What we learned: O-line isn’t all that’s wrong with the Seahawks’ offense
Seattle’s home-opener wasn’t as impressive as expected.
Especially not when you consider the caliber of competition as the 49ers are one of only two teams in the league that has yet to score a touchdown through two full regular-season games.
But as underwhelming as the Seahawks’ 12-9 victory may have been, it was still instructive as we try to figure out this team.
Three things we learned:
1. Chris Carson is the best running back on this team.
At least he is for right now, and really, that’s a good disclaimer to add when you’re talking about a rookie who didn’t surpass 100 carries in either of his seasons at Oklahoma State. Carson led the Seahawks with 93 yards rushing, but it wasn’t the total that was nearly so important as the timing. With the Seahawks trying to kill the final 5 minutes of the fourth quarter, he got the ball on five straight plays, gained 41 yards and three first downs, setting up Russell Wilson to take three knees to win the game. Even with Thomas Rawls ready to get a full diet of carries next week, it would be a surprise if Carson’s performance through the first two games doesn’t put him in line for the majority of the work in Seattle’s backfield.
2. The offensive line isn’t the only issue with the offense.
That’s not saying Seattle’s offensive line was good per se, but the offensive line wasn’t even the biggest issue facing the offense against San Francisco. There were a total of five dropped passes, three of which were of the particularly egregious variety and two that occurred in scoring situations. Also, in the third quarter Russell Wilson was like a pitcher who lost control of his fastball. He fired high. Twice. One went over Doug Baldwin’s head and another sailed over Tyler Lockett. Then there was a slider low and away in a string where Wilson had six consecutive passes fall complete. That total climbed to seven if you included a throw on a play nullified by an offsides penalty.
3. Paul Richardson is one tough hombre.
The game-winning touchdown catch was impressive enough, Richardson making the catch and touching two feet down in the end zone. It was downright remarkable given the injury he suffered earlier in the game. “He dislocated his finger,” coach Pete Carroll said, “and it was one of those ones that was compound.” Wait, what? As in a compound fracture in which the bone puncture the skin? Yeah. That’s what happened. In fact, teammates on the sideline saw blood seeping through a glove after he jammed his finger reaching down to try and catch a low pass from Wilson. So it wasn’t a matter of just straightening Richardson’s finger out. “He had to get it all sewn up,” Carroll said of the injury. “He went back in and caught the touchdown pass with it. Good stuff.” Yes, tough stuff.