Bumpus: The rookie defender that will be Seahawks’ X factor vs Chargers

Oct 21, 2022, 4:47 PM

Seahawks Boye Mafe...

Andy Dalton of the New Orleans Saints is tackled by Boye Mafe of the Seattle Seahawks on October 09, 2022. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

(Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

When the Seahawks go to Los Angeles to take on the Chargers, a lot of the focus will be on Seattle’s defense.

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It makes sense why, as the Hawks are coming off a great game defensively against the Arizona Cardinals after five rather tough weeks on that side of the ball to open the year. Additionally, the Chargers have one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks in Justin Herbert and dangerous weapons like running back Austin Ekeler and receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.

So which Seahawks defender does Michael Bumpus think will be an X factor this weekend? The former NFL receiver broke it down during Friday’s Bump and Stacy on Seattle Sports 710 AM.

First, Bumpus pointed to safety Quandre Diggs.

“I’m saying that Justin Herbert is very accurate down the middle of the field, the deep middle of the field,” he said.

But Diggs wasn’t his actual pick. Instead, he went with a rookie defender, and not who you’d initially think.

” I’m going to go with the young man we spoke to last night on Hawks Live, Boye Mafe. He’s ready to go,” Bumpus said.

Mafe, a second-round linebacker/pass rusher out of Minnesota, has a sack and two quarterback hits this season and is starting to play more snaps along with rookie cornerbacks Tariq Woolen and Coby Bryant. Mafe’s snap percentage has increased every week this season, and Bumpus thinks that’s in part because the rookie continues to grow.

“I watch him on film, he’s getting better and better. He is in his 10th game – if you count the preseason – as a professional and he’s supposed to be done, right?” Bumpus said. “College football, you play what, 10 to 12 games (and are) getting ready for a bowl game or a conference championship and all that, and I don’t see him getting weaker. There’s a lot of times you put film on of these young guys, and they reach this point and their bodies just aren’t used to playing this long and they get burned out a little bit … Boye Mafe has never played as much football as he’s going to be playing, but he’s getting better.”

Additionally, Mafe is taking in information “like a sponge” because he didn’t start playing football until he was already a teenager in high school.

” And you see it coming to life on the football field,” Bumpus said.

So what should we expect from Mafe this weekend against the Chargers?

“Boye Mafe is gonna have a sack. He’s gonna have a sack,” Bumpus said. “I know Justin Herbert has been sacked seven times, but Boye Mafe is gonna have a sack this weekend.”

Listen to the full second hour of Friday’s Bump and Stacy at this link or in the player below.

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