With run game struggles, at what point should Seahawks become a pass-first offense?
Russell Wilson ranks second in the NFL in total yards (2,543), just behind Tom Brady. Both quarterbacks are tied for second in touchdowns, with 19 apiece, just behind Eagles’ quarterback – and early MVP candidate – Carson Wentz (23).
So with a banged-up personnel group at running back, 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard wondered Tuesday: Why can’t the Seahawks put the offense in Wilson’s hands?
“It reminds me of the years we went through with (former Mariners managers) Eric Wedge and Lloyd McClendon,” Huard said. “You know, ‘It’s going to come, man, we’re going to keep swinging away, we’re going to keep chopping wood, these guys are going to develop and they’re going to get better,’ and ultimately they didn’t…
“At this stretch of the season where you’re sitting at 6-3, it is go time and it’s time to get to doing what you do best – and what you do best is Russell Wilson. What you do best is the short passing game, what you do best is the play-action game. And that’s not my opinion, that’s the head coach’s opinion,” he added, referencing head coach Pete Carroll’s comments from his weekly Monday appearance on Brock and Salk.
Seattle has been snake-bitten this year when it comes to injury luck, and the running back group hasn’t been spared. Chris Carson led a promising rookie campaign before a fractured leg in Week 4 landed him on the injured reserve. C.J. Prosise has battled a high ankle sprain all season, exited Seattle’s game Thursday after injuring his opposite ankle, and landed on Injured Reserve on Tuesday. Even the top two backs on the current depth chart, Thomas Rawls and Eddie Lacy, have battled injuries. And when they’ve been healthy, they have combined for just 253 yards and no touchdowns.
As a result, Seattle currently ranks 24th in the league in rushing yards with 3.8 yards per attempt. That makes Wilson the team’s leading rusher with 290 yards, which ranks second among quarterbacks after Carolina’s Cam Newton.
Huard argues it is the struggles in run personnel – not a change in overall conviction to the run game – that leads him to push for a heavy-passing offense.
“If one of your personnel pieces that makes a difference for you cannot get anything of consistency going, it’s time to point to the most consistent guy on your team, and that’s No. 3.”
Danny O’Neil, on the other hand, argues Seattle has all but formally become a throwing team, but forcing the normally risk-averse Wilson to throw so much early will result in turnovers. That, he argues, will only make things harder for the Seahawks’ defense, which is now moving forward without star cornerback Richard Sherman.
Listen to the entire debate in the player embedded above.