SPOKANE, Wash --- The Seattle Seahawks offense has usually taken a backseat to the defense when people are discussing the team. They were 12th overall on offense last year, with it being a combination of their 10th ranked passing attack and their 25th ranked rushing offense, according to nfl.com.
It dipped from 4th overall in 2015, mainly because of the rushing attack which ranked 3rd overall two years ago. The running back and offensive line play has been a huge factor in the decline.
A lot of this has to do with Russell Wilson, he is the quarterback and the team lives and dies with him. He had a down year in 2016 because of injuries and offensive line play. He has shown an amazing ability to bounce back and perform under pressure. I think he will bounce back to playing at a very high level.
But everyone has tried to breakdown the offensive line and see who is starting so I will not touch it in this article.
Who could be the wild card running back this year?
Christine Michael was the team’s leading rusher last year even though he was dropped after ten games. Pete Carroll said he was dropped because of the emergence of Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise. These two have been productive when they are on the field but have both missed a bunch of games because of injuries.
Prosise had 380 yards on 47 touches last year, which is a little over eight yards per touch. If he keeps this pace up even a little bit he will be an explosive player for the Hawks. Prosise was a wide receiver for Notre Dame his first few years and was switched to running back for his senior season. He had over a thousand rushing yards in his only season as Notre Dame’s lead back. That was in his first season as a running back!
His skill set could create mismatches all across the field with his receiver background. He needs to stay on the field for this to happen though.
C.J. Prosise does have some people worried with his injury history though, so it is nice the Hawks have Rawls and Eddie Lacy to take up the slack.
I won’t talk about Rawls and Lacy much because they are known quantities.
But now that the preseason is over we had a full look at Chris Carson the rookie out of Oklahoma State University. He is looking like he could take the roster spot from Alex Collins.
“He always seems to do the right thing. For a rookie, I mean he has been really remarkable. I think he is going to have a remarkable year, as well,” said Russell Wilson.
He has impressed fans, players and coaches alike.
“I was hanging on Chris Carson…I really love this guy because he is so physical and tough the way he ran,” said Pete Carroll when asked about what he was thinking before he drafted him.
Russell Wilson makes magic and finds Chris Carson down the field pic.twitter.com/pKRhl7JTXY— Ben Baldwin (@guga31bb) August 26, 2017
Carson and Kasen Williams made it to Bleacher Report's NFL All-22 team as did a few other Seahawks.
Who will step up from the receiving corps?
Doug Baldwin has quietly been one of the most consistent receivers in the league for a few years now. He does not wow people with amazing athletic ability, but he just makes plays and catches the ball. He has a catch rate of 67% over his career, and last year his catch rate of 76% was tied for second best in the NFL. Catch rate is the percentage of catchable passes a receiver actually catches.
He does things like this…
But we all know Doug Baldwin, what about the other guys? How about the Seahawks’ star of the preseason, Kasen Williams.
I remember I played against him in high school and he was a state champion in football and the triple jump. This guy could play and was such a smooth athlete for his size. He never looked like he was trying hard because he was so athletic.
But his play in the NFL preseason this year is what we are talking about now. In the preseason Williams had nine catches for 208 yards and one touchdown. That is over 23 yards per catch!
No one thinks he will keep up this pace but he has shown a great ability to go up and snag the ball at its highest point. His leaping ability really helps him in that department.
And with Jermaine Kearse ibeing traded, the role of possession receiver is wide open for the Hawks. Carroll is high on Williams right now too.
“He has been spectacular. It is just such an exciting thing to see because this is a kid that we know has this ability, but he is doing it in the games. So, it’s obvious you’ve got to keep going to him. We have to see how long it continues and how stable that part of our game can become,” said Carroll.
Williams is ready for the spotlight.
“I’ve been waiting on this for a very long time. I’ve been on the practice squad for two years, and both years I never felt like the preseason went how I planned it to. The fact that it’s all actually happening now is really cool to see because I never stopped believing in myself, and I never stopped having faith. And the plays are finally starting to happen. For me, it’s just really cool to see,” said Williams.
Finally, how will the offense as a whole do this season?
The offensive line will need to improve obviously, but that looks like it is happening. Even with the injury to George Fant the rest of the line has gained experience together as a unit, and should be better than last year.
If Russell Wilson stays healthy like he has for most of his career he should be a stud, but that is no surprise. Wilson could challenge his own team record for touchdown passes in a season this year. I think he will be closer to 2015 form when he became the first player ever in the NFL to have a season with at least 4,000 passing yards, 30 touchdown passes and 500 yards rushing.
I expect the Seahawks to surpass the 1,591 rushing yards they recorded last year, the offensive line should be improved and hopefully the running backs will stay healthy this year.
One of the biggest problems the Seahawks had last year was their red zone offense. They scored touchdowns on less than half of their possessions in the red zone. They ranked 25th out of 32 teams in that category. And scoring seven points over three points is essential to turn close games into wins.
This is a direct result of poor offensive line play and a lack of execution on Seattle’s part, if they can improve this area then the Seahawks will be as formidable as they were when they won the Super Bowl.
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