘backer
With K.J. Wright again out with a knee injury, it was presumed that Barkevious Mingo would return to the weakside role he played so solidly in Wright’s absence. Mingo’s athleticism is ideal in a role that forces him into coverage and away from the line of scrimmage. Instead, it was Calitro who played alongside Bobby Wagner, seeing 88% of the defense’s snaps (compared to just 22% for Mingo).
It was a curious, and questionable decision. Calitro, while rangy at the second level, isn’t an ideal linebacker to carry running backs or tight ends downfield. That proved to be true, as he was burnt by Aaron Jones on the back’s 24-yard touchdown. The Seahawks will face one of the league’s most versatile running backs in Christian McCaffrey next week, and Calitro will be no match for him. The second LB spot will be an interesting one to track over the next 10 days.
Seattle now has a miniature bye week, off until Tuesday, before they turn their attention to fellow wildcard contenders in the Carolina Panthers.