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Focus on: The running game
When it came to the running games, the Seahawks’ matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday was a study in contrasts.
First, the good news. After rushing for only 44 yards against the Rams in St. Louis last Monday night, the Seahawks went for 198 against a Buccaneers’ defense that entered the game at CenturyLink Field allowing an average of 94.6 rushing yards to rank No. 7 in the league.
“We basically ran the same plays, we just really executed better much better,” Carroll said on Monday during his weekly day-after Q&A session with the media.
But there was more to it than Lynch going Beast Mode. Robert Turbin, Lynch’s backup, had 37 yards on eight carries for a 4.6-yard average; while quarterback Russell Wilson carried six times for 60 yards to match Lynch’s 6-yard average. And then there was the line play.
“Our guys really did a great job of blocking,” Carroll said after the game.
Monday, he expanded on that, offering, “We played really well and handled their movement and stuff. This was a team that really slanted and blitzed and pressured a lot. But really, you could see it in Wednesday’s practice last week – the sense of urgency. We were really disappointed with what happened in St. Louis.
The cause-for-concern news, however, is that the Seahawks have allowed 405 rushing yards in their past two games after allowing an average of 91.6 in their first six games.
“We were sloppy in our run fits, again,” Carroll said. “Unfortunately we missed some reads on a couple of new plays that they ran, did a nice job in changing up. And we weren’t as sharp. … We’re just off a little bit and we have not fixed it in these two weeks, obviously, with that many yards being run. We’ve got to keep working hard at it.
“Big, dedicated effort, because we don’t want to go that way. We’ve had 38 runs (against the Bucs) and 37 runs (against the Rams) the last two weeks. That’s because it’s available. They wouldn’t run it that many times if we were playing it better. So we’ve got work to do.”