Seahawks need Chris Carson to be Beast Mode-esque versus 49ers

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 17: Running back Chris Carson (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 17: Running back Chris Carson (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /

The 49ers are great against the pass. Maybe the Seahawks will run too much on Monday night, but if they do Chris Carson needs to be great.

Seahawks offensive coordinator is having a good season calling plays. He usually does not get much credit and sometimes criticism of his game plan is right and good. Take Seattle’s loss to the Cowboys in the playoffs last year when Schottenheimer came into the game with a too-conservative game plan and then failed to adjust until late in the game.

All that said, my fear is that Schottenheimer will decide Seattle needs to run the ball a lot during the opening part of week 10 against the 49ers. Versus the Buccaneers in week 9, the Seahawks threw often and early and while they didn’t score a lot of points early, they set the tone for a game that eventually ended with a victory. Schottenheimer cannot be afraid to throw against San Francisco too.

But likely Chris Carson will get the ball a bunch. Carson is currently sixth in the league in yards rushing with 764. He averages 4.4 yards a carry. Against a Tampa Bay team that had been really good against the run prior to week 9, Carson ran for 105 yards on 16 carries including a 59 yard run. He is good and at times is great.

But Seattle cannot become predictable. I wouldn’t be surprised if Seattle came out and had two straight up the middle carries from Carson on the Seahawks first drive. These would probably gain a combined 3 yards. San Francisco is going to key on Carson because everyone knows what Schottenheimer’s game plan likely will be: A lot of Carson.

But Carson is also capable of winning Monday night’s game for Seattle. He has the ability against San Francisco’s 22nd ranked run defense in terms of yards given up per carry. Teams gain an average of 4.7 yards every time they run the ball against the 49ers. The problem for most teams is that they usually have to stop running the ball versus San Francisco because they fall behind early.

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The Seahawks will probably try to ugly up this game, which means a lot of conservative play calls. What they they should do is play-action a bunch early and use Carson late. Let Carson bully for yards against a tiring 49ers defense. But the better probability lies with Carson getting a lot of handoffs in the first and second quarter. He can win this game if he gets just enough blocking. (Now let’s just hope he doesn’t fumble five times.)