A Seahawk running back has rushed for at least 100 yards in three consecutive games.
That fact may be surprising to the rest of the NFL.
But as for the Seattle locker room?
“We’ve never believed that this team couldn’t run the ball,” said second-year Seahawks running back Chris Carson, who carried 19 times for 116 yards in Seattle’s 33-31 loss Sunday. “So all the time we always thought that, given the chance, we could make something happen. So we’re starting to show people that.”
Despite missing the Cardinals game with a hip injury, Carson has showed it in four games this season, rushing for 177 yards, 3.9 yards per carry and a touchdown. He has also been complemented by veteran Mike Davis, who added 68 rushing yards, 5.7 yards per carry and a touchdown in Sunday’s loss.
Behind Carson and Davis, the Seahawks have begun to establish a bruising offensive identity.
“We just feed off each other no matter what,” said Davis, who has totaled 199 yards and three touchdowns in his last two games. “I see (Carson) get a big run, and I’m hyping him up whenever he’s tired. We’re just making sure that we’re both fresh when we both go in, so when we go in we’re 100 percent and running tough.”
Still, Carson and Davis’ tough running wasn’t enough on Sunday. But that doesn’t mean the Seahawks’ offense didn’t continue to make positive strides.
“It’s frustrating, but it lets you know that we’re not backing down from nobody,” Davis said. “It lets you know that, whatever (the score) is, we’re going to play hard. At the end we kept coming.”
With Carson and Davis ably handling the tailback duties, there was nothing left for first-round pick Rashaad Penny, who did not get a carry for the first time this season (and didn’t appear to set foot on the field for even one offensive snap).
Penny, though, figured to at least have a significant role as the team’s kickoff returner, something he had taken over last week at Arizona, in part to save some wear and tear on Tyler Lockett, who is playing more than ever as a receiver, and whose role there is as vital as it’s ever been with Doug Baldwin still rounding into form.
But after the first kickoff Penny tried to field bounced inside the 10 and then into the end zone for a touchback the Seahawks went back to Lockett.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said later it wasn’t so much a statement of anything Penny didn’t do but instead a desire to have the more-experienced Lockett handle those duties on a day when he said Seattle was unsure what tricks the Rams might have up their sleeves.
The game was the first for veteran Cairo Santos as the Rams’ kicker after he was signed during the week with regular Greg Zuerlein injured.
“We were concerned that we didn’t know how the guy was going to kick the ball,” Carroll said. “He hadn’t played in a couple of years (Santos last kicked for the Bears last November). The ball he spun down there was bouncing around.
“Tyler has so much more background in figuring out what to do with those kicks. We just thought it would help us, just experience-wise, and not put Rashaad in that situation and that was all. It wasn’t about him. It was just that Lockett has so much more background in figuring all that stuff out. We didn’t know how he was going to kick it. As it turned out, there were some challenging catches back there. He did a nice job when he had a chance.”
Santos had three touchbacks on seven attempts.
But Lockett was able to pick up one short kick at the Seattle 8 and return it to the 50 to set up a touchdown in the second quarter and David Moore also corralled one short kick at the 21 and return it to the 39 to set up a field goal shortly before the half.
That Penny didn’t play offensively won’t quell the debate that has raged about his selection in the first round.
Carson now has 293 yards on 64 carries and a 4.6 average in four games this season -- sitting out last week with a hip issue -- while Davis has 172 yards on 36 carries and a 4.8 average, also in four games.
Penny, meanwhile, has 92 yards on 29 carries and an average of 3.2.