A bright spot for the Seahawks in Sunday's 27-24 overtime loss to the Cincinnati Bengals was rookie running back Thomas Rawls, who started for the third consecutive week in place of injured starter Marshawn Lynch (hamstring).
Rawls racked up 169 yards on 23 carries, good for a 7.3-yard average. It was the most rushing yards by a Seahawks running back since Shaun Alexander put up 201 against the Green Bay Packers in 2006 and was the second-most rushing yards ever by a Seahawks rookie (Curt Warner, 207). Rawls' day also included a 69-yard run for a touchdown, the seventh-longest run in Seahawks history and second-longest run in the NFL this season.
"He really gets after you, and we love that about him," Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said of Rawls on Monday. "He's breaking tackles, he's making extra yards, he's finishing runs, and he's getting up with an attitude ready for the next one. He's got a great way about him."
The Week 5 effort has Rawls up for not just one, but two weekly honors at NFL.com, where he is one of three choices for Ground Player of the Week and one of five choices for Rookie of the Week. Seahawks fans can vote for Rawls right here (Ground Player of the Week), and right here (Rookie of the Week).
Lynch is "supposed to be back" for this week's game against the Carolina Panthers, but Carroll said he expects Rawls to continue to receive work in Seattle's offense, which usually amounts to "about 8 or 10 carries on a regular game" in relief of the team's "Beast Mode" back.
"We're going to feel real comfortable about him in the two spot, coming in off the bench," Carroll said of Rawls' role with Lynch in the mix. "We do roll our guys quite a bit. There's no reason for him not to play. He's done a great job for us and I would say he's probably exceeded our expectations at this point. We're happy to have him in there."
Photos from another thriller in Cincinnati this time ending in a 27-24 overtime loss against the Bengals.