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K.J. Wright: Seahawks’ road to playoffs, defending Kelce, offense without Lockett

Dec 21, 2022, 12:16 PM | Updated: 12:26 pm
Seahawks...
Noah Fant of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates with teammates after catching a touchdown pass against the San Francisco 49ers on December 15, 2022. (Christopher Mast/Getty Images)
(Christopher Mast/Getty Images)

With just three games remaining this season, the Seahawks find themselves at 7-7 and outside of the playoff picture in the NFC.

What’s the main reason the Seahawks have lost 4 of their last 5?

So how do they get in? Well, it all starts this weekend with a tough road visit to Kansas City against the AFC West-champion Chiefs.

Former Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright broke down how the Hawks can earn a playoff spot and also shared his thoughts on this Saturday’s matchup during The K.J. Wright Show on Seattle Sports 710 AM.

How do the Seahawks get in the playoffs?

“Here we are, we’re 7-7. And the reality of the situation is you’ve got to win out. You’ve got to win all three. Nine (wins) won’t get you in,” Wright said.

Getting three wins to end the year comes down to two things, Wright said, and it’s a similar message he gave to the Las Vegas Raiders late last season when they were fighting for a Wild Card spot.

“The first thing I need to see from this team is I need the physicalness to pick up,” he said. “This is a finesse team (they’re facing this week). The Chiefs don’t really want to run the ball. But you have got to make this game physical.”

That starts up front with Seattle’s offensive line, Wright said.

“We’ve seen the running game not been existing these last few weeks. I need to see these guys get going,” he said.

The second thing? Attention to detail.

“I need the details to be better. We’ve got to do the little things right, get the details going, and just make sure that we just keep pushing, keep pushing and don’t beat ourselves. Don’t shoot ourselves in the foot,” Wright said. “… They’ve got to get it done because 10 (wins) will get you in.”

Defending Travis Kelce

The Seahawks face one of the most dangerous passing threats in the NFL this weekend as the Chiefs have star quarterback Patrick Mahomes as well as his top target, tight end Travis Kelce.

Guest host Mike Lefko asked Wright how a team can guard and take away Kelce, who is sixth in the NFL in receiving yards and leads all tight ends in receiving yards with roughly 400 more yards than the next-closest player.

“Well, there’s no such thing as taking him away,” Wright said.

Well, how do you keep the star tight end from having a monster game?

“First of all, your awareness has to be on point. Where is No. 87? If he’s in my vicinity, I have to be alert each and every time that the ball is snapped,” Wright said.

The former Hawks linebacker said he’s very interested to see the game plan that defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt utilizes.

“If he calls man-to-man coverage and he puts a safety on Kelce by himself, then we have a problem. If you’re not double-teaming this man when you’re calling man-to-man, then we have a problem. I need Kelce double-teamed every single play,” Wright said. “What you have to do with really good offenses is you have to take away what they’re good at. Patrick Mahomes and Kelce have the chemistry of something we’ve never seen when it comes to this generation of football. They are just on point each and every game. They’re just in sync. So I need you to take them away and make (receiver Marquez) Valdez-Scantling beat you, make made  (receiver)JuJu Smith-Schuster beat you. But Travis Kelce is not going to take over this game.”

Offense without Tyler Lockett

On the other side of the ball, the Seahawks are without a top offensive threat in receiver Tyler Lockett, who will miss this weekend’s game due to a broken bone in his hand that required surgery.

Lockett has been one of the Seahawks’ best and most consistent performers over the last few years, and he’s missed just two games in his NFL career.

So what do the Seahawks need to do on offense with Lockett out?

“(Offensive coordinator) Shane Waldron, let’s see this game plan he puts together. I’m hopeful that he goes with a lot of 13 personnel,” Wright said.

In football, 13 personnel is when the offense uses three tight ends and one running back. The Seahawks have utilized that look a lot this season.

“I need to see 13 personnel all day, every day. Give me Noah Fant, Colby (Parkinson), Will Dissly,” Wright said. “Let those guys run the ball, and also spread those guys out and go empty. Go empty. Put (receiver DK Metcalf) and isolate him against a linebacker and let’s play some football. I’m really looking forward to seeing how (Waldron) maximizes this offense with Tyler out because you have your hands full. You’ve got a great offense on the other side of the ball, (so) control the time of possession, but at the same time, and you need to be explosive.”

Listen to the full K.J. Wright Show at this link or in the player below.

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K.J. Wright: Seahawks’ road to playoffs, defending Kelce, offense without Lockett