The Seahawks are a deeper team than they were a year ago, especially on defense.
Safety Bradley McDougald has shown that pretty clearly.
So has Frank Clark. And Quinton Jefferson. All are currently filling larger roles than initially projected when the season began.
Seattle has been fortunate as well. Fortunate to find Byron Maxwell still looking for work when Richard Sherman suffered a season-ending injury to his Achilles tendon.
“When you lose a guy the stature of Sherm, how do you replace that?” coach Pete Carroll asked on Monday. “Well, this was the guy who was his sidekick for a few years back then, and so it’s really been a nice addition for us.”
Maxwell started Sunday’s game against Philadelphia, getting the nod ahead of Jeremy Lane as rookie Shaquill Griffin returned to the field.
Maxwell intercepted a pass from Carson Wentz in the fourth quarter. He was also the man in coverage on Wentz’s 27-yard touchdown pass to Nelson Agholor that accounted for Philadelphia’s only touchdown, but he has been way more effective than the Seahawks had any right to expect.
In fact, Maxwell has looked better back in Seattle than he did at any point with either Philadelphia or Miami, the two teams he played for after leaving the Seahawks as an unrestricted free agent. That’s not what you would call a coincidence. Maxwell has immediately benefited from being back in Seattle’s system.
“He has gone right back technique wise,” Carroll said, “and jumped back into the style of play and he is showing really good consistency.”