Seahawks running backs are three times worse than the Browns?
By Lee Vowell
The Seahawks used to have one of the best backfields in the NFL. According to ESPN, though, Seattle’s running back group is nowhere near as good as Cleveland’s.
The Seahawks made it to back-to-back Super Bowls just four years ago with a heavy offensive rushing attack. Behind Marshawn Lynch, Seattle finished in the top five running teams in the league between 2012 and 2015. In 2014, the Seahawks finished first in rushing by 25 yards per game.
But last year Seattle was league-worst with only 994 yards rushing by running backs. Take away Russell Wilson and Seattle basically had a non-existent rushing attack. And ESPN thinks that Seattle won’t be much better in 2018.
ESPN ranked the NFL running back groups for 2018 and the Seahawks were number 22. In comparison, ESPN thinks the Cleveland Browns have the eighth best running back room in the league. Sure, Cleveland drafted Nick Chubb and signed Carlos Hyde, but are they really that much better than Seattle?
ESPN says that Cleveland will run for 1,424 yards and 11 touchdowns. Seattle, however, will gain 1,396 yards but just 9 touchdowns. ESPN will be wrong. Why? Because Seattle is going to run the ball a lot. Plus, the team gets back a healthy Chris Carson. Carson, of course, was off to a pretty decent start before his injury in week four of last season. And Rashaad Penny, who was more productive in college than Chubb was, should carry a large load for the Seahawks too.
Seattle’s run blocking should be better as well. New offensive line coach Mike Solari brings a much more straight ahead zone scheme than former coach Tom Cable had. And Solari’s system should work better with the players Seattle currently has.
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Why am I picking on Cleveland? Because they have won one game in two seasons. The Browns should be better overall. But their running back room is not better than Seattle’s. I expect Penny and Carson to rush for more than 1,600 yards and help get Seattle back to the playoffs.