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Snap Reactions: Panthers push around Seahawks base personnel

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Week 14 was not kind to the Seattle Seahawks and their playoff aspirations. Fresh off a come from behind victory over the rival Los Angeles Rams, and potentially looking forward to a matchup with the division leading San Francisco 49ers, the Hawks were pushed around by the Carolina Panthers.

There has been no shortage of stats to demonstrate how prolific opposing ground games have been when facing the Seahawks. This has been especially true over the past four games, including three losses to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7), Las Vegas Raiders (5-8) and now Carolina (5-8).

On offense the team was made one dimensional by its inability to run the football well. Since Week 7 the Hawks have only run for more than 100 yards a single time, which came against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 9. Since the offense last found success on the ground against the Cards, the team has run for 39, 65, 90 and 46 yards. Making matters worse, Geno Smith has accounted for 67 of the 240 yards the team has generated running the football during that stretch, which seems to indicate that the offensive line simply isn’t opening holes for ballcarriers.

On the defensive side of things, its tempting to point out that the absence of Shelby Harris was significant given that the Hawks allowed 223 yards rushing. However, how significant can someone be when the defense allowed 161, 283 and 171 rushing yards in the three prior games with Harris on the field? In short, the defense is just bad, and in what felt like a repeat of a 2021 game, was on the field a whole lot more than the offense Sunday.

While the defense was getting bullied, at least Johnathan Abram saw his first action for the Hawks, giving fans something else to monitor down the stretch. Interestingly, with Harris missing from the lineup, the Hawks played less nickel than they have in a long time, with Coby Bryant on the field for just 37 snaps. Those 37 snaps represented 51% of defensive snaps, and represents just the third time this season Bryant has seen his playing time at less than 60%, with the other two occasions coming in Week 1 against the Denver Broncos and Week 5 against the New Orleans Saints.

Moving on to special teams, it was, as usual, the Nick Bellore, Tanner Muse and Cody Barton show as the trio of linebackers all played their usual 20+ special teams snaps. In addition, Jon Rhattigan and Dareke Young each logging 18 special teams snaps.

And now it’s on to the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday.