Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 11/17/14
Beastmode et al With training camp less than a week away, and the Seattle Seahawks roster all but final (in my humble opinion – save for a few role players and fringe special teams guys bound to get cut) the time for dough-eyed stats predictions is nigh upon us; be it for use in fantasy football leagues or elsewhere. As such, I’d be remiss of my duties if I didn’t prepare you accordingly with base statistical projections for your beloved Seattle Seahawks. As I talked about the WR position of the Hawks last week, this week I can only hope these are of some use to you, as you try to dominate in all league types and formats. And hey, if you’re not of the gambling or fantasy football variety, you can at least use these predictions to the same effect as I do and dominate in the realms of football conversation from couch to couch and pub to pub. Backfield The Seahawks have one of the deepest backfields in all of the NFL. If they so choose, they could easily work a two or maybe even three back system without that steep of a drop off in talent — luckily for Marshawn Lynch owners it’s not entirely likely though. They’ve built up this depth in recent drafts, having selected Robert Turbin in the fourth-round of last year’s draft and Christine Michael with their first pick, in the second-round of this year’s draft. The eternal optimist in me wants to say that they’re both great complimentary backs to Marshawn Lynch, but that just simply isn’t the case. The Seahawks have one of the deepest backfields in all of the NFL. While the Seattle Seahawks certainly aren’t short on depth in the backfield, the same can not be said for their variety of backs. I mean, for the most part yes, they are relatively short; varied in style, not so much. On that style and it’s inherent risks All of the Seahawks backs are bruising power backs. They play a north-south game, generally between the tackles and take a lot of hits. I mean, a lot. That Lynch has only missed eight games to this point in his career is somewhere between absurd and suspicious. But hey, I’m certainly not complaining. The same however can not be said of the next man down on the depth chart, Christine Michael. Injuries played a massive part in his production’s downward spiral during his final year at Texas A&M and are somewhat of a red-flag going into this season. Hopefully some of this risk can be mitigated by his limited role in the offense as a not-so-change-of-pace back. Turbin is apparently on the same diet as Lynch – or maybe even part of the same failed military experiment that spawned such a durable human – and as such hasn’t missed much in the way of action in his career, be it in college or his one season with the Seahawks. Generally speaking, the way these backs run should have me concerned… but I’m not. Not in the slightest. Redistributing the wealth Last season the Seahawks backfield was a one-man show, with guest appearances from the supporting cast. Pete Carroll and Darrell Bevell used Lynch as the primary ball-carrier, and rode him for the better part of the first half of the season. While Lynch isn’t a liability in the passing attack, their use of Turbin primarily as a blocking back and receiving running back does give some indication of how the coaching staff feels about Lynch’s abilities. Lynch, being one of the league’s best running backs and all, saw more snaps in the passing game (263 to Turbin’s 114) than Turbin, but trailed him in passing play usage by percentage. The gap in passing-play percentages between the two had Turbin playing 48% of his snaps in the passing game to Lynch’s 37%. The two backs were used at a 13% snap clip as pass blockers though. I have to imagine that based on these rookie numbers for Turbin that the plan has always been to develop him as a reliable third-down back, and as such you will likely see him taking away even more snaps from Lynch on third down and obvious passing downs. So, with Turbin likely seeing an increased role as a third-down back and Lynch likely to continue to shoulder the majority of the workload on the first two downs, where do Michael’s snaps come from? Well, probably from Lynch. The thing is, even though Lynch is still in the prime of his career, that’s not going to last much longer with him on the field for 65% of the team’s offensive snaps. I have to imagine this is why they selected Michael in the second round, despite his being an eerily similar style of back. Seahawks Running-Back Predictions As games wind down and scores get out of hand I expect the Seahawks to use Michael at times when they would traditionally use Lynch, so as to ease the workload for their beloved “BeastMode” and presumably extend the best years of what’s left of his career. What you’ve all been waiting for…My Seahawks Running-Back Predictions Marshawn Lynch 260 carries, 1,378 yards and 7 TD rushing. 17 receptions, 125 yards and 1 TD receiving Christine Michael 70 carries, 287 yards and 4 TD rushing 9 receptions, 83 yards and 0 TD receiving Robert Turbin 64 carries, 275 yards and 2 TD rushing 35 receptions, 277 yards and 4 TD CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE SEAHAWKS BLOG PAGE IN OUR CLUBHOUSE SECTION AT NWSB!
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