In the Seahawks’ 24-27 loss in Denver on Sunday, both Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny each had 7 carries. What they did with their carries is the difference.
Seahawks running back Chris Carson was clearly the better running back on Sunday. This even though both he and Rashaad Penny had the same amount of carries. Penny had one more catch than Carson did, actually giving him a higher number of total touches in the ball game. From what all of us saw on Sunday, that needs to change.
- Chris Carson: 7 carries, 51 yards; 7.3 yard average.
- Rashaad Penny: 7 carries, 8 yards; 1.1 yard average.
When Penny had the ball in open field, he couldn’t make anybody miss. He went down on first contact on almost every single one of his touches, which is not indicative of why Seattle took him in the first round. Carson, on the other hand, was making everybody miss, including hurdling over a Bronco defender at one point en route to taking off for 24 yards.
I do understand the reasoning behind getting Penny a good number of carries, seeing how it was his first real NFL game. However, holding back a talent like Carson just to develop Penny is not something Seattle can afford to do right now. Getting the run game going was a point Pete Carroll emphasized several times over the off-season, and was thought to be the main point of the Seattle offense. Instead, Russell Wilson seemed to be the focal point again on Sunday.
Wilson attempted 33 passes, and dropped back over 40 times. To put that into perspective, Carson only had one more carry than the times Wilson was sacked. Although Carson did fumble the ball away once, Wilson ended up throwing two interceptions of his own in what was not a good game from Wilson.
The offense is clearly at its best when Carson carries the ball in high volume. Penny may be a play-maker down the road. But for now, Carson is the man who should be the workhorse for the offense. Giving Penny a year to become accustom to an NFL offense as a backup, and still receive a few touches a game could be beneficial to Penny and the Seahawks.
The fact of the matter is if the Seahawks want to win football games, putting the ball in Carson’s hands seems like a pretty good way to do it. Hopefully, we will see Carson get more than seven carries Monday night in Chicago.