Seahawks followed plan to get Chris Carson more involved in passing game

Seattle Seahawks

After professing Chris Carson would catch more passes this year, the Seahawks followed through with that plan in Week 1.

With a traditionally run-heavy offense, the Seattle Seahawks have generally not used their running back extensively in the passing game. So head coach Pete Carroll said Chris Carson would catch the ball more this season, and offensive coordinator put Carson’s target total to be in the 50 range for the season, it stood out.

Carson had 20 catches on 24 targets in 14 games last season, so 50 targets is obviously an increase of more than double. But in Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals, the plan to get him involved as a pass catcher got off to a good start.

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw the ball 20 times against the Bengals. Carson was targeted on seven of those, as he finished with six catches for 35 yards and a touchdown to go with 15 carries for 46 yards and another touchdown.

During his press conference on Monday, Carroll complimented what Carson did as a pass catcher on Sunday.

Well, it worked out,”“It was something that was part of the offseason to involve him and he jumped out with six catches. That was a lot of catches for him. It’s clear why we’re trying. He made some nice plays running with the football… We’re not talking about him lining up as a wide receiver to run post routes and digs and stuff like that. We want to use him in classic fashion for the running back position and letting him catch the ball with space and run for obvious reasons.

With Carson featured as a pass receiver the way he was against Cincinnati, wide receiver Tyler Lockett was not targeted at all until the fourth quarter and he finished the game with two targets. Lockett’s lone catch was a decisive 44-yard touchdown, as rookie wide receiver DK Metcalf came in second on the team in targets (six) and led the team in receiving yards (89) on his four catches.

Next: 5 breakout players from Week 1

Weekly game plans are malleable to each week’s opponent, and in Week 1 the Seahawks clearly saw something they could exploit with Carson in the passing game.

Carson’s fantasy owners surely want to see more games with a chunk of catches to supplement his production. But things should even out going forward, and the season opener has to stand as Lockett’s season-low for targets if Seattle’s offense is going to function as well as it can.

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