Seahawks vs Cowboys: 5 battles to watch

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The Running Back Battle

Firstly and most importantly, Thomas Rawls should be back and playing – in week one against the Dolphins. Very recently Coach Carroll said of Rawls: “Thomas looks really good. He looks great and I have no hesitation to tell you he’s going to play in the opener. I have no hesitation in saying that. We’ll see what happens in the next week. He won’t play in this game”.

Christine Michael back in the 2013 preseason.
Aug 23, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Christine Michael (33) rushes for a touchdown during the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Seattle won 17-10. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

After Christine Michael’s impressive performances in the first two games – which on the ground were 7 carries for 44 yards against the Chiefs and 10 carries for 55 yards against the Vikings – the description everyone is using of Michael is that he has “matured”.

Immediately noticeable is C-Mike’s new usage of “Michael Sr” on his jersey as his son, Christine Michael Jr, was born in May. Many Seahawks have stated that providing for their family gives them an additional perspective on the game, maybe C-Mike has that too.

The two main running backs are set, Carroll has referred to them as a “one-two punch”, and Tukuafu has no healthy competition at fullback. Therefore this game will give an indication of the main competitors for the remaining two spots.

Almost certain to take the fourth spot is designated third down back and replacement for Fred Jackscon, C.J. Prosise. Prosise has seen limited action due to a hamstring injury incurred on July 30th, meaning he hasn’t been seen during the first two preseason games, and missed most of training camp too.

As per my comment way back in June I’m excited about what C.J. is capable of. I want to see if Prosise can stay in and pass block. This is especially important for a designated third down back, especially as Jimmy Graham will be out running routes. More exciting than pass blocking, especially to those of you who remember Percy Harvin, will we see C.J. Prosise run the jet sweep?

Kansas City Chiefs inside linebacker Ramik Wilson (53) defends against Seattle Seahawks running back Alex Collins (36)
Aug 13, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs inside linebacker Ramik Wilson (53) defends against Seattle Seahawks running back Alex Collins (36) in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Seattle won the game 17-16. Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports /

Alex Collins has been impressive in camp, but disappointing in both pass blocking and short yardage in games. Before the game against the Vikings coach Carroll said the team would take a “good look” at him. While his place is probably not in jeopardy I’d like to see my preseason excitement over him rekindled.

Zac Brooks has similarly disappointed, and may be in more danger from the ascending Troymaine Pope. Pope has impressed, with 86 yards on only 10 carries against the Vikings, and that came after the winning two point conversion against the Chiefs. Pope is an undrafted free agent, and after a failed try-out with the Chiefs was lining up a job in a car factory before the Seahawks called.

Although Pope’s performance was against third string players I’m currently favouring him over Brooks, with Brooks and George Farmer both being good enough to call for a spot on the practice squad. Which player gets the fifth RB spot on the roster may be decided by Special Teams performance, which will also be the main consideration for the next battle to watch:

Next: Wide receivers