Seahawks MVP for game 14: Chris Carson is the Juggernaut

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 15: Chris Carson #32 of the Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 15: Chris Carson #32 of the Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

The Seahawks badly needed a win today in Carolina to reassert themselves in the playoff chase. They won, largely because Chris Carson is a very bad man.

The Seahawks needed to beat the Panthers today. Yeah, I know they’d still have a wild-card spot with a loss. In that sense, a win over Carolina wasn’t absolutely critical. But when you consider that Seattle played their worst game of the season last week, this was a must-win contest. The Hawks had to re-establish that they were a dangerous team. No one pushed that message harder than Chris Carson, the Juggernaut.

For those of you whose pop-culture education is lacking, the Juggernaut is a super-powered character in the Marvel comics and movie universe. Well, Fox movies, which is now Disney, so eventually Marvel, but that’s totally beyond the point. The Juggernaut’s distinction is that once he begins moving, he can’t be stopped. The word juggernaut has been in use for centuries, of course, and is defined as a powerful, overwhelming force. But it’s a lot more fun to see Carson as a comic book character. That’s because at times, he plays like one.

Today’s game is the perfect illustration of this. Carson ran the ball in for scores twice, each showing off his varied and excellent skill set. On his first touchdown a 16-yard scamper, he sped past the defender who had containment on the edge. Clear sailing, right? Come on, now, this Carson we’re talking about. Defensive back Tre Boston sprinted across the field and met him at the three-yard line. I’ll give Boston credit; he did move Carson’s forward momentum from a straight-to-the-goal-line 90 degrees to about 93. In other words, Boston had no chance. Touchdown, Seahawks.

More from 12th Man Rising

That was hardly the most impressive run of the day for the Juggernaut. Not even close. Not that anyone knew it at the time, but Seattle was in trouble entering the fourth quarter. You see, they only led 23-10 at the time. Given their penchant for making every single game a free stress test, we all should have known this game was far from over. At the time, though, the Hawks looked like they were in complete control. With a 13-point lead, they drove the length of the field, all the way to the Panthers eight-yard line. On third and three, Russell Wilson fired to Tyler Lockett for what appeared to all 12s to be a first down at the five-yard line. The officials ruled he was down at the six, though. Fourth and one, with a 13-point lead.

Pete Carroll made the right call here. Even if the Seahawks hadn’t converted, they’d still have a 13-point lead. The Panthers would have had a 90+yard drive ahead of them to pull within one score. A field goal would put Seattle ahead by 16 points, still a two-score game. So of course, going for the first down was the correct call.

What made it the perfect call is what Chris Carson did with the ball on fourth down. I mean, my god, just look at this. Carson starts his crushing run at 1:10 of the video. I couldn’t find any footage that I can legally share, but do some digging for this next bit. Or hopefully, you have a friend who recorded the game.

On the replay, you can actually see Seattle’s sledgehammer churning his way forward. He’s completely lost on the main camera angle. So, at one point, both of his feet completely leave the ground. I don’t mean he was leaping. Apparently, he was lifted off the ground by, oh, I’d guess half the Panthers team. And Carson still kept moving forward and still scored.

Seahawks beat Panthers on Chris Carson's career day. dark. Next

That shouldn’t be possible. At first, I thought that both Duane Brown and D.J. Fluker were pushing forward on the play, helping Carson over the goalline. After rewatching it several times, Brown didn’t arrive until well after Carson broke the plane. And Fluker got there just as Carson crossed the goalline. It’s all there in the photo at the top. That really was all Chris Carson. Make that the Juggernaut, the game 14 MVP.