There are ugly wins, but there's no such thing as a bad win in the NFL. The Seattle Seahawks won ugly on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, but they won nonetheless. Seattle narrowly pulled out a victory, 21-20, in the back-and-forth contest despite being out-played for much of the game. Cincinnati had far more yards (429-233) and first downs (22-12) than Seattle. However the Seahawks had the upper hand in the stat categories that matter most: 2-2 in the red zone (Bengals were 0-3) and they won the turnover battle 3-1.
Each Monday, we'll take a look at the snap counts for both the Seahawks offense and defense with takeaways for who played and how much. Here's a breakdown for how Seattle's coaches divvied up playing time.
- Pete Carroll shared postgame that Jadeveon Clowney played more than expected. There are two reasons for that. One, the defense struggled to get off the field at times, which is why they played 24 more snaps than the offense (77-53). Secondly, Seattle needed him badly. Without Ezekiel Ansah (expected to make his debut in Week 2), Clowney became a player the Seahawks couldn't afford to keep on the sideline. He played 48 snaps in his Seahawks debut, registering two tackles, one sack, one tackle for loss and a pass defended. Clowney also drew a holding call in the first half and should have drawn another on the very next play. His production seemed to wane in the second half, but he did come up with a clutch fourth-quarter sack to help hold the Bengals to a field goal.
- DK Metcalf showed no limitations from his recent knee operation, and he wasn't on a snap count. The rookie played 41 snaps, catching four passes for a team-high 89 yards. His two explosive plays -- receptions of 42 and 25 yards -- helped set up two of Seattle's touchdowns. The latter was off a broken play where he was on the receiving end of Russell Wilson's patented scramble drill. Metcalf is Seattle's clear No. 2 option in the passing game, and that shouldn't change, even when David Moore returns to the lineup.
- Pete Carroll has spent a ton of time trying to throw us off the scent that Chris Carson isn't the Seahawks clear-cut No. 1 running back. He's given us his Carroll-isms about competing and how Rashaad Penny is fighting to be the top guy. But the fact remains that Penny just isn't there yet. Carson out-snapped Penny 41-14 and out-touched him 21-6. There isn't a committee in Seattle and unless there's an injury or an unforeseen breakout from Penny, that isn't changing anytime soon. Brian Schottenheimer also stayed true to his word that Carson would be utilized more in the pass game, evidenced by his team-high six receptions (on seven targets) for 35 yards and a touchdown.
- Jaron Brown played 41 snaps but wasn't targeted once.
- Ugo Amadi got the start at nickel corner and played 21 snaps. Akeem King played just one defensive snap which was due to a brief injury to Amadi. The rookie finished with two tackles in his NFL debut.
- Ethan Pocic started at left guard despite Mike Iupati being healthy and active. It was Pocic's 17th career start. Iupati played one snap at left guard when Justin Britt went down with an injury, forcing Pocic to move to center. Britt was able to return after missing just the one play. It will be interesting to see if Iupati can earn the starting job back in Week 2. There is certainly plenty of room for improvement on the o-line after allowing four sacks against the Bengals. Seattle also gained a meager 2.9 yards per carry.