In Richard Sherman’s return to Seattle, the Seahawks were victorious, defeating Sherman’s 49ers with ease, 43-16. The win pushes Seattle to 7-5 and in great position for the NFC’s top wildcard spot. San Francisco, meanwhile, continues down the path to the top pick, as they sit 2-10.
In an NFL Sunday which saw several stars go down in the early games, the Seahawks got out of Week 13 relatively healthy. D.J. Fluker left with a hamstring injury that seems likely to keep him out at least in the short-term, while Chris Carson suffered a dislocated finger.
Check out the full snap counts below, before we hit on some points of interest:
J.D. McKissic limited on offense
Week 13 saw Seattle’s satellite back/chess piece make his season debut after missing the first 12 weeks recovering from a Jones’ fracture. McKissic took his first snaps of the season on offense in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s win, long after the win was sealed. Playing just two snaps (3%), one would assume McKissic was on a pitch count in his return. However, he saw 57% of the snaps on special teams and was back to flying down the field like usual.
If there were any concerns over McKissic’s health heading into Week 13, he wouldn’t have featured so heavily on special teams. Mike Davis remains uninspiring as a pass catcher, so hopefully McKissic’s volume will increase drastically in the coming weeks.
More three-safety looks on defense
In a curious wrinkle last week, the Seahawks rolled out Delano Hill, Bradley McDougald and Tedric Thompson together on just over a dozen snaps. The Panthers are a fast offense that loves to stretch defenses, so mixing in another defensive back to matchup with Christian McCaffrey and Greg Olsen made sense.
In Seattle’s Week 13 victory, Hill saw even more time along with McDougald and Thompson, this time playing 49% of the defense’s snaps. Big nickel and dime packages are something fans have wanted to see for years now, and it’s interesting to see the Seahawks feature them now, with perhaps the most talent-poor safety group Pete Carroll has had during his time with the team.
Branden Jackson activated, featured heavily
With a completely healthy defensive line, difficult personnel decisions have to be made. Nazair Jones has been the odd man out for most of the season, but last week, it was Branden Jackson out in the cold. Benched in favor of the two rookie EDGEs last week, Jackson returned to the rotation in Week 13.
Not only was Jackson a part of the game day rotation on Sunday, but he was a key member. Only Quinton Jefferson (58%) saw more snaps than Jackson, among non-starters. Though Jackson registered just one tackle, his versatility is something Seattle values, and it got him a jersey over Rasheem Green on Sunday.
Nazair Jones again involved
The aforementioned Naz Jones returned from the wilderness in Week 12 and immediately made an impact, with a huge tackle for loss being his most noteworthy contribution. Jones’ strong performance earned him another game in the rotation in Week 13. Though Jones played the least amount of snaps among defensive linemen, it was still a fairly large amount, at 33% of the defense’s snaps. Jones registered a tackle and a QB hit as he continues to claw his way back into the team’s plans.
Winners of three straight, the Seahawks will now have eight days until their next game, on Monday Night Football against the Vikings. Though Minnesota, at 6-5-1, have stumbled in recent weeks, it will be yet another game with wildcard implications.