Heaps: Why Seahawks’ run game is especially ‘vital’ against the Packers

Nov 12, 2021, 12:57 PM | Updated: 2:28 pm
Seahawks RB Alex Collins...
Seahawks RB Alex Collins is pursued by Demario Davis of the Saints last Sunday at Lumen Field. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seahawks will get star quarterback Russell Wilson back when they take on the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, but Seattle’s offense may be getting another boost as well.

Carroll: Wilson returns for Seahawks, Carson a gameday decision

Starting running back Chris Carson still won’t return as he battles a neck injury, and Alex Collins will get another start.

Former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps said that’s important given who Seattle is facing. Here’s what he had to say about the running game during Friday’s edition of Jake and Stacy on 710 ESPN Seattle.

“Vital, absolutely vital,” Heaps said of the Seahawks’ running game. “If you just look at it from a statistical point of view going into this game, it’s where the Green Bay Packers struggle the most.”

The Packers rank near the top in the NFL in total defense, scoring defense and passing defense, but they’re just 16th against the run.

“So this is an area of the field that they are weaker in,” Heaps said.

But …

“Don’t get me wrong, they are a very good run defense,” Heaps said. “Sometimes those stats can be misleading.”

The Packers have allowed over 100 yards rushing five times this year, but two of those times were for large numbers of 171 in Week 1 and 195 in Week 6. Other than that, Green Bay has been pretty solid against the run this season, but Heaps thinks the Seahawks can get big contributions on the ground this Sunday.

“I do see an opportunity for the Seahawks in the running game to be able to get things going. To me, it’s a matter of pinpointing the amount of times correctly that they need to run the football, pinpointing the different ways that they need to run the football and being diverse enough in their running game where they don’t become predictable,” Heaps said. “If you’re predictable, this Packers run defense is really, really good … They get downhill fast, they’re physical, they’ll meet you at the point of attack. So if you can make it a little bit more diverse, you don’t get those guys flying downhill nearly as fast and that’s where teams have had success running the football against the Green Bay Packers.”

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Heaps: Why Seahawks’ run game is especially ‘vital’ against the Packers