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Monday, December 9, 2013
Concerns in Seattle's run defense

By Terry Blount

RENTON, Wash. -- Do the Seahawks still have a problem in stopping the running game?

The San Francisco 49ers rushed for 163 yards in Sunday’s 19-17 victory, but 137 of those yards came before contact, averaging 4.3 yards per carry before a Seattle player touched the runner.

Both numbers are the worst this season for the Seahawks defense. However, 51 of those yards came on one play near the end of the game. Frank Gore was not contacted on his 51-yard rush that set up the game-winning field goal.

Before that play, the Seattle defense gave up 98 yards rushing on 26 carries for a 3.8-yard average, before and after contact. Take that one big play out, and the 49ers had 112 yards on 32 carries for a 3.5-yard average.

So it all depends on how you look at it. Seattle coach Pete Carroll thought his defense did a nice job against the 49ers running game except for the one play.

“We just over ran it, just over ran the tackle,” Carroll said Monday after watching he film. “A number of guys had a chance. Kam [Chancellor] had a real shot at it, but floated over the top of the run. Earl [Thomas] had a shot at it as it came back underneath, and it got back all the way to Sherm [Richard Sherman]. Sherm [Richard Sherman] got nicked by a blocker and just didn’t get off of it cleanly and [Gore] took off and hit it.

“We were going this way and he was going that way. So they blocked it well up front, but we had plenty of shots to keep it to an 8 to 9-yard gain. That’s what we needed to do, and unfortunately, it got out. They took full advantage of it. He hit it just right and it was a nice play by them.”

The Seahawks entered the game 13th in the league against the run, giving up 107.2 yards per game. Seattle now is averaging 111.5 yards rushing allowed per game.