Let Russ Cook apparently is going on the backburner after nine games with less-than-desirable results offensively and a first-round playoff exit.
“We have to run the ball better, not even better, we have to run it more,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said, via Curtis Crabtree of Sports Radio KJR and PFT. “We have to dictate what’s going on with the people that we’re playing, and that’s one of the ways to do that.”
After seven games, the Seahawks ranked third in total offense and third in passing offense. Russell Wilson was the MVP favorite, ranking first in touchdowns, first in passer rating and sixth in passing yards.
The Seahawks finished the season 17th in total offense, including 16th in passing. In the final 10 games, including Saturday’s loss, Wilson averaged 223.5 passing yards per game and threw 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
He will go yet another season without an MVP vote.
The Seahawks called passing plays on around 63 percent of their offensive plays in the second half of the season, per Crabtree, even as they struggled against Cover-2 looks.
“I want to see if we can run the ball more effectively to focus the play of the opponents and see if we can force them to do things like we’d like them to do more, like we have been able to do that in the past,” Carroll said. “That doesn’t mean we’re going to run the ball 50 times a game. It means we need to run the ball with direction and focus and style that allows us to dictate the game.
“I mean I just, frankly, I’d like to not play against two-deep looks all season long next year. And so we have to be able to get that done. It’s not just the running game. It is the style of passes that will help us some, but we have to get after it a little bit differently. As it unfolded in the end of the season, it became really obvious. In the last four or five games, it became really obvious.”
Wilson had only one game over 260 yards passing in the final nine games. He was sacked 33 times in the final 10 games, including five against the Rams in the wild-card game.
The Rams, the league’s top defense, held the Seahawks to a season-low 278 yards and Wilson went only 11-of-27 for 174 yards with two touchdowns and a pick-six.