Seahawks Insider Blog

Seahawks snaps from crazy win: Freeney’s debut, Lane’s decline, running backs’ demise

Pete Carroll congratulates new defensive end Dwight Freeney during his Seahawks debut Sunday in the win over the Houston Texans. Freeney played 18 snaps, about what was expected, and shared a sack with Sheldon Richardson in the first half.
Pete Carroll congratulates new defensive end Dwight Freeney during his Seahawks debut Sunday in the win over the Houston Texans. Freeney played 18 snaps, about what was expected, and shared a sack with Sheldon Richardson in the first half. AP

Dwight Freeney is on schedule.

Jeremy Lane is on his way out of the Seahawks’ plans.

Thomas Rawls is still ahead of Eddie Lacy, though in terms of rushing yards it’s difficult to tell.

Those are what the snap-count numbers from Sunday’s crazy rally past Houston 41-38 show.

Freeney, the 37-year-old defensive end and three-time All-Pro Seattle signed last week, played 18 of 71 snaps. That 25-percent rate is below the 39 percent of snaps he played last season in a similar, specialty role with Atlanta. But he was playing just four days after his first practice with the Seahawks. Going into Sunday’s game 15-20 snaps seemed like a reasonable expectation.

“He was in there battling,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “I can’t wait to see the film. ... He was so excited in the locker room to be back playing.”

Then Carroll joked of Sunday’s zany game, one of the best ever played in Seattle: “They’re not all going to be like this, Dwight.”

Almost all of his 18 came on third downs, and at right end, where he’s starred while going to seven Pro Bowls and collecting 123 sacks in his 15-year career.

He got to 123 on Sunday with a sack he shared with tackle Sheldon Richardson, who played 54 of the 71 defensive snaps.

“It feels good,” Freeney said. “It really feels good.

“I’ve always wanted to be a part of the ‘12’s.” The 12th Man was always something that I always admired as an opponent because to play with that type of crowd noise and those fans behind you, that’s something that every defensive player wants to be a part of.”

Lane had missed the previous two games with a strained groin then complained last week on Twitter that he had lost his job. Turns out, he lost both his starting right cornerback spot to rookie Shaquill Griffin, who played all Sunday’s snaps on defense, and his nickel job inside. Justin Coleman had 44 plays to Lane’s six. Coleman blitzed at least twice inside, sacking Houston’s wondrous rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson once.

One of Lane’s half-dozen snaps was a penalty for pass interference grabbing Houston’s Will Fuller. That moved the ball 22 yards to the Seahawks 16. Two plays later Lamar Miller scored on a run to put the Texans ahead 14-7. Lane barely played after that.

On offense, Rawls got 41 of the 69 plays though he didn’t start. Eddie Lacy did, but played only 12 snaps.

Lacy and Rawls each carried the ball six times. Each went the same place: nowhere. Lacy netted zero yards and Rawls minus-1. Take out the 21-yard scramble by quarterback Russell Wilson in the fourth quarter and for 11 yards earlier in that period and Seattle gained 1 yard on 19 carries.

Wilson’s scrambles got the Seahawks to 33 yards on 21 runs, tied with last November’s game against Buffalo (on 12 carries) for the fewest yards on the ground for Seattle since 2011.

It got to the point that each time Wilson merely turned to hand off the ball the home fans began booing.

“It was so obvious that we weren’t able to run the football,” Carroll said. “We didn’t think that was going to happen, at all.

“But I think it’s worth noting that in this game when we realized we were struggling, I thought ‘Bev’ (offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell) and (run-game coordinator) Tom (Cable) did a great job to go ahead and go where we could go.”

That was in the air. Wilson’s 452 yards passing set a Seahawks record. Bevell called 45 passes and 19 runs, counting Wilson’s two scramble runs on pass plays.

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