NFC West: Ben Obomanu

Snap judgments: Seahawks' mindset

June, 18, 2013
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Coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider made headlines in 2010 for their willingness to constantly churn the Seattle Seahawks' roster. Three years later, they've built the roster to a point where player retention has become a bigger focus.

As the chart below shows, Seattle has on its 90-man roster players responsible for logging 87.4 percent of offensive and defensive snaps last season. That is the highest percentage in the division.

The chart at right shows the 2012 contributors no longer on the roster. Note that tight end Anthony McCoy landed on injured reserve after suffering a torn Achilles' tendon during organized team activities.

Seattle moved on from defensive tackle Alan Branch, defensive lineman Jason Jones, linebacker Leroy Hill and cornerback Marcus Trufant after those players played fairly meaningful roles in 2012. The draft brought defensive tackles Jordan Hill and Jesse Williams. Free-agent addition Cliff Avril will affect the rotation at linebacker, where Hill's production had waned. Antoine Winfield replaced Trufant as Seattle sought to upgrade its nickel corner position.

Note: The percentages at defensive back changed slightly for Seattle since Monday when I included the 122 snaps safety Jeron Johnson played. I had accidentally excluded his snaps from consideration.
The NFL draft becomes a blur on the final day as teams select lesser-known players one after another.

By the end, it's helpful to take a look at the bigger picture.


The chart above shows which general positions NFC West teams targeted. Quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers are listed as skill players. The other group names are self-explanatory.

Seattle Seahawks seventh-round pick Jared Smith played defensive tackle at New Hampshire. He will play guard for Seattle. The chart reflects that change. There will be other tweaks and distinctions as we learn more about how teams plan to use players.

A few thoughts initially based on available information:
  • RB picture: NFC West teams loaded up on running backs. That position was already evolving with Steven Jackson's departure from the St. Louis Rams and Beanie Wells' departure from the Arizona Cardinals. Spencer Ware, the running back Seattle selected from LSU in the sixth round, projects at fullback to some extent, coach Pete Carroll said.
  • WR shifts: Danny Amendola, Brandon Gibson, Early Doucet, Randy Moss and Ben Obomanu are among the veteran wide receivers to leave NFC West teams this offseason. The division added Anquan Boldin and Percy Harvin before selecting five wideouts in the draft, four in the first four rounds.
  • DT focus: Seattle drafted three players listed as defensive tackles, not counting Smith. No other team in the division drafted one. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians told reporters the team could address that position in free agency.
  • Safety numbers: Every team in the division but Seattle needed a safety. The 49ers took Eric Reid in the first round. The Rams took T.J. McDonald early in the third. The Cardinals did not take one, but they plan for early third-round choice Tyrann Mathieu to play a hybrid safety-corner role. Mathieu is listed as a cornerback.
  • Front seven: Think the 49ers wanted to help their front seven, which wore down last season and needs to develop players for the line in future seasons? San Francisco drafted three players listed as defensive ends. Tank Carradine is 275 pounds with versatility. Corey Lemonier, at 255 pounds, is more of an outside linebacker type. Quinton Dial is 318 pounds and a pure lineman.
St. Louis Rams receiver Brandon Gibson became the 13th unrestricted free agent from the NFC West to reach a contract agreement since the signing period opened Tuesday.

The Miami Dolphins announced what was thought to be a three-year agreement with Gibson, who did not figure into the Rams' plans after catching 51 passes for 691 yards and a team-leading five touchdowns last season.

The chart below lists all UFAs from NFC West teams, noting which ones reached contract agreements.

