The current MVP and his likely successor will be in the same stadium Sunday. Seattle's Shaun Alexander won't be mistaken for San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson through 15 weeks of the 2006 season. Tomlinson is enjoying the kind of season Alexander went through in 2005. He had an 85-yard run last week. Alexander, meanwhile, is averaging 2.9 yards per carry from Seattle's base offense and 3.4 yards overall. Those are severely depressed numbers.
The chart breaks down Alexander's production by personnel group. The "regular" group is the base offense (although the two-back, three-wide "E" offense has nearly supplanted it this season). Most of those two-back carries are out of the I-formation with Mack Strong as the lead blocker. Notice that the per-carry average goes up when there are more receivers on the field. This is partly because Seattle likes to spread the field and run against nickel and dime personnel. Sometimes the fatter per-carry average is misleading because defenses are happy to give up five yards if it's not enough for a first down.