Bumpus: Seahawks should be worried about 49ers’ potent run game

Oct 31, 2020, 10:39 AM
Seahawks 49ers...
The Seahawks face a 49ers team with a top rushing attack. (Getty)

The Seahawks’ defense may not have been off to a great start through for weeks due to struggles in coverage and rushing the quarterback, but that unit was one of the best against the run, allowing fewer than four yards per carry amid the team’s 4-0 start.

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Then, in a tight Week 5 win over the Minnesota Vikings, Seattle allowed 201 rushing yards and, after the Week 6 bye, allowed 159 rushing yards to the Arizona Cardinals in the Seahawks’ first loss of the season.

Now, the Seahawks face Kyle Shanahan’s San Francisco 49ers in Week 8 and their always dangerous running scheme. Currently, the 49ers are eighth in rushing yards per game at 137.7, and are also eighth in yards per carry at 4.8. San Francisco is also tied for the NFL lead in rushing touchdowns with 12.

Should the Seahawks’ now 13th-ranked rushing defense be concerned heading into the matchup?

“Very. You should be worried,” former Seahawks receiver Michael Bumpus told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant on Friday. “The 9ers have a run scheme that allows them anybody it seems like to excel in it.”

The 49ers, currently, are without three of their top running backs. Lead back Raheem Mostert and veteran Tevin Coleman are on injured reserve – though there’s a chance Coleman is activated for the game with the Seahawks – and Jeff Wilson, who ran for over 100 yards with three touchdowns in San Francisco’s Week 7 win over the New England Patriots, is joining Mostert and Coleman on IR.

That likely won’t stop the rushing attack, as Jerrick McKinnon and undrafted rookie JaMycal Hasty should have no problems finding success thanks to Shanahan’s offensive scheme, Bumpus said.

“They do a lot of things, man. They have a fullback, they’ll motion a receiver back there so they have three backs so there’s one guy left and one guy right,” said Bumpus, who sees some similarities between the 49ers’ rushing offense and that of perennial football powerhouse Bellevue High School, which won 11 state titles between 2001 and 2013 while often running a three-back offense.

“There’s a lot of trickery in that backfield and if you are not disciplined, they are going to get you,” he said. “They have McKinnon who’s had some good years … they have Hasty, the rookie, who has flashed every now and then. It seems like whoever they put in that backfield understand the scheme and allows it to work for them. It’s misdirection, it’s confusing linebackers, it’s making the defense be disciplined. You should be worried.”

Bumpus doesn’t think the Seahawks can go into the matchup and shut down the running attack altogether, like they did earlier in the season against the Dallas Cowboys and multi-time rushing champion Ezekiel Elliott, but he does think it can be contained. Last season, the Seahawks were able to hold the 49ers to 87 rushing yards in the first matchup, which Seattle won, before allowing 128 rushing yards and three rushing scores in a Week 17 San Francisco win.

“If guys aren’t disciplined ad guys are taking the bait, if you’re not doing what you’re supposed to do, anyone is liable to go for 100 yards in this 49er offense,” he said.

Someone who could make an impact for the Seahawks’ run defense is Damon “Snacks” Harrison, the veteran defensive tackle who signed with Seattle’s practice squad partway through the season but has yet to play. The 2016 All-Pro is known for occupying space and double teams while helping stuff the run. If Harrison is activated for this game, Bumpus thinks you shouldn’t have any crazy expectations for him, but that he could add something to the defense just by playing.

“I’m not expecting much, but I’m expecting him to give the defensive line a morale boost,” he said. “Maybe just having a guy who’s been there, done that in the trenches with you will help you with your mentality and with your morale.”

Listen to the second hour of Friday’s Danny and Gallant at this link or in the player below.

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