In other developments around the division:
  • Tackle update: Dolphins free-agent tackle Jake Long left Rams headquarters without a contract agreement. That leads me to think Long will most likely sign elsewhere. The Rams have other options, including the draft (they have two first-round selections, after all). Long would upgrade the line, no question, but price deserves special consideration given injury concerns. To what degree Long wants to leave Miami is another potential factor.
  • Safety market: Rams free agent safety Craig Dahl is reportedly visiting the San Francisco 49ers. The Detroit Lions re-signed safety Louis Delmas, who had visited both the Rams and 49ers. The safety market remains flooded even after former Cardinals mainstay Adrian Wilson reportedly reached an agreement with New England. Teams can afford to take their time.
  • Aldon's shoulder: Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith underwent shoulder surgery this offseason. That is counter to what Smith told Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News last month. The 49ers do not disclose information regarding surgeries. Either way, Smith was known to have played through shoulder trouble last season. He'll presumably be healthy for 2013.
  • Obomanu let go: Longtime (since 2006) Seattle receiver Ben Obomanu's Twitter account indicated the Seahawks planned to release him. The move had seemed likely even before the team acquired Percy Harvin. Obomanu was scheduled to earn $2.3 million in salary from a team that no longer needed him as much on offense or special teams. Obomanu went from playing roughly half the offensive snaps over the 2010 and 2011 seasons to playing 29.2 percent of them last season, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
  • Dumervil available: The Denver Broncos' failed attempt to renegotiate Elvis Dumervil's contract ended with the team releasing Dumervil and an explanatory statement. Dumervil's 63.5 sacks tied for seventh-most in the NFL since his 2006 rookie season even though Dumervil missed the 2010 season due to injury. There are no indications NFC West teams have serious interest in Dumervil, but his name is another to keep in mind, at least.
Every NFC West team but the Arizona Cardinals could reasonably rank a wide receiver upgrade high on its list of priorities.

The Cardinals should be set at the position with Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Roberts and Michael Floyd.

One Seattle fan I heard from through the NFC West mailbag thinks the Seahawks are better than advertised at the position. I'll use the opportunity to take a big-picture look at NFC West teams' production when targeting wide receivers last season.

"I think many fans are misled into believing that we have a weak corps by the fact that the Seahawks are more of a run-dominant team," Brandon from Bremerton, Wash., writes via the mailbag. "Showing the number of targets and the efficiency of catching those targets would be a great measure of how receiving corps are ranked."

We can do that, Brandon. First, though, a few words of warning. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson held the ball an NFL-high 3.64 seconds before passing when targeting wide receivers, according to ESPN Stats & Information. That bought time for his receivers to get open, often farther downfield. That helps explain why Wilson's passes to wideouts traveled 13.2 yards past the line of scrimmage on average, fifth-longest in the NFL.

Getting open is easier when the defense must worry about a dominant running back such as Marshawn Lynch and a dynamic scrambler such as Wilson. The way Seattle incorporated read-option wrinkles into the offense stressed defenses further.

Seattle ranked 31st in pass targets to wide receivers. That confirms what Brandon said about Seattle being a run-dominant team. But the Seahawks' wide receivers ranked eighth in percentage of targets resulting in completed passes. Seattle's wideouts ranked third in lowest percentage of dropped passes, according to the standard ESPN Stats & Information employs in-game charting. They were also sixth in yards per reception.

The first chart shows where NFC West teams' wide receivers ranked in various categories. Factors beyond the wide receivers come into play. The Cardinals ranked 32nd in expected points added on pass plays targeting wide receivers. I would blame the overall state of their offense, starting at quarterback, more than I would blame the receivers even if the wideouts didn't play as well as anticipated in some cases.

Seattle's efficiency when targeting wide receivers was good, but would it drop appreciably if the Seahawks became more of a throwing team? Or would Wilson continue to maximize the position, getting even more from his receivers as the group worked together more over time? Seattle ranked 19th through Week 7 and fifth thereafter in EPA when targeting wide receivers.

That's a run through some of the statistics. I'd say the Seahawks were better than anticipated at wide receiver. They went from hoping Terrell Owens would catch on to watching Sidney Rice and Golden Tate flourish. Each finished with seven receiving touchdowns. Again, Wilson had a great deal to do with that.

Adding another receiver through the draft would make sense, in my view.

Doug Baldwin has had some injury troubles. Rice had injury problems before last season. Ben Obomanu has been a valuable role player with special-teams ability as well, but he's scheduled to earn $2.3 million in salary for the 2013 season. It's probably time for a younger player to fill that role at lower cost. And if that younger player pushes Tate, Rice or Baldwin for playing time right away, all the better for Seattle.

Eight in the box: Biggest cap casualty

February, 22, 2013
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» NFC Eight in the Box: East | West | North | South » AFC: East | West | North | South

Welcome to Eight in the Box, an NFL Nation feature that will appear each Friday during the offseason. This week’s topic: Who will be each team’s biggest salary-cap casualty this offseason?

