A running start

A rushing attack that had been lacking in the Seahawks’ first seven games got on track against the Cowboys last week, and they’ll try to keep it going in a positive direction against the Ravens on Sunday.

The general feeling after the Seahawks rushed for a season-high 162 yards against the Dallas Cowboys last week was a collective, “It’s about time.”

From head coach Pete Carroll; to assistant head coach/offensive line coach Tom Cable; to offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell; to the young linemen; to Marshawn Lynch, who contributed 135 hard-running yards to the effort.

The almost immediate follow-up emotion? Now, let’s build on that.

“Just keep doing what we’re doing,” Cable said when asked about the goal for this week. “Just work to get better every Sunday. At some point, when it kind of all comes together, this thing’s going to take off and be pretty cool.”

This Sunday, however, that might be easier said than done, because the Seahawks’ opponent at CenturyLink Field will be the 6-2 Baltimore Ravens. They rank No. 2 in the NFL in total defense, allowing an average of 279.4 yards; No. 3 in rushing defense, allowing an average of 86.8 yards; and are tied with the Seahawks for the second-best per-carry average in the league (3.4).

That’s the same Baltimore Ravens who also boost a strength-up-the-middle trio of Pro Bowl players in tackle Haloti Ngata, linebacker Ray Lewis and free safety Ed Reed. Throw in Pro Bowl linebacker/rush-end Terrell Suggs and 349-pound nose tackle Terrence Cody, and it’s a formidable group Lynch and the Seahawks will be running into on Sunday.

“Their football team up front is really, really good,” Carroll said. “Suggs is a fantastic football player and you can’t get any bigger than they are inside. And they play to that, the style plays to that. There’s no better bunch of guys that you’d want to play defense with than those guys.

“They’re all tough. They’re all physical. They’re all strong. And they play with a great attitude and can really make your day hard on you – as they’ve done this year.”

Just ask the Steelers’ Rashard Mendenhall (12 carries for 45 yards and 13 for 52); the Titans’ Chris Johnson (24 carries for 54 yards); the Jets’ Shonn Greene (10 carries for 23 yards); the Texans’ Arian Foster (15 carries for 49 yards); the Jaguars’ Maurice Jones-Drew (105 yards, but on 30 carries); and the Cardinals’ Beanie Wells (22 carries for 83 yards).

“They play a little run defense, now,” is the way Lynch summed up what awaits him.

But the Seahawks can’t back off on intimidation alone. They have to try to continue making strides in their running game because so much else in their season hinges on it as they move into the second half of that season.

via A running start.