The Seattle Seahawks survived a scare Week 1, earning an ugly 21-20 victory over the visiting Cincinnati Bengals to win their 11th consecutive home opener.
Although Seattle’s trademark running game was nowhere to be found, the player of the game was still running back Chris Carson – thanks to his contributions through the air.
Carson finished the game with 15 carries for 46 yards, including a one-yard touchdown run. However, he tacked on six receptions for 35 yards and another touchdown – his second career touchdown reception.
The Seahawks made a big deal all offseason about utilizing their running backs more as pass rushers this year, with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer indicating he wanted to get Carson 50 targets.
That looked like a promise they intend to keep on Sunday, as Carson actually led the Seahawks with seven targets. He was featured heavily in that capacity against a surprisingly stout Bengals defense.
The Seahawks will head to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers in Week 2, and Carson’s ability to run the ball and catch passes out of the backfield will once again have a huge impact on the outcome of that contest.