Arizona Cardinals: Quarterback Kevin Kolb is scheduled to earn $9 million in salary from the Cardinals in 2013. Barring a trade, which appears unlikely, Kolb will accept a reduction in salary or receive his release. The Cardinals might be best off keeping Kolb at a reduced rate. But the fact Kolb finished last season with an 8-3 ratio of touchdowns to interceptions doesn't mean he was playing at a high level for Arizona. Kolb has posted a Total QBR score of 30.6 or lower in nine of his 14 starts with the Cardinals (50 is considered average). Kolb was significantly above average in two of his 14 starts -- victories over Philadelphia and Carolina. Arizona has paid $20.5 million to Kolb over the past two years. The team isn't going to give him another $9 million in salary this year.

St. Louis Rams: Running back Steven Jackson is scheduled to earn $7 million in salary for the 2013 season. I would expect the Rams to release Jackson if Jackson declined to accept less money. It might not come to that, however. Jackson has the ability to void his contract, and that seems like the most plausible scenario. Jackson found out last season the Rams weren't interested in extending his contract. If and when he realizes the team isn't interested in paying $7 million to him for 2013, Jackson would have clear incentive to opt out. That would not make him a cap casualty in a direct sense, but the effect would be the same. Safety Quintin Mikell's $6 million salary and $9 million cap figure make him a candidate for renegotiation. Also, journeyman tackle Wayne Hunter is scheduled to earn nearly $4 million.

San Francisco 49ers: Kicker David Akers is scheduled to earn $3 million in salary for the 2013 season. It's hard to envision the 49ers paying that amount to Akers given the kicker's struggles last season. They would have to consider their options at the position even if Akers were earning less money. The relatively high salary for Akers makes this one easy to foresee. Quarterback Alex Smith also has a relatively high salary for a backup ($7.5 million), but the 49ers are looking to trade him. They do not want to release him. Jonathan Goodwin, Carlos Rogers and Parys Haralson also have high enough cap figures to invite questions of value.

Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks have more cap room than any team in the NFC West. They have a dozen players with 2013 cap figures projected at $2.9 million or higher, but none of the 12 appears to be a candidate for release even though Zach Miller ($11 million cap figure) and Sidney Rice ($9.7 million) are eating up $20 million together. Looking further down the salary scale, it's safe to assume the team won't pay $2.3 million in salary to backup receiver Ben Obomanu.
The Seattle Seahawks added defensive end Chris Clemons and kicker Steven Hauschka to their injured reserve lists this week.

Rookie Bruce Irvin, the 15th overall choice in the draft, will start in Clemons' place. Recently signed veteran Ryan Longwell will handle kicking duties for Hauschka.

Those moves led me to compile IR lists for remaining NFC playoff teams. I used the reserve lists at Ourlads.com, which updates its rosters daily.

Fantasy Watch: Receiver injuries in focus

December, 16, 2012
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Receiver injuries are affecting the NFC West on the field and on fantasy football rosters.

Let's run through what we know for Week 15:
  • Arizona Cardinals: A concussion will prevent Early Doucet from playing for Arizona against the Detroit Lions. Doucet was once the Cardinals' go-to receiver on third down. The last time Doucet missed a game, in Week 12, rookie Michael Floyd played 67.5 percent of the offensive snaps, a season high at the time. Floyd played 94.4 percent the following week, when starter Andre Roberts was out. Tight end Rob Housler is questionable for the game against Detroit. That could mean additional playing time and targets for wide receivers. The problem, of course, has been getting the ball to those receivers.
  • St. Louis Rams: Danny Amendola was listed as probable on the injury report, a strong indication he'll return from a foot injury. Amendola once played in a game this season when listed as doubtful. The Rams average 7.0 yards per pass attempt on third down with Amendola on the field. The figure is 6.1 yards per attempt on third down without him. If Amendola plays, there could be fewer short and intermediate opportunities for rookie Chris Givens, who has emerged as more than just a deep threat in recent weeks. Austin Pettis would probably see his playing time reduced with Amendola available. Brandon Gibson's playing time has held steady for the most part. He's coming off a strong game against Buffalo.
  • Seattle Seahawks: Coach Pete Carroll declared receiver Sidney Rice ready to play despite a foot injury. Rice practiced without limitation Friday. He's been much more durable this season than in the recent past. Third receiver Doug Baldwin played a season-high 71.4 percent of the snaps against Arizona last week. Rice and Golden Tate played less than in the recent past, but the lopsided nature of the game (58-0 final score) surely had something to do with that. Rice, Tate and Baldwin are clearly the top three receivers. Jermaine Kearse and the newly re-signed Deon Butler are the only other receivers on the 53-man roster. Ben Obomanu (injured reserve), Braylon Edwards (released) and Charly Martin (injured reserve) are out of the picture.
  • San Francisco 49ers: Mario Manningham has a shoulder injury and will not play against New England. That probably means additional snaps for second tight end Delanie Walker. Walker has set season highs for playing time in the two games Manningham missed previously. He was at 68.3 percent or higher in both. Walker has played 54.5 percent for the season. Randy Moss' snaps also figure to continue their recent rise. He played a season-high 50 percent against Miami last week. Rookie A.J. Jenkins played 13.8 percent, the first time he has played in a game this season. His playing time came at Ted Ginn Jr.'s expense. Ginn was at 8.6 percent against the Dolphins after playing a season-high 19.5 percent the previous week, San Francisco's first without Kyle Williams, who is on injured reserve.

