Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Rookie tight end John Carlson leads the Seahawks in receptions this season.
One more reception will give Carlson the single-season franchise record for receptions by a tight end, set by Itula Mili (46 in 2003).
I was surprised to see Carlson come off the field six times in nine plays of third-and-2 or longer against the Patriots.
The chart shows the Seahawks' third-down plays. The top three were third-and-1 plays. Plays shaded yellow represent plays without a tight end on the field. The Seahawks converted two of these six opportunities. They converted 1 of 2 remaining plays of third-and-2 or longer, including when Seneca Wallace found Carlson for a 7-yard gain on third-and-3.
I had charted 83 Seattle plays of third-and-2 or longer this season. The Seahawks had used a tight end on 64 of those plays. They had used their "E" personnel group -- two running backs and three wide receivers -- five times in those plays. They used it four times on third down against the Patriots, converting one time.
The Seahawks' full personnel-use report, expanded to include more situational breakdowns, is available for download. Seattle ran three times for zero yards from its familiar I-formation looks. The team averaged 5.8 yards per carry on 10 rushes with one running back, three receivers and one tight end. Forcing a defense to account for Carlson would seem to help.