Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll wants a potent rushing attack to be one his teams’ primary attributes. The reality is Seattle has been far from potent on the ground over the last two seasons.
However, the ineptitude from the Seahawks’ ground game this season was staggering.
“There were issues during the season,” Carroll said on Tuesday. “The big one I’d like to address for you is we have a real formula for how we win. We’ve been unable to incorporate a major aspect of that – running the football the way we want. There are tremendous examples of teams around the league that have turned their fortunes around with a formula that should sound familiar to you: Teams running the football, playing good defense and doing the kicking game thing. That’s the formula that has proven historically the best in this game.”
Seattle ranked 23rd in total rush offense this season with 1,629 yards on the year. However, Russell Wilson was the team’s leading rusher with 586 rushing yards and three of the team’s four rushing touchdowns. J.D. McKissic‘s 30-yard touchdown run against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 4 was Seattle’s only rushing touchdown by a running back all season.
Mike Davis led all running backs with 240 yards rushing on 68 carries. That’s the least amount of rushing yards by a leading running back in team history outside of Sherman Smith’s 202 yards in a strike-shortened 1982 season.
Davis, McKissic, Chris Carson, Eddie Lacy, Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise combined to get 301 carries for 994 yards on the season. That’s an average of 3.3 yards per carry for the year, which would be the worst output of any team in the league. Seattle also had 15.6 percent of all carries on the year go for negative yardage.
The issues were exacerbated as the Seahawks neared their opponent’s goal line.
The Seahawks had 43 rushes for a total of 46 yards with two touchdowns inside an opponent’s 20-yard line this season. Seattle’s running backs had just 17 yards on 34 carries with no touchdowns and one converted first down inside the 20.
Inside the 10-yard line, the Seahawks had a total of 23 carries for zero yards and two 1-yard Wilson touchdown runs.
“That’s terrible, yeah,” Carroll said. “It just shows you if you can’t run it with authority it’s just going to show up down there and that was really indicative unfortunately. And you know I won’t tell you that we really made a concentrated effort to go back and recapture that this year and we were on it and ready to go and it just didn’t come together for us for all of the reasons.”
Carroll is optimistic about Carson’s potential moving forward, though he returning from a serious ankle injury. He also mentioned Prosise, Davis and McKissic among options they feel comfortable with, notably leaving Rawls and Lacy out of his comments. Getting the run blocking to improve is also going to be a priority.
The Seahawks have not been able to play football in the style they’d prefer due to their running game inefficiency. Carroll wants to see the team get back to their offensive identity next season.