Earlier on Tuesday we took a look at every run play by Seattle Seahawks second year running back Rashaad Penny in Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Now we can take a moment and watch all fifteen of the runs by third year running back Chris Carson.
Carson, of course, became the first Seahawks running back since Marshawn Lynch in 2014 to run for 1,000 yards in a season in 2018, but he ran into some tough sledding against the Bengals defense in Week 1. Recording just 46 yards on 15 carries, the 3.07 yards per carry Carson posted against Cincinnati is the lowest yard per carry total of any regular season game of his NFL career, clocking in just under the 3.09 yards per carry he posted against the Tennessee Titans in Week 3 of 2017.
However, it may be coincidence or maybe the book is out on how defenses should stop him, but the only other game where Carson finished with a lower yards per carry was the Wild Card loss to the Dallas Cowboys in the 2018 playoffs. In short, by yards per carry, the last two games of his career are the worst two games of his career.
That said, let’s go ahead and take a look at the carries.
There were certainly flashes of the tackle breaking and sneaky elusiveness that caught several opponents off guard in 2018, but at the same time Carson seemed to go down on first contact more often than he had in the past. Perhaps the Bengals will prove to have a quality run defense that is stout against the run, or perhaps they simply had the Seahawks’ number when it came to what to expect.
The offensive line struggled at times, and it is difficult to know what to make of Duane Brown’s game against the Bengals. In the piece looking at Penny’s carries I noted how his best run of the day was nullified by a Germain Ifedi penalty, while for Carson his worst run of the day came courtesy of Brown getting beaten at the point of attack. Don’t get me wrong, Carlos Dunlap is a quality player with two Pro Bowls to his name, but the way he tosses Brown aside on the run is a little scary. Hopefully it was simply early season adjustment to an opponent playing a scheme for which the offensive line was not prepared, and not the alternative.
In any case, I’m not going to analyze these runs much, as I’m going to simply leave the video and let everybody else duke it out in the comments section with their ideas on the fourteen runs where Carson didn’t get eaten alive in the backfield by Dunlap.