Seahawks takeaways: Can Thomas Rawls sustain his running style?

Dec 12, 2016, 12:50 PM | Updated: Dec 13, 2016, 11:25 am

Thomas Rawls...

Brock Huard was happy to see Thomas Rawls resting on the bench in the fourth quarter Sunday. (AP)


The Seahawks suffered their worst loss in the Russell Wilson-Pete Carroll era on Sunday against the Packers. Here are the major takeaways of the game from 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard and Mike Salk:

Mike Salk

What was going on with the Seahawks pass rush? This pass rush was supposed to get really good. They got all three of their guys healthy. Michael Bennett was a non-factor Sunday. Cliff Avril was a non-factor except when he had another moment of poor sportsmanship, where he threw a guy over a pile, and I thought that was pretty weak. And Frank Clark did nothing as well. Throw in Cassius Marsh and those four guys should be able to apply pressure on anybody, and they did bupkis Sunday and I don’t understand it.

I hate the way the Seahawks comfort themselves in losses. I know it goes with the territory, I know that you guys don’t like it when I talk about it, but I don’t like it. I think they embarrass themselves and us every time they lose games. They handle themselves so poorly. I know that’s part of what makes them the Seahawks, and I’m not trying to change their personality. I know Pete Carroll will take some of the bad that goes with the good and the competitive spirit. I understand it but I still don’t like it.

Brock Huard

Aaron Rodgers was limited, so what was the philosophy to only bring four rushers? The Seahawks were really committed to that four-man rush. Schematically I think they played a bit into the hands of an injured quarterback, but they were committed to it. They were going to try to squeeze and suffocate, which I understand – you don’t want Aaron Rodgers to extend plays, but they just could not take the air out of that pocket. That O-line of Green Bay got T.J. Lang back, they were comfortable, they were confident, and in pass-protection they out-manned the Seattle front four. … We saw a limited quarterback, we lived with that for about a month with Russell Wilson and his inability to create and move, and you saw what the Rams did, what the Cardinals did, you saw what a lot of teams did – they brought the house. They want to put pressure in his face and a guy that can’t move and a guy that can’t necessarily create. And while Aaron Rodgers still slid and he retreated and he still bought extra time, I wonder what the philosophy was to be so content to just rush four, because they only brought more than four, in my estimation, twice in that first half. One was a go-route that DeShawn Shead got beat and one of them was a go-route that he nearly got beat on again that Aaron Rodgers missed and overthrew. … If I’m playing a wounded animal, I’m going after him, I’m attacking him.

Steven Terrell did his job in Earl Thomas’ absence. Truth serum: I don’t think Thomas being out affected the outcome at all. Terrell came up with one tackle – the running back got out of the gate one time and he helped push him to the boundary and use the sideline to his advantage. He didn’t come up and stick him but he did his job, and that is don’t give up anything behind you.

Wilson was caught in between. In baseball, that’s the worst place to be – as a hitter, as a fielder – when you’re just a little bit in between. And I thin, Russell, if I’ve got to make an excuse or an explanation, is a little bit in between. He’s healthy enough to be able to run now; maybe not the total explosive game-changer and big chunk plays, but he’s healthy enough to escape and run. He knows he doesn’t just have to sit back there in the pocket and be a target, and I don’t know if it’s just a little bit of being antsy, if that clock is just a little bit off, because he’s looking to run rather than knowing, as he did earlier in the season, he can’t.

I liked the way Thomas Rawls ran. We’ve talked about this a bunch this season – how is he going to be able to sustain? It was the most amazing thing about Marshawn Lynch, he never got injured year after year that he would do that. He would just be there like a warrior. And that’s gonna be the trick for Rawls, because he’s got the warrior in him, he’s got Beast Mode in him. He wants to gore his opponent, he wants to humiliate them, but can he find a way to be sustainable? And you saw, rightfully so, they took him off the field in the fourth quarter. They didn’t need any more of those carries, they didn’t need to put him in harm’s way. But being able to deal with harm’s way will be a big deal in his career.

How funny was Christine Michael going the wrong way? Everybody went the right way but him. I went and rewound that two or three times thinking maybe somebody else didn’t get the call. Everybody else got the call. Was that better than him running into the sidelines and then literally high-fiving, padding every Seahawk he could find? Or when Kam Chancellor came up and stuck him on third-and-1 and he was dapping Kam and was like, “Yeah, man, you got me.” He is beautiful.

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Seahawks takeaways: Can Thomas Rawls sustain his running style?