Chris Carson closed out what was an excellent sophomore season on Sunday, rushing for a career high 122 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown. The touchdown, a grinding seven yards, also sealed an interesting note in Carson’s 2018: Every single one of Carson’s nine rushing scores came from inside the opponent’s 10-yard line.
The seven-yard score Carson had on Sunday tied his fourth quarter touchdown in the win over the Lions as his longest on the season. The others came from five, one (x4), two and four yards out. Though Carson was entirely consistent in closing out drives, he finishes the year tied for fourth (with James Connor) in the league in rushing touchdowns inside the 10, behind Todd Gurley, Alvin Kamara and Derrick Henry.
Carson’s nine red zone scores in 2018 were a part of a greater resurgence from the Seattle Seahawks, who are tied for eighth in the NFL in touchdown percentage inside the 20. Their scoring percentage of 65.38* is almost 10% higher than last year, when they finished at 55.56%. That was a season in which Seattle’s RBs failed to score a single rushing touchdown, with Jimmy Graham and his 10 touchdowns essentially playing the part of goal line back in 2017.
*Red zone numbers are as of Week 16. In Week 17, the Seahawks scored a touchdown on 1-of-2 trips. The one they didn’t finish with a touchdown was to set up the game-winning field goal.
Keeping in mind Carson’s skill set as a runner, his success at the goal line shouldn’t be much of a surprise to anyone. He’s an incredibly hard runner who possesses great balance and a superhuman like ability to stay up. All nine of Carson’s rushing touchdowns in 2018 came after first contact. At least two-thirds of those had no business being scores, yet Carson willed himself into the end zone.
Carson’s combination of abilities as a runner leads him to score whether he’s essentially parallel to the ground at one point...
Or taking contact from members of both teams...
During Week 16’s victory over the Chiefs, Carson became Seattle’s first 1000-yard rusher since Marshawn Lynch departed. In pacing the Seahawks with nine rushing touchdowns in 2018, Carson showed the kind of tough running style Lynch made synonymous with Seattle over the course of six seasons.