Eddie Lacy or Thomas Rawls? Bet on Winner of Seahawks’ Tailback Battle

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 4:29 PM UTC

Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017 4:29 PM UTC

You can have your training camp quarterback battles! BetOnline is offering a prop on who will be Seattle’s Week 1 starting running back: Eddie Lacy or Thomas Rawls. Here’s our pick.

Quarterback battles tend to dominate the news in NFL training camps. We have them ongoing with the New York Jets (Josh McCown, Christian Hackenberg), Houston Texans (Tom Savage, Deshaun Watson), Cleveland Browns (Brock Osweiler, DeShone Kizer, Cody Kessler) and Denver Broncos (Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch).

It’s not often that there’s a high-profile running back battle to be the Week 1 starter because usually teams have a clear-cut featured back. That’s not the case with the Seattle Seahawks, however, as free-agent addition Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls are trying to win the job. BetOnline offers an NFL betting prop on the Week 1 starter in Green Bay: Rawls at -170 and Lacy, a former Packer, at +140.

Let’s be clear here: Both guys will get their carries during the season, assuming no injuries. Few NFL coaches these days like to pound the ball on the ground like Seattle’s Pete Carroll. His team struggled in that respect last year in averaging just 99.4 yards per game, 25th in the NFL. Part of that was due to one of the NFL’s worst offensive lines.

Rawls was a bit of a breakout star in 2015, a little-known undrafted rookie out of Central Michigan who rushed for 803 yards on 147 carries, a stellar 5.6 ypc. However, he suffered a serious injury late in the year and never looked fully right in 2016, rushing 109 times for 349 yards, an ugly 3.2 ypc.

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That was part of the reason the Seahawks signed Lacy to a one-year deal. The former NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year had a big first and second season but wasn’t the same guy in 2015 and then had his 2016 campaign end after only five games due to injury. Too bad as he was averaging a career-high 5.1 yards per carry. The major knock on Lacy is keeping his weight in check, and his contract includes several weight-related incentives. So far he is 3-for-3 on those, collecting $55,000 bonuses each time. He needs to weigh in at 245 each month during the regular season to collect the rest of his potential money.

Lacy was limited this offseason from ankle surgery. He needed two screws, two wires and a plate to help repair the damaged deltoid ligament in his left ankle that planted him on injured reserve in 2016. In Seattle’s preseason opener Sunday, a blowout of the Chargers in Los Angeles, Rawls played the first series and carried twice for five yards before Lacy entered for the second series. Lacy carried four times for 10 yards but failed to convert a third-and-goal from the 1-yard line.

Carroll’s first depth chart has Rawls as the starter and Lacy at No. 2 for what that’s worth. Seahawks beat writers are reporting that Rawls looks to be the No. 1 in practice reps as well. He’s clearly no longer dealing with a fibula injury that forced him to miss half of the 2016 season.

Seattle’s next preseason game is home to the Vikings on Friday, the only preseason game of the night but we should have true clarity in the third game on Aug. 25 vs. the Chiefs as that’s the game coaches treat most like a regular-season matchup. But you have to lean Rawls here as he knows the offense better than Lacy.

Free NFL Pick: Rawls -170Best Line Offered: BetOnline
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