Putting West's injury toll in perspective

December, 11, 2012
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Jeff Fisher's addition as head coach has surely helped the St. Louis Rams become more competitive this season. The team's current three-game winning streak is its longest since 2006.

Here is something else to consider beyond coaching: The Rams have zero established starters on their injured reserve list heading into the final three weeks of the season. That is down from as many as six at this point last season, although some of those players were on their way out for reasons related to performance.

There are three Rams players on IR at present, down from 12 following Week 14 last season.

The current injury situation in St. Louis more closely approximates 2010, when the Rams were hurting at wide receiver but healthy enough elsewhere to have a 6-7 record at this point. The current team is 6-6-1 heading into Week 15.

Many other variables beyond injuries differentiate a team from season to season, of course. But in looking at the chart, we can see why Arizona is having a hard time snapping what is now a nine-game losing streak.

The Cardinals have been the most injured team in the NFC West this season and it's not close. Their most significant injury, to quarterback Kevin Kolb, doesn't even show up in the chart. Kolb has not played since Week 6. The team has continued to carry him on its active roster in case he can return.

The numbers next to players' names in the chart show how many estimated starts each will have missed by season's end. I assumed Arizona's Ryan Williams would have started at running back until Beanie Wells' return. I also assumed Rams rookie Rokevious Watkins would have started at left guard if available for the final 15 games. That might be overestimating his role, but the situation appeared dire early in the season.

Where Seahawks' pass game hits groove

December, 8, 2012
12/08/12
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Our Friday look at the St. Louis Rams' deep passing game required sorting quarterback production by how far passes traveled past the line of scrimmage.

The Rams' Sam Bradford was more effective than most on passes traveling more than 35 yards past the line, for example.

In filtering passes by distance, I noticed a sweet spot for Seattle's Russell Wilson between 16 and 25 yards downfield.

Wilson leads the NFL in passer rating and Total QBR on passes traveling that distance. He attempted only one of them against Arizona in Week 1, completing it for a 27-yard gain while going into two-minute mode shortly before halftime. The Seahawks were conservative in their handling of the rookie quarterback in that game. They're giving him more of the playbook heading into a Week 14 rematch with Arizona.

Arizona's defense ranks second in passer rating allowed and fourth in QBR allowed. The team Wilson dissected last week, Chicago, ranks higher in both. And as the chart shows, the Cardinals' defense has had problems defending passes thrown in the 16-25 range where Wilson has flourished. Arizona has allowed pass plays of 25-plus yards on these throws to Tom Crabtree, Roddy White, Lance Kendricks, Wes Welker, Brent Celek, James Jones, Zach Miller, Harry Douglas and Vernon Davis.

Sidney Rice leads the Seahawks with 10 receptions for 222 yards and a touchdown on these throws. Miller has seven catches for 165 yards on them, followed by Golden Tate with three for 93 yards, Doug Baldwin with three for 62 yards, Ben Obomanu with two for 52 yards and Anthony McCoy with two for 42.

Rice had four catches for 36 yards and a touchdown against Arizona in Week 1.

Fantasy Watch: Wide receivers in Week 8

November, 4, 2012
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Our latest look at playing time in the NFC West, with an eye toward fantasy football and concluding with wide receivers:

The Seattle Seahawks have upgraded much of their roster over the past three seasons.

