The Seahawks appear ready to move forward with two running backs–Thomas Rawls and Eddie Lacy–but they can’t stay in a timeshare forever, right?
The Seahawks of the vintage Pete Carroll era have always been a run-first team. After General Manager John Schneider traded for Marshawn Lynch in 2010, Seattle had its every-down back. Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell rode Beastmode to great success.
Even when the offense struggled, at least the Seahawks had a running back they could rely on. This season is the second season in a row in which Carroll and Bevell have been struggling to replace Lynch’s production.
Last year, injuries and inconsistency plagued all Seahawks running backs, including Thomas Rawls, who broke his leg.
Early this season, the running attack hasn’t been there for Seattle. After five games, Seattle ranks 15th in the league in total rushing yards, with each carry by a Seahawks’ runner gaining four yards on average.
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Strictly mediocre rushing numbers mean that sometimes Seattle will be able to shut down games in the fourth quarter with the running game, and sometimes they won’t.
When rookie Chris Carson emerged to be the leader of the rushing attack for the Seahawks, I, and probably Bevell and Carroll, too, thought we had an every-down running back again. Lynch is irreplaceable, but it appeared that finally, after a season of frustration and uncertainty, Lynch’s role in the offense had been filled.
Then Carson injured his knee, and the Seahawks turned to a pair of backs with health questions. Both Eddie Lacy and Rawls escaped L.A. without injury, but neither impressed last week against the Rams. Carroll and Bevell are no-doubt waiting for one to pull away from the other and take the full-time running back role for themselves.
The Seahawks are more effective with a single-back system. While it’s nice to have a change-of-pace back to spell the starter, and good receiving backs like C.J. Prosise and J.D. McKissic are all the rage as well, Seattle has to be waiting for their next feature back to emerge. Whoever he is, we’re all waiting anxiously for him to step up.