Bumpus: Seahawks’ turnaround on D incomplete without more turnovers
The Seahawks started the year extremely poor on defense, allowing 450 or more yards in four straight games from Week 2 to Week 5.
Since then, though, Seattle’s defense has been among the league’s best, especially when it comes to third down stops. Questions still remain as to whether or not the defense is actually playing better or if they’re just taking advantage of favorable opportunities, though.
So when will we know that the Seahawks’ defensive turnaround is for real? Former NFL wide receiver Michael Bumpus, who hosts Hawks Live on 710 ESPN Seattle as well as the Seahawks Radio Network pregame and postgame shows, shared his thoughts Friday on Jake and Stacy.
“I feel like they’re turning the corner. Like the blinker is on, you know what I mean?” Bumpus said. “… But there’s still a couple of things that they have to do. I think they’re moving in the right direction … but are they where we need them to be for this team to be successful? No, and I think they realize that.”
The numbers in terms of yards allowed – both in passing and rushing – and scoring have all gotten better in recent weeks. So what does Bumpus need to see in order to feel like the turnaround is legit?
“To me, this comes down to turnovers, man. You have to create turnovers,” Bumpus said.
The Seahawks are tied for eighth in the NFL turnover differential at plus-4, but that’s largely because the offense isn’t turning the ball over. Seattle’s defense is tied for 23rd with just eight takeaways this season.
“You’ve got three interceptions, in the secondary, on this team in general, and they’re all coming from the same player,” Bumpus said, referring to safety Quandre Diggs, who has all three of Seattle’s picks in 2021. “I need (cornerback D.J. Reed) to make a play. I need (rookie cornerback Tre Brown) to make a play. I want to see (linebacker Bobby Wagner) have the big play that we’ve waiting for. Jamal Adams has been quiet this year. There aren’t enough big plays on this defense right now. ”
Part of the reason some are questioning what the Seahawks’ defense has done lately due to the opponents they’ve played the last three games: the Steelers (20.1 points per game), Saints (25.1) and Jaguars (16.5).
“I think they took advantage of their opponents. You beat the Jags down, you play well against the Steelers. Those are two offenses that aren’t going to really blow your socks off,” Bumpus said. “So they’ve taken advantage of those opportunities.”
The cornerbacks and star players like Wagner and Adams aren’t the only ones who can step up for the Seahawks on defense, though.
“Collectively, I just need to see more. Darrell Taylor has been leading the charge when it comes to get after the quarterback, so let’s see him get a few more sacks,” Bumpus said. “But to me, it’s all about turnovers. Until they start turning the ball over there, they haven’t completely made that turn. The blinker is still on and they’re at a four-way stop waiting for people to pass.”
Listen to the full interview at this link or in the player below.