There’s no catchy nickname, or national accolades, no pro-bowls, all-pros or television commercials, and weekly trumpeting by the league or the networks. What there is, however, is production, and lots of it! Carson seldom loses ground and is perpetually moving forward.
He is surprisingly difficult to tackle, seldom being brought down by the first hit. Physically, Carson has amazing balance and feet. Instinctively, he knows when to be patient, how to set up his blockers, and when to lower his shoulder to get what he can.
Against Dallas, he carried Seattle to victory on his back, literally. 30 carries isn’t a common number in today’s NFL. Seattle did with him the same as they had done in the past with Lynch. The Seahawks didn’t hide their intentions to do so, either.
They pounded the ball down the Cowboys’ throats and kept it up for a full four quarters. One back, Carson, handled the bulk of the load against loaded eight-man boxes for the majority of the second half. Dallas knew it was coming and couldn’t stop it. Carson gained positive yardage, carry-after-carry.
Chris Carson currently sits just outside the top ten in rushing (12th), despite having fewer carries than the running backs ahead of him and despite him being mostly ignored for a game. He had fewer touches than Rashaad Penny in a close game at Denver, even though he averaged over seven yards-per-carry (YPC).
Carson missed the week four foray into the desert against Arizona. In essence, he’s 12th in the league, despite only getting true “number one back” touches in only three games. Imagine where his numbers would be, had the recent dedication to giving him the ball had been there since week one?
Typically, a true bell-cow back is an every-down player. Seattle head coach Peter Carroll isn’t keen on that philosophy (he even inserted a third-down back for Lynch at his most Beastliness). He prefers to use a stable of “unique” skill backs and has been rewarded for doing so.
There’s no reason to think Carson couldn’t handle third-down responsibilities in addition to his current workload. Four yards a pop is a good benchmark for backs to be considered as in this class, Carson carries a healthy four-and-a-half, this season. His career 4.4 YPC, is better than Lynch’s 4.3.