Seahawks Week 4 MVP: Coaches finally find Rashaad Penny on the roster

Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports /
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Rashaad Penny scores in the third quarter for the Seahawks
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Rashaad Penny lit it up for the Seahawks

No, this game belongs to Rashaad Penny more than anyone. After getting the ball a total of just 32 times in the first three games, the Seahawks seemed to remember he led the NFL in yards per carry last year. I’ve touched on this bizarre circumstance already, but I doubt that Pete Carroll saw my article and said, “Yeah, that random fan is right! We need to get Rashaad the ball more!” It’s just a bit more likely that he and Shane Waldron actually listened to Penny himself when he said they need to trust the running backs.

Finally, the Hawks did just that. They trusted their running backs. Through three games, the Hawks had a ridiculously terrible run-to-pass ratio of 46 to 109. Those carries don’t include Smith’s runs. We’re talking about the running backs, in particular the guy who averaged 6.3 yards per carry last season. Does that 30 percent run play-calling look like a team that wants to establish the run?

Against the Lions, the Seahawks finally trusted the running backs. Penny got 17 carries – yes, that’s still low, but at least it’s a season high. Rookie Ken Walker III picked up 29 yards on eight carries. As if by magic, the Hawks saw the deep ball open up more often as well. Gee, who would have ever thought that would happen?

But none of that happens if Rashaad Penny doesn’t make the most of those 17 carries. It isn’t just that he rolled up 151 yards, or scored twice. It’s how he did it. I’ll give credit to Shane Waldron for this, too. Here are the results of Penny’s carries on the Hawks first drive: one yard, no gain, no gain. On the Hawks second drive, he had one carry and again picked up one yard. That’s four carries for two yards.