The offense of the Seattle Seahawks looked exceedingly efficient in their 38-25 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
Russell Wilson had as many touchdown passes as he did incompletions (four) as Seattle comfortably earned its first victory of the season. But while the Seahawks went against their norm by calling more passing plays for Wilson than usual, head coach Pete Carroll insists the team hasn’t forgotten about Chris Carson and the team’s rushing attack.
“First time out it went fine,” Carroll said of the team’s rushing attack. “Seven and six carries wasn’t enough for our guys and we need to get more. We were at 20 (runs). We want to get more than that in general. But when Russ was completing every pass we weren’t discouraged about moving the football. But we love running the ball, we always have, and those guys will get more carries as we move down through the schedule.”
Wilson dropped back to pass a total of 38 times with 35 attempts and three sacks. Meanwhile, the offense finished the game with just 20 total rushing attempts for 84 yards. Carson was a big factor in the passing game for Seattle as he set or matched career-highs in receptions (six), yards (45) and touchdowns (two) in the game.
However, Carson saw just six carries for 21 yards with free agent addition Carlos Hyde getting seven attempts for 23 yards. Third-string back Travis Homer would also get three carries with minus-1 yards. Wilson himself would carry three times in the game as well so Seattle’s running backs and receivers combined for just 17 total rushing attempts.
“It felt good giving those guys the chance to keep them fresh,” Carroll said of Carson and Hyde. “Those were two guys that hammer the football and (Homer) was such a good change of pace, I just like the three-guy rotation. Imagine how much fresher you can keep a lead guy that doesn’t have that opportunity, and so we’ll just go one game at a time right now.”
During Wilson’s tenure as Seattle’s starting quarterback, the Seahawks have attempted 20 or fewer rushes in a game just 14 times. Sunday’s win over the Falcons was just the third time the team had come away victorious with so few rushing attempts and the first time since a 31-25 win over the Buffalo Bills in 2016. They are 3-10-1 in such games since Wilson took over in 2012.
It’s too early to know if the game in Atlanta was a bit of an aberration for Seattle’s offense in terms of run-pass ratio and if Wilson will be handed the ball more frequently this year overall. But Carroll still likes his rushing attack and will find ways to get them more involved as the season moves along.