5) How Will the Young Backfield Develop?
Marshawn Lynch is long gone. He was tough and reliable in the Seahawks offense and a good security blanket for Wilson. Since his departure after the 2015 season, Seattle has used a running back by committee (also known as What’s his name?, Who’s that?, and The other guy) in a futile attempt to replace Lynch’s productivity.
Now, the offense relies on second-year running back Chris Carson, and 2018 first rounder (27th overall) Rashad Penny to carry the load. Carson played just five games in 2017 but did average 4.2 yards-per-carry (YPC). The Seahawks have seemed to find a diamond in the rough out of the 7th round in 2017.
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The Seahawks ranked 25th and 22nd in rushing in 2016 and 2017 respectively. New offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has been brought in to try to re-establish a meaningful rushing attack in 2018.
Penny was drafted with the hope that he would be a three-down player for the Seahawks. An improved offensive line and the addition of Schottenheimer should help create a far more consistent ground game. The Seahawks will need run the ball much better than in the previous Lynch-less seasons to compete in the NFC West.
The season begins Sunday in Denver. The Broncos rushing defense allowed 4.1 YPC in 2017. Look for the Seahawks to open with a plan to establish the run, using early and often.
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