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Seahawks looking to even out run-pass ratio that’s out of balance

Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks looks on during the second quarter against the Washington Commanders at Lumen Field last Sunday in Seattle.  (Getty Images)
By Bob Condotta Seattle Times

RENTON, Wash. – While Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has never been shy about stating his belief that a strong running game is necessary to be a successful offense, he’s also never been so stubborn as to not do what it takes to win.

That has maybe never been more obvious than in the past three weeks.

As the Seahawks have gone 2-1 in that time – winning games in the last minute against Cleveland and Washington sandwiched around a blowout loss at Baltimore – they have attempted 112 passes to 58 runs.

That’s a percentage of 67.05%, third highest in the NFL during that stretch behind only Washington (71.5) and the New York Jets (68.81).

True, a lot of passing attempts while trailing big during their 37-3 loss to the Ravens influenced that number.

Still, the 28-to-15 pass-to-run ratio in that game is right in line with the 84-to-43 ratio of the other two games, which included 47-to-26 in Sunday’s 29-26 win over Washington.

Carroll said this week that, ideally, those numbers would even out some.

“I’m still working at it,: he said of the run-pass mix. “It’s still a work in progress.

“We’re looking to the run ball well. That’s important to us. We were effective running the football. We ran it 26 times. I think when you get in the 30s, it’s a good mix. Whatever happens with the throwing game from there, you’re in good shape.”

Offensive coordinator Shane Waldron said there is no set percentage that the team aims to hit.

“I still think, obviously, winning the game is going to take precedence over anything that happens (statistically),” Waldron said. “So whatever we need to do, week in and week out on offense, the main goal is to get the victory.”

Waldron acknowledged that, in a perfect world, the Seahawks would run it a bit more and said circumstance has dictated the high pass-to-run percentages of late.

“I think some of the games have gone that way, where we’ve had some extended 2-minute drives, especially looking back at the Baltimore game where we end up throwing heavy the second half of that game,” Waldron said. “But our goal is to get that number up and get to be a more balanced offense. I think for us overall, each individual game has had its good and had its bad, and we’ve had a couple of the games offensively this year where we’ve lived in the wrong extreme, playing catch-up. … Our goal (is) to be balanced, and in order to do that, we have to do a good job of holding our end of the bargain on offense and scoring consistently throughout the game.”

Charbonnet’s toughness appreciated – to a point

Seahawks coaches made sure this week to tell rookie running back Zach Charbonnet that he should have gone out of bounds after catching a pass from quarterback Geno Smith on the final drive of Sunday’s game, a play that snapped with 52 seconds remaining.

Instead of going out as he ran in front of the Seahawks’ sideline, Charbonnet decided to take on Washington defensive back Jartavius Martin, lowering his right shoulder into him to finish a 3-yard gain.

Carroll joked on his radio show Monday that Charbonnet “had a little business to take care of” instead of running out. Carroll said he also thought Charbonnet had gone out of bounds.

Officials ruled otherwise, and the Seahawks called the second of three timeouts. In the bigger picture, Charbonnet should have erred on the side of stopping the clock versus getting another yard or two.

Still, coaches and players said they appreciated the attitude Charbonnet displayed.

“Yeah, there’s a time and a place,” said Waldron, who cited Noah Fant (on Oct. 29 versus Cleveland) and DK Metcalf (Sunday versus Washington) as examples of players staying in bounds to gain worthwhile extra yards in late-game scenarios.

“I think there are some times when you can pick and choose when is the time to get what you can get and maybe not get out of bounds, and other times (to get out of bounds). Zach has had some success running a few folks over this year. Maybe that’s not the ideal time to run someone over, but (you) don’t want to take away from his play-making ability. But he’ll learn and keep growing in those scenarios.”

Smith said he made a similar point this week to Charbonnet.

“I told him, ‘Zach, you have to get out right there,’ ” Smith said. “But I was like, ‘Damn, that was a nice hit.’ If you watch his film, just time and time again he gets to the secondary, and he’s just punishing guys. He’s hard to tackle, and I wouldn’t want to tackle him.”