Seahawks RBs should help the team score lots of points
Up to this point, the indicators are that the O-line is good enough and the RBs are good enough, but no more than that. But does this actually put points on the scoreboard? How effective are the Seahawks compared to other teams in producing rushing TDs and being able to score rushing TDs in the red zone?
After all we know Russell Wilson can get the job done through the air, but if teams are able to concentrate on defending the pass it makes life much easier for them, particularly in the red zone. It may also partly explain why Wilson threw three of his career-high thirteen INTs in 2020 in the red zone.
Is this just a wild theory or a stone-cold fact? Well, when I factor in the ability to score rushing touchdowns in general, and particularly in the red zone, the Seahawks fall to be ranked nineteenth overall. They rank joint 25th in rushing touchdowns scored and joint 22nd in rushing touchdowns in the red zone.
Ultimately you can run all day, but if you cannot contribute points via the running game, you put an awful lot of pressure on the passing game and defense to pick up the slack. So this is clearly an issue for the Seahawks to solve in 2021.
Looking at the four teams that score the most rushing TDs in 2020, The Saints topped the charts with Taysom Hill providing eight of their 23 from the QB position, Tennessee came second with Derrick Henry as an elite back delivering the majority of these, then Arizona with Kyle Murray providing 11 TDs from QB and then Cleveland who have two really good RB’s and the best O line in the NFL.
So how can the Seahawks score more rushing TDs in general in 2021?
One potential source is Rashaad Penny. Prior to his ACL injury, Penny had the quickest 40-time of any of the Seahawks RBs at 4.46. As long as the injury has not taken away that speed, he may be the one back in Seattle that can go all the way to the house once he has broken through the first level of defenses.
If plays can be designed to provide Penny with the opportunities to do so, then this would move the Seahawks into the top half of the league rankings in this category. The red zone rushing issues may be a trickier one to solve.
This is ultimately a combination of the average nature of both the O line and the RB’s meaning that most teams, and particularly the better teams are able to defend the run against an average Seahawks ground game.
A younger Russell Wilson may have provided an alternative on the ground, but that no longer appears to be an option. So the Seahawks coaches need to get creative and come up with some other ways of scoring in the red zone, particularly come playoff time.
Gerald Everett could be the answer as an additional red zone passing target for Wilson, as could adding a Percy Harvin type via the draft. But with current personnel, it is difficult to see a significant upgrade to the red zone ground game any time soon.