SEATTLE -- The biggest issue the Seattle Seahawks had to address coming into this postseason was how they were going to advance without a reliable running game. The only question they faced after Saturday night's 26-6 NFC wild-card win over Detroit was how far they might go with Thomas Rawls back in the mix. That's how much Seattle changed in the course of one week. Just like that, the Seahawks were back to looking completely capable of wreaking havoc in the playoffs.
The major story of Saturday was Rawls, who set a team playoff record with 161 yards on 27 carries and scored a touchdown. He made life easier for quarterback Russell Wilson. He proved that all the problems that have plagued the Seahawks offensive line this year might be resolving themselves faster than we knew. He also reminded us of what the Seahawks can do when their run game is gashing opponents.
The comment that echoed throughout the Seattle locker room afterwards was hard to miss: This was the team they've been trying to be all season, one that could beat teams up on the ground, devastate them with Wilson's playmaking and stifle them with a defense that knows how to win at this time of year. "We did it on the ground," Rawls said. "The identity that we always try to maintain is running the ball. We want to run hard, tough and that's exactly what we did. When we're true to our identity, it feeds the crowd, it feeds the offense, it feeds the special teams. And that's something we want to maintain throughout the rest of this journey."
It wasn't difficult to understand the jubilation in Rawls' voice as he spoke at his postgame press conference. After finishing in the top five in the NFL in rushing in each of the previous four seasons, the Seahawks fell to 25th this season. Some of that had to do with an inexperienced, makeshift offensive line. More of it had to do with injuries in the backfield, as Rawls sustained a fractured fibula in Week 2 that limited him to nine games.Read More...
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