Seahawks save season behind punishing ground game

Thanks to a dominant rushing attack, the Seahawks picked up a season-saving win against the Packers on Thursday night.

The Seattle Seahawks might not look like much on paper in 2018. It’s impossible to deny that they are far from the defensive behemoth that owned the NFC in the middle of this decade.

Many of the stars that made up those Super Bowl teams in the mid-2010s are long gone. But yet, as this season pounds its way into Week 11, the Seahawks are still alive at 5-5.

Despite lacking the star power and charisma it possessed just a few years ago, Seattle still has one of the NFL’s most reliable quarterbacks in Russell Wilson. And even though it flies under the radar, especially in an NFC West division currently owned by Todd Gurley and the Los Angeles Rams, the Seahawks possess one of the most lethal ground games in the NFL.

They lead the league in rushing per game with 156 yards on average, and they relied on that facet of their game once more in a 27-24 win at home against the Green Bay Packers on Thursday Night Football. Between Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, Mike Davis and Wilson, the Seahawks accumulated 172 yards on the ground in the game.

After Wilson completed a go-ahead touchdown pass to Ed Dickson with just over five minutes remaining, the running game became even more effective for Seattle. It picked up multiple first downs on the ground — including an eight-yard dash for a first down by Wilson (who slid to the ground before going out of bounds to keep the clock running), as well as a seven-yard run up the middle by Davis — to run the clock out on Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.

It was a must-win game for the Seahawks, and the win brought them to .500 as they get ready to tackle a tough closing stretch of the season. Though they will play a handful of very winnable games, they have upcoming contests against Carolina, Minnesota, and Kansas City, and each of those games will present tremendous challenges.

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But if Seattle can find a way to win at least four of their last six games, they will end the season at 9-7. That record won’t guarantee them anything, but it would at least give them a puncher’s chance to compete for an NFC wild card spot in what looks like it could be a very tight race.

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