The Seattle Seahawks entered Week 17 as a near lock for the NFC’s fifth seed. They exited Sunday as a 10-6 team, with the fifth seed in hand. However, they didn’t manage their personnel against the Cardinals like a team locked into a playoff spot; for the most part, starters played throughout the game.
Check out the full snap counts below:
Rashaad Penny returns from injury
In my pregame column on Friday, I suggested Penny could get a heavy workload in his return from a knee injury. Arizona was allowing the most RB touches per game, at over 34, and there was no need for Carson to be pushed ahead of wildcard weekend. Instead, Carson paced the Seahawks as usual, leading the backfield in snaps, carries and yards.
Penny, playing his first game since Week 14, saw just 6% of the offense’s snaps, carrying it four times for six yards.
Akeem King steps up
Seattle received an early scare in an almost meaningless game, when Shaquill Griffin exited with an ankle injury. Thankfully, it was later reported his continued absence was more of a precautionary move than anything else. In Griffin’s place entered King, who has seen his snaps increase considerably in recent weeks. He played opposite Tre Flowers for the remainder of the game and continued the fine form he finds himself in.
K.J. Wright is healthy
For the second week in a row, Wright played over 70% of the defense’s snaps and again looked to be close to full health. Getting Wright back at all in the regular season was a welcome surprise. To have him back and playing at the level we’ve become accustomed to is an unexpected and welcome surprise. The Seahawks will be facing one of the NFL’s best linebacker duos in the wildcard round, but on the opposite side, they’ll have their established duo back again.
After wrapping up a 10-6 regular season, Seattle will now prepare for their return to the playoffs on a shorter week, before taking on the Cowboys on Saturday night.