Wide receiver is a position still needing some attention.

That was the takeaway Sunday when the Seahawks scratched veteran Braylon Edwards from the lineup and it mattered. Edwards, named inactive with a swollen knee, had been getting additional reps in recent weeks. He even caught a touchdown pass against New England two weeks ago. But durability has been an issue for him over the past two seasons.

Edwards, 29, was expected to continue getting additional reps while Doug Baldwin misses time with a high-ankle sprain.

With Edwards and Baldwin out, Charly Martin figures to get more extensive work against Detroit on Sunday.

Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Ben Obomanu and Martin are the four receivers active against the Lions. None has caught more than 37 passes in a season since 2010.

Rice leads the team with 22 receptions for 312 yards and two touchdowns. Tate, Obomanu and Martin have combined for 19 receptions.

Two of the veteran receivers Seattle released before the season, Terrell Owens and Mike Williams, have not signed elsewhere.

Fantasy Watch: Playing time in Week 7

October, 22, 2012
10/22/12
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Our latest look at playing time in the NFC West, with an eye toward fantasy football:

Wide receivers are the focus this time.


Every team but San Francisco had more than four of them active in Week 7.
  • Arizona Cardinals: Fitzgerald was targeted six times, all from the Cardinals' three-receiver offense. Andre Roberts, Early Doucet and tight end Rob Housler each had four targets from that personnel. Roberts and Doucet got all five wide receiver targets from the four-receiver offense.
  • San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers emphasized the run in this game. Seattle took away deeper throws. That explains why running back Frank Gore led the team in receiving yards with 45 this week. Twelve of Alex Smith's 14 completed passes traveled no more than five yards past the line of scrimmage.
  • St. Louis Rams: Quarterback Sam Bradford spread the ball pretty evenly to his various targets. He targeted six players on third down, none more than twice. Steven Jackson and Austin Pettis saw their third-down targets increase in Week 6, the Rams' first game without Danny Amendola. Lance Kendricks and Brandon Gibson went from zero last week to two apiece this week. No pattern there yet.
  • Seattle Seahawks: Doug Baldwin's injury left additional snaps for the other receivers. Braylon Edwards has five targets over the past two games after getting one over the previous four. That includes two of the team's four red zone targets over the past two weeks. That could be something to watch given that Edwards did catch a touchdown pass against New England.


All for now. About to board a plane from St. Louis to Seattle. Catch you in a bit.

2012 Seahawks offensive snaps: Weeks 1-5

October, 14, 2012
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A periodic look at which players are playing and when, concluding with the Seattle Seahawks' offense:

NFC West Stock Watch

October, 9, 2012
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FALLING

1. Cardinals' ground game. The Cardinals were already averaging a league-low 2.7 yards per rushing attempt, a figure that drops to 2.5 without rushes from quarterbacks, wide receivers and other non-running backs. Subtracting Ryan Williams from the offense less than two weeks after Beanie Wells also went on injured reserve leaves the Cardinals without appealing alternatives. Wells can return Nov. 25. Williams is done for the season.

2. Kevin Kolb, Cardinals QB. The nine sacks Kolb took against St. Louis gave him 17 over a two-game period. Kolb also missed open targets for potential big plays. The Cardinals have games against Jared Allen, Aldon Smith and Clay Matthews over the next four weeks.

3. Breno Giacomini, Seahawks RT. Giacomini doesn't just step over the line separating edgy play from rules violations. He climbs onto the top rope and drops the elbow on it. Or at least he has done so frequently enough in the past for officials to put him under surveillance. The added heat probably contributed to a 15-yard roughness penalty against Giacomini following an 11-yard run by Ben Obomanu. Earlier, a holding call against Giacomini wiped out a 56-yard pass from Russell Wilson to Golden Tate. Coach Pete Carroll benched Giacomini briefly.

4. Randy Moss, 49ers WR. Three wide receivers caught touchdown passes for the 49ers. Moss was not one of them. He accounted for only 11 of the team's franchise-record 621 yards. That is less than 1.8 percent. You can be sure the 49ers' scheming staff will find a way for Moss to put up big numbers in one of these games. There's no need to force the issue as long as the team is winning and producing on offense. In the meantime, Moss has yet to reach 100 yards receiving for the season, let alone in one game. As weapons go, he's a vintage rifle mounted on the wall -- for display, mostly, and to be used only on special occasions.

