Seahawks: The stories in the snap counts vs LA

BY Fansided and Keith Myers/FanSided via 12th Man Rising • December 17, 2016

The Seattle Seahawks finally dropped Jermain Kearse down the depth chart, while Mike Morgan and Jimmy Graham didn’t see the field all that much.

The Seattle Seahawks finally wrapped up the division on Thursday. The 24-3 score was convincing. Every phase of the team rebounded from the loss in Green Bay except for the ground game.

Wrapping up the division isn’t the only story line from that game. Examining the snaps counts for each player provided by the NFL can tell some interesting stories well. Here are a few that stood out from Thursday.

The first thing that jumps out is that Tyler Lockett (38) had more snaps than Jermaine Kearse (37). That also includes the final drive when Lockett had been pulled because of the lopsided score.

Lockett got the start, and played alongside Doug Baldwin in the 2 WR sets. Kearse only came in for three WR sets. That is a reversal from what has happened all season.

The results speak for themselves. Lockett made a massive impact throughout the game, leading the Seahawks in both receptions and yards. Kearse meanwhile was only targeted twice, and didn’t have a catch in the game.

It is about time that the Seahawks made this obvious move. Now they need to take it a step further and get Paul Richardson and Tanner McEvoy more involved.

There appears to be a battle brewing between Pete Carroll and Tom Cable over the right tackle position. It is only 3 weeks since Cable scrapped the plan after only 3 plays for Gary Gilliam and Bradley Sowell to rotate at the position.

Sowell has been so bad over that stretch that he was benched on Thursday. Gilliam came in and played the final 15 offensive snaps.

Cable doesn’t think Gilliam is physical enough. Carroll sees that Gilliam generates better results, physical or not. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds over the last two weeks of the regular season.

When the Seahawks pulled their defensive starters at the end of the game, Deshawn Shead stayed in the game. He’s the only guy who played all 60 defensive snaps. Even backup-turned-starter Steven Terrell came off the field.

The reason is that the Seahawks were in the nickel. Both Neiko Thorpe and DeAndre Elliot were on the field for that drive. The decision to leave Shead in the game, and not Jeremy Lane, is an interesting one.

The Seahawks were in the nickel for 48 of 60 defensive snaps. Lane played 42 of those snaps, and the backups played the final 6. That left only 12 snaps for Mike Morgan as the SAM linebacker.

Morgan made an impact with 2 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, but the Seahawks just don’t use their 3rd LB all that much anymore. It is easy to see why the team didn’t bother trying to replace Bruce Irvin in the offseason.

If it felt like Jimmy Graham wasn’t all-that involved in Seattle’s offense on Thursday, it is probably because he wasn’t on the field. Graham played just 61% of the team’s snaps, which is less than what Kearse played.

Pete Carroll never talked about this in any of his press conferences, but the reason is almost certainly his knee. In a normal week, Graham would be limited in practice on Thursday as part of his recovery. That the team had a game to play on a day that he’s usually limited to light running is a fairly significant detail.

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