The Seattle Seahawks are not usually thought of as a haven for great running backs. But, for the past 15 years they have had some of the best to play that position suit up for the blue and green. Shaun Alexander and Marshawn Lynch were incredible performers and powered Seattle to Super Bowls. Can Chris Carson do the same thing for the Seahawks?
Alexander was in Seattle from 2000 to 2007. He was a touchdown machine too. He set the NFL’s single season touchdown record in 2005 with 28 to help the Seahawks to the Super Bowl. Alexander was also named NFL MVP that year. Continuing to illustrate how great he was, from 2001 to 2005 he scored at least 16 touchdowns every single year. I checked the career stats for the NFL’s top 15 all-time rushers, and LaDainian Tomlinson is the only running back that has had that kind of streak.
That list includes Jim Brown, Barry Sanders, Adrian Peterson, Eric Dickerson, Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith and Marshall Faulk among other notable legends.
Alexander put Seattle on the map in the 2000’s and he is one of the better running backs the league has seen in a while.
Lynch has been the most physical running back in the league since he was drafted. People can argue that Peterson was more athletic, but Lynch ran harder and broke more tackles. Lynch helped bring Seattle back to the Super Bowl in 2013 and defined their playing style as a team. They were built on defense and their heart might have been on that side, but Lynch was the fire. His personality and energy were infectious, and his playmaking ability turned the tide more than once in a crucial moment.
From 2011 to 2014 Lynch scored double digit touchdowns for Seattle. He was most of the offense at that point and he was facing loaded boxes and everyone keying off on him. But he still produced at an elite level and was considered one of the best in the NFL while he was playing. From 2006 to 2018 Pro Football Focus found Lynch broke 651 tackles, which is the most in the NFL during that span. This is more than 100 more than the second-place player, Adrian Peterson. This is the best way to view his impact on the field, as he would never go down without fighting for more yards or fighting away from another hapless would-be tackler.
Carson has only had one full season so far for the Seattle Seahawks. His rookie year he impressed in the offseason and was the best running back for the first four weeks of the season before an injury sidelined him for the rest of the year. He won the job back in 2018 after Seattle picked another running back, Rashaad Penny, in the first-round of the draft. He went on to lead the team in rushing with 1,151 yards.
Carson’s strength lies in his…well, strength. More than 800 of his rushing yards in 2018 came after contact. So, he was not easy to bring down and he has a high motor. Even as part of a three-headed backfield in 2018 Carson brought down 20 catches to go with his thousand rushing yards. He has skills that are being utilized in this system and with Mike Davis gone, he has a chance to get more receiving opportunities. If he can keep Penny from taking that spot that is.
Carson is a very talented back, and Seattle looks committed to the run game. He will probably get the bulk of the carries this coming year as well. And this could lead to another Super Bowl on the back of another generational talent. Only time will tell.