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Cody Barton is having a career season... will it be enough with Jordyn Brooks out?

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New York Jets v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Jordyn Brooks and Cody Barton had both been putting together career seasons for the Seattle Seahawks prior to Brooks suffering a terrible season ending injury on Sunday. With the de facto leader of the defense out, Barton is expected to take over green dot duties, according to Michael-Shawn Dugar of the Athletic. Tanner Muse will be getting some extra snaps as a result, but the Seahawks also showed some looks against the New York Jets that we may see again against the LA Rams. Dugar goes on to say the following about the situation and how the team may choose to handle it from a personnel perspective:

“The Seahawks have enough flexibility on defense to avoid playing Muse extensively against the Rams if they so choose. For example, the first snap following Brooks’ injury was a first-and-10 from the 44-yard line. New York came out in 11 personnel (one tight end, one running back) and Seattle countered with its “Penny” package, a heavier form of nickel personnel that features three down linemen, two outside linebackers in a two-point stance on the edge, five defensive backs and Barton as the lone inside linebacker.

In that package, Johnathan Abram was the nickelback, and Teez Tabor was the other deep safety opposite Quandre Diggs. Seattle used that package on early downs throughout the game in addition to pulling Muse off the field for the dime package, which has six defensive backs and is often deployed on obvious passing downs and two-minute situations.”

He goes on to note that Tanner Muse will likely get the start, but that doesn’t mean he will be getting all of the snaps that would have gone to Brooks. But getting back to Cody Barton... what can we expect from the guy whose career has been uneven up to this point? Barton is having a career year, as he has more combined tackles in the 2022 season so far (129) than he did in his career up to this point (95 from 2019-2021), according to Pro Football Focus. But he also has 8 missed tackles on the season and the second worst miss rate of his career (6.3%) , according to Pro Football Focus. This isn’t awful, and it is better than Jordyn Brooks, who PFF credits with 17 missed tackles. But it also isn’t as good as former Seahawks Bobby Wagner, who boasts a 3.1% miss rate with 4 totals missed tackles. To be fair, though, I don’t think that anybody expected that there wouldn’t be a noticeable drop off going from a Hall of Fame linebacker to Brooks and Barton.

With Cody Barton, the issue is often consistency. Are we going to see more of the guy who did this:

...or the guy who allowed things like this to happen.

Cody Barton’s 129 tackles have him ranked at 17th, according to ESPN. Jordyn Brooks still sits at 3rd overall, so Barton will have some cleats to fill on this defense. While it remains to be seen how he will respond to this responsibility, I will admit that he is doing a better job overall than I expected based on past performance. He is set to be an Unrestricted Free Agent this offseason, so he may have some extra incentive to play in what may be the Seattle Seahawks’ final game of the season. Let’s hope he is feeling motivated on Sunday, because regardless of the postseason, sweeping the Rams would be a welcome end to a roller coaster year for Seahawks football.