RISING

1. 49ers' offense. Setting a single-game franchise record with 621 yards -- 311 rushing, 310 passing -- generated enough credit to go around. Offensive linemen Joe Staley, Mike Iupati, Jonathan Goodwin, Alex Boone and Anthony Davis deserve quite a bit of it. They dominated, obviously. Quarterback Alex Smith combined with running back Frank Gore, receiver Michael Crabtree and tight end Vernon Davis to give the 49ers a 300-yard passer, 100-yard rusher and two 100-yard receivers for the first time since 1961. Smith took no sacks and had 49 yards rushing. The 49ers averaged 9.9 yards per play. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman can list this game high on his résumé when teams seeking head coaches contact him in the offseason.

2. Robert Quinn, Rams DE. The second-year defensive end collected three of the Rams' nine sacks. And as former NFL assistant Rick Venturi noted in his defensive film review, Quinn did a much better job setting the edge against the run. That had been a problem for him. It's an area to watch as Quinn steps up in class against Miami Dolphins left tackle Jake Long in Week 6. Quinn already has six sacks this season, exceeding by one his total from last season.

3. Seattle rookie defenders. Defensive end Bruce Irvin and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, the first two players Seattle drafted in 2012, played leading roles in the team's 16-12 victory at Carolina. Irvin had two sacks, including one that forced a late turnover, allowing Seattle to run out the clock. Wagner's speed allowed him to track down Cam Newton for a 4-yard loss. Wagner is proving to be a big upgrade at middle linebacker. He joined second-year player K.J. Wright as an every-down linebacker in this game, replacing veteran Leroy Hill in the nickel defense.

4. Chris Givens, Rams WR. The rookie fourth-round choice has four receptions for 112 yards and a touchdown this season. He had a 52-yard reception against Seattle's Richard Sherman in Week 4 and a 51-yard touchdown catch against Arizona's Greg Toler in Week 5.

Fantasy Watch: Playing time in Week 5

October, 8, 2012
10/08/12
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Our weekly look at playing time in the NFC West, slanted toward fantasy football:

  • Arizona Cardinals: The pecking order at wide receiver remains firmly established with Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Roberts playing just about all the offensive snaps. Early Doucet played two-thirds of the snaps as the third wideout. Rookie Michael Floyd played 40 percent. Injuries at running back and tight end contributed to increased snaps for Floyd, as did game circumstances (Arizona trailed). Second-year tight end Rob Housler made a positive impact as a receiver for the second week in a row, showing he deserves continued playing time even when veteran Todd Heap returns from a knee injury.
  • St. Louis Rams: The situation at receiver remains in flux after the Rams lost top wideout Danny Amendola for an estimated six weeks. Austin Pettis saw additional snaps (32 percent) against Arizona, but veteran Steve Smith, who was inactive for the game, could factor as well. Rookie fourth-round choice Chris Givens justified his playing time (84 percent) with another 50-plus yard reception. He played more than Brandon Gibson (62 percent) and appears on the rise. Rookie second-round wideout Brian Quick played 12 snaps (21 percent). The split at running back worked out to 64 percent for Steven Jackson and 36 percent for Daryl Richardson. Jackson played 67 percent of the snaps last season, missing one game to injury.
  • San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers' blowout victory gave them an opportunity to get more players involved. Mario Manningham led the 49ers' receivers with 32 snaps (48 percent). Michael Crabtree, who generally plays the most among San Francisco wideouts, played 43 percent. Kyle Williams was at 30 percent and Randy Moss played 27 percent. Second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick played 19 snaps, a season high. The team continues to work him into the regular offense as a Wildcat-type player. Kaepernick got a chance to finish this game after starter Alex Smith helped build the big lead.
  • Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks played with two backs or two tight ends a significant portion of the time. Fullback Michael Robinson played nearly half the offensive snaps. Second tight end Anthony McCoy played 42 percent. That left fewer snaps for the team's various wide receivers. Sidney Rice played 45 snaps (69 percent). Golden Tate played 63 percent, followed by Ben Obomanu (34 percent), Doug Baldwin (25 percent) and Braylon Edwards (15 percent). Seattle got its skill players more involved in the passing game. Tight end Zach Miller (91 percent) made a key reception over the middle. Rice, Tate and Baldwin contributed.

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