The second-half outburst came after the Seahawks shifted their offense during their bye week, deciding to emphasize quicker passes, timing routes and spread formations. They were especially successful with empty sets (no running backs in the backfield).
Throwing passes more quickly also helped mitigate some of the offensive-line struggles. Russell Wilson was sacked just 15 times in the last nine games after the Seahawks allowed 31 in the first seven.
Carroll said to expect more of the same in 2016, the first season since 2010 without running back Marshawn Lynch as the focal point of the offense.
“Our rhythm throughout camp, we stayed connected to what we did in the second half of the year,’’ Carroll said. “We went in determined to do that, and right from the get-go when we got back here on the field we were at it with tempo and timing and all that and stood strong throughout the whole camp.”
Of the early-round quarterback picks, Wilson is the player we’d be most inclined to draft since he’s sometimes still on the board in the 6th/7th round. After his Week 9 bye, Wilson averaged 279 passing yards and 3.1 touchdowns over the final eight games. That’s a 4,400-plus/50-TD pace, which is why he’s ranked with the likes of Cam Newton and Aaron Rodgers atop our projections.