The Seahawks have been running scared without Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde.
They ran the ball 30 times for 200 yards in the overtime loss at Arizona in Week 7, with running backs getting it 23 times for 112 yards. But Carson and Hyde were both injured (again) in that game and have not played in the three games since, during which Seattle has run the ball just 48 times (16 per game) for 153 yards (51 per game).
Russell Wilson has been pressing, and it has led to seven turnovers in losses at Buffalo and Los Angeles. The Hawks ran it well enough in both of those games – 52 yards on 15 carries in Buffalo, 51 yards on 13 runs in L.A. – to keep mixing the backs in. But Brian Schottenheimer chose to let Wilson decide the game – and his turnovers certainly did.
Schottenheimer tried misdirection a number of times against the Rams, but his efforts to help that way failed because Wilson lost focus as the game progressed. Schotty needs to help Wilson reset by running the ball more.
Pete Carroll agrees: “We need that as part of our offense; we need to do it more than we did yesterday. … We’ve gotta make sure we stay balanced, we’ve gotta keep our game together.”
Alex Collins, the once and future Seahawk, ran hard and strong against the Rams. He gained 43 yards on 11 carries and scored on a nifty 13-yard run in the first quarter. He should have had more chances (Carroll agrees).
Wilson also needs to pull it and run more – not as an escape but as an attack. He did that the first time against Arizona, gaining 84 yards on six runs. He needs to do that again Thursday in the rematch in Seattle.
The Hawks just have to stop running scared.