The Seattle Seahawks needed a big performance to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. They got several, but no one more was valuable than Rashaad Penny.
If I told you before Sunday’s game in Houston that the Seahawks would pile up a lot of yards, you wouldn’t bat an eye. Tyler Lockett over 100 yards again? Sure. Russell Wilson threw for over 450 the last time they played (one reason I wrote that he underachieved in this game). He played well, too.
As for the ground game, the Texans are awful at stopping the run. Chris Carson may be out for the season, but Alex Collins has been excellent this year. Even with the newly acquired Adrian Peterson on the shelf for this game, the Seahawks had every reason to anticipate a good day for the running back crew.
Rashaad Penny has career day for Seahawks
What no one expected was the day Rashaad Penny had. Okay, I’m sure he did, and the Hawks certainly believed in him. But after gaining 112 yards in all of 2020 and 2021 so far, I doubt even Pete Carroll at his most optimistic thought Seattle’s 2018 first-round pick would have this kind of performance.
Let’s start with the basics of the game Rashaad Penny turned in. He was handed the ball 16 times vs the Texans. That in itself is cause for a little celebration. The last time Penny had this many carries was at San Diego State. He had 15 attempts two years ago vs the Vikings. This was just his seventh game with double-digit carries for the Seahawks.
Sunday’s improbable performance was only the third time Penny has gained over 100 yards. It was also his first game with two rushing TDs for the Seahawks (he scored once through the air and once on the ground in that same Vikings game). Statistically, this was by far his best game for the Hawks.
What I think is far more important is how Rashaad Penny played. He showed the speed that made him the nation’s leading rusher in college. The Texans saw that speed on his 47-yard touchdown dash that sealed the Seahawks win. He also ran with intensity and power. Ask Houston’s Justin Reid how that stiff-arm felt on Penny’s 32-yard score. That shove was vintage Marshawn Lynch quality. Or close enough for 2021.
Now whether Penny will be able to come close to this performance against the Rams, that I’m not willing to bet on. It was a career day, after all. And the Rams are just a little better than the Texans. Better by about six games and ten thousand yards. At least for one game, Penny’s game was lit, and that’s why he’s my week 14 MVP