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The Seahawks will really need Carlos Hyde this year

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Marshawn Lynch once ran the ball for 285 times in a single season.

Then he ran the ball over 300 times in a season, twice. In a row.

Then he really eased up (280 carries) but gained more yards and had more receptions than the previous year.

The point is this: the Seattle Seahawks have never run the ball the same since prime Marshawn Lynch. Throw talent out the window, they’ve never had any one runner carry nearly as many teammates on their back as Lynch did. Chris Carson has not yet hit 280 carries, and he absolutely will not do so this year. Carson only surpassed 250 because Rashaad Penny unfortunately exited midway last season.

In 2017, when they didn’t know what they were doing, every eligible guy on the team besides CJ Prosise had between 50-70 carries. Even in Carson’s breakout sophomore year they threw Mike Davis 112 rushes.

Enter the importance of Carlos Hyde, and the $4 million contract nobody wanted. Hyde is experienced, available, and better than Mike Davis.

This has been one of the more unique offseasons as the Seahawks spent questionable amounts of money on older injury stopgaps at both tight end and running back.

Carson is coming off a fractured hip from Week 16 last year, but did not need surgery and is recovering very well. However, he has been significantly injured two years in a row, has yet to play a full season, and has not actually hit yet this year, being away for much of camp.

Even as the lead back - which Hyde knows - Carson is probably a safer bet to see less carries than last season, not more. It will be up to the coaches and trainers to find Carson’s hitherto unfound sweet spot that gets him into the playoffs for a change. Especially with the ridiculously limited preseason work he will have, I would say 260 carries on the year would be a high mark.

Then comes Rashaad Penny, looking every bit like he’ll miss significant time this year.

This is not yet a guarantee that he’ll miss the first six weeks of the season, but he has not participated and Seattle is in no rush to bring back the only first-round selection on the above list. For the first half of the year, Penny will not do much, if anything.

Carlos Hyde has therefore been getting tons of quality reps and making the most of them. He fared well in Wednesday’s mock game, including the only rushing touchdown.

As we covered earlier this year, Carlos Hyde has actually performed better than expected given his offensive line’s play in previous years. This is a nice sentence to write, when talking about the Seattle Seahawks.

He’s in a really good position to hopefully prove the Seahawks didn’t overpay. We should fully expect to see him with ball in hand early this year. It will be quite the show as fans start comparing this year’s Carson / Hyde up against last year’s Carson / Penny.