The Seattle Seahawks have had a strong season so far, getting off to a 5-2 record, with Russell Wilson putting up video game numbers in multiple games this year. Their defense has had a couple hiccups but has been stable overall. Despite multiple players on injured reserve they’ve been able to get past those restrictions and really shine as a team. There has only been one major flaw in the Seahawks game, it’s their running backs. Seattle will absolutely need one of their running backs to step up and take control of the main back duties if they hope to make a deep playoff run again.
How do you run the ball?
Seattle has run for a mere 683 yards through seven games, averaging 3.7 yards per carry, good for 6th worst in the NFL. All while also scoring only two touchdowns as a team. Seattle looked like they were sitting pretty to begin the season, having signed former Packers running back Eddie Lacy, and seen rookie 7th round pick Chris Carson surprise everyone in training camp and the preseason. They joined CJ Prosise and Thomas Rawls who were both capable backs for Seattle already. Unfortunately, all of them have either under-performed or are currently injured. Seattle will need to review their options to fix their ground game.
Meet the contestants
Seattle may attempt to solve their running issues by choosing one of their backs and stick to them, most running backs get a boost from consistent rushing attempts, and while this isn’t true for all running backs it’s typically seen as the cure for backs who have periods of decrease in ability. Thomas Rawls is probably the back Seattle would most like to ride to the playoffs as he averaged 5.6 yards per carry just two years ago. But injuries have dealt a major blow to Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll’s confidence in the 24-year-old. He’s appeared in just 27 games over his three-year career. But when Rawls was used as Seattle’s main back he shined, and he’s only coughed up two fumbles in his career.
The other suitable running back may actually be Eddie Lacy. Lacy was signed over the summer by Seattle in an attempt to find a diamond in the rough. They obviously knew what he was capable of, as they knew that he was a former two-time 1,100-yard rusher, and dominant bruiser back in his college days at Alabama. Weight issues and injuries were his downfall in Green Bay, and when he signed with Seattle he was offered an incentive to drop his weight, in return he could receive up to $385,000 in bonuses. Though despite all the hopes that Seattle had found their bell-cow, Lacy has also massively under-performed in most of the five games he’s played in this season.
The time is now
Maybe Seattle finds comfort with Russell Wilson carrying the ball. He is a world-class athlete and is 2nd on the team in rushing yards and leads them with a crisp 5.4 yards per carry. But Wilson shouldn’t be who the Seahawks rely on to carry the load. One has to assume that eventually the passing lanes that have been there won’t be anymore and they’ll have to have some semblance of a running attack, but if Wilson is going to be their only effective back, then there isn’t much of a chance at an appearance in Super Bowl LII in Minnesota in February.
Seattle has Washington at home in Week 9, then travels to Arizona to face the Cardinals, comes back home to battle the Atlanta Falcons, and travels to San Francisco to face the 49ers newest QB Jimmy Garoppolo. These next four games will be key for Seattle’s running attack to get going, as none of them have top ten run defenses. Whether they decide to run with Rawls, Lacy, or stick to their current committee of backs, Seattle will need to get some sort of consistency out of their running game if they plan on making a real shot at the big game.
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