Chris Carson has been instrumental in the resurgence of the Seahawks running game. But if he doesn’t stop fumbling, he could be the second option.
Chris Carson has been a hero for the Seahawks since he stepped onto the practice field. His bruising style and his sheer determination have garnered him millions of fans. Unfortunately, there’s another aspect to his game that will start to cost him some of those same fans. In today’s game at Pittsburgh, he saw Rashaad Penny take a larger share of the load than ever before. If he doesn’t secure the ball better, he may wind up being the second option in Seattle.
Carson had another solid day, this time going against the Steelers. Pittsburgh throttled the Patriots Sony Michel last week, holding him to just 14 yards on 15 carries. The Steelers defense was in the top ten versus the run in 2018 as well, so this was a tough assignment for Carson. Despite that, he played well with 61 yards on 15 carries. He added 27 yards on three catches, hauling in every target. He’s definitely on pace to get those 50 catches after all.
We’ve said before that Carson could one day rank among the Seahawks very best running backs. Unfortunately, he’s also on pace for a record he doesn’t want. Curt Warner was a nightmare for the opposition, but he also has the career record for a Seattle ball-carrier for the most fumbles with 36. That can happen when you carry the ball 10 million times (actually 1,649 for Seattle). That gives Warner a career average of one fumble for every 46 carries. Warner was a fantastic player, but that stat isn’t. As a point of reference, Shaun Alexander fumbled once ever 70 carries. Larry Csonka was renowned for his bruising contact and sure hands, and yet he fumbled just once every 90 carries.
Chris Carson is closing in on Warner in this stat, and that is not a good thing. After he fumbled twice versus the Steelers, he now has six fumbles in his career. The stat line now shows the second fumble is on Russell Wilson, but we all know who blew it. Carson himself took the blame. That’s six in 326 carries, or once every 54 touches. I wouldn’t be so concerned if it weren’t for the fact he’d only fumbled three times coming into the 2019 season. Through last year, Carson only fumbled once every 99 carries. He has to clean that up, and fast.
I’ll give him credit for a huge first down one fourth-and-one to lock down the game against the Steelers today. But I have to give him the blame for fumbling at the Seahawks seven-yard line that allowed the Steelers to close within two points. In some cases, the fumbles are part of his extreme effort. But there simply are no excuses for poor ball security. He has to stop this trend, and stop it now.
Then again, Walter Payton fumbled once every 45 carries. Maybe I’m just a bit too concerned. It speaks volumes that with the game on the line, Pete Carroll trusted one man to get the hard yards on fourth and one. Chris Carson got the yardage and kept the ball for the Seahawks. We’d like to see a little more of that please, Mr. Carson. A lot more, actually.