The Seahawks used multi-tight end sets often on Sunday to allow Jimmy Graham to play more as a receiver and catch a team-high six receptions.
Here is a look at the snap counts from the Seahawks’16-10 win over the Rams Sunday as well as some additional thoughts and notes, with some info provided by Pro Football Focus.
Justin Britt, 68 (of 68)
Germain Ifedi, 68
Luke Joeckel, 68
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Oday Aboushi, 68
Russell Wilson, 68
Rees Odhiambo, 68
Doug Baldwin, 49
Paul Richardson 50
Jimmy Graham, 42
Tyler Lockett, 38
Thomas Rawls, 32
Luke Willson, 26
Nick Vannett, 18
Eddie Lacy, 19
Amara Darboh, 18
J.D. McKissic 18
Tanner McEvoy, 14
Tre Madden 9
Matt Tobin 8
Richard Sherman, 74 (0f 74)
Kam Chancellor, 74
Bobby Wagner, 74
Shaquill Griffin, 74
Earl Thomas, 74
K.J. Wright, 72
Justin Coleman 68
Michael Bennett, 60
Frank Clark, 57
Jarran Reed, 46
Sheldon Richardson, 45
Branden Jackson, 21
Nazair Jones, 17
Marcus Smith, 13
Michael Wilhoite, 6
Bradley McDougald, 2
A few thoughts:
— Wilson, Britt, Ifedi and Joeckel have still played every offensive snap this season.
— The snap counts make clear a really big key to this game, that the Seahawks were able to contain the Rams’ running game while still being in a nickel or dime defense for all but six plays — Wilhoite was in for just six snaps, the only six on which the Seahawks were in a base defense. But the Seahawks kept the Rams’ running game in check anyway, holding LA to 100 yards on 22 carries.
— Seattle was in a dime defense for two plays — the two that McDougald played and that Wright was out. One of those was the Rams’ 27-yard TD run by Tavon Austin.
— So much for any concern about Rees Odhiambo as he was able to play the entire game a week after the chest injury that sent him to the hospital overnight.
— As I noted earlier in the grades but is worth noting again, newly-acquired Branden Jackson had a nice game, filling in for 21 snaps in his first game with the Seahawks and according to Pro Football Focus getting four pressures on the nine snaps he played on which the Rams passed.
— As also noted earlier in the grades but worth again noting, the Seahawks had Jimmy Graham line up outside as much as at any time this season. As stated by PFF: “Coming into (the Rams’ game) game, Jimmy Graham had run 132 total routes on the season, and 32.6 percent of those routes came when lined up at in-line tight end. Against the Rams, Graham ran 31 total routes, and just three of them came from the tight-end position, while 90.3 percent of them came lined up either in the slot or out wide. Graham had an overall game grade of 82.0, his best of 2017, and the highest of any Seahawks offensive player versus the Rams.” It paid off in Graham making six catches on eight targets including the Seahawks’ only TD on a play on which he was split out wide.
— One byproduct of that was that the Seahawks used their other tight ends quite a bit to get in-line blocking and also used tackle Matt Tobin eight times as an eligible tackle. That allowed Seattle to use Graham outside more. Vannett also played a season-high 29 percent of the snaps and Luke Willson’s 38.2 percent was his second-highest.
— The use of multi-tight ends sets also meant slightly fewer snaps for the receivers — Lockett played just 55.9 percent of the game, for instance, after he had played 73, 90 and 74 percent of the snaps the last three games.
— In his first game starting in place of the injured Cliff Avril, Frank Clark played a season-high 77 percent of the snaps. He responded with what PFF said was his second-highest graded game of the season with a sack and three hurries. The sack forced a fourth-quarter fumble on a play on which Clark beat three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Andrew Whitworth. “It was one of those things where I just felt like I took all day to set him up for that,” Clark said later.
— Also according to PFF: “The Seahawks defense pressured Rams quarterback Jared Goff on 35.3 percent of his drop-backs. They blitzed just 10 times out of 51 passing snaps, in which Goff had a 78.9 passer rating. When the Seahawks rushed 4 players or less, they held Goff to a mere 40.8 passer rating.”
— Interesting note from PFF about how well Sherman and Griffin played against the run. Wrote PFF: “The Seahawks defense held Todd Gurley in check, thanks in part to their cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Shaquill Griffin, who had 2 run stops each. Coming into the game, Sherman had 2 stops total for the season, and Griffin had zero. Griffin (88.1) and Sherman (87.5) led the Seahawks in run defense game grade.”
— Sherman also helped hold Sammy Watkins without a catch continuing what has been a strong season. Wrote PFF: “Richard Sherman was solid in coverage as well, earning an 80.7 coverage grade. On his 50 snaps in coverage, he allowed just one reception for twelve yards while being targeted six times, for a 39.6 passer rating against.”
— Who played well on the offensive line? According to PFF, Ifedi did, writing: ”Starting right tackle Germain Ifedi had his best pass blocking game of the season, allowing just one quarterback pressure (hurry) on 43 pass block snaps. Ifedi had previously given up 15 pressures in 4 games coming into today.”
— However, PFF didn’t think much of Seattle’s overall pass blocking, writing: “The Seahawks were at the bottom of the league in pass block efficiency (68.0) as a unit on Sunday (prior to the final Sunday night game), allowing 1 sack, 5 hits, and 12 hurries. These numbers to not include the 4 additional pressures allowed by non-offensive linemen. Wilson was pressured on 51.2 percent of his drop-backs, which was 10.2% higher than his season average coming into the game.”
— PFF also gave some blame for the running game troubles to Rawls and Lacy, writing: “Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls combined to average 1.47 yards after contact, a far cry from the 2.61 yards after contact Chris Carson averaged for the first four weeks of the season. The Seahawks as a team struggled especially up the middle, rushing for negative 2 yards on 5 carries between the guards.”
— Finally, as was evident, Wilson did not air it out much in a game in which Seattle’s longest pass play was 21 yards — Seattle had had a pass play of at least 22 yards or longer in every other game and last week had five of 27 or longer against the Colts. Wrote PFF: “For the second time in a game this season Russell Wilson did not complete a deep pass (20+ yards downfield). Wilson went 0-for-3 on deep attempts, 5-for-9 on intermediate attempts (10-19 yards), and 19-for-24 on passes attempted under 10 yards.”