An easy tweak to Seahawks’ offense that Bumpus wants to see

Sep 26, 2023, 3:38 PM

Seattle Seahawks Kenneth Walker III...

Kenneth Walker III of the Seattle Seahawks runs against Carolina on Sept. 24, 2023. (Christopher Mast/Getty Images)

(Christopher Mast/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks have put a disappointing Week 1 loss far behind them in their last two games.

Seattle is now 2-1 on the year after outlasting the Detroit Lions 37-31 in an overtime shootout in Week 2, then following up with a big second half in Week 3 to take down the Carolina Panthers 37-27.

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To score 37 points in back-to-back games, albeit with the benefit of an overtime touchdown in Detroit, is a feather in the cap for the Seahawks’ offense. That being said, Michael Bumpus of Seattle Sports thinks a simple tweak to a more basic approach could lead to even more success for the Hawks.

“Offensively, when you get into that red zone, we gotta be nasty when it comes to running the football,” said Bumpus, a former Seahawks wide receiver who is now a Seahawks Radio Network analyst and co-host of Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy.

Bumpus shared that the Seahawks have attempted to pass the ball in the red zone the sixth-most in the NFL this year, but he liked what he saw as the team showed off its 1-2 punch at running back in Sunday’s win over Carolina. Second-year starter Kenneth Walker III rushed 18 times for 97 yards, and for the second week in a row scored two touchdowns. Meanwhile, rookie Zach Charbonnet added 46 yards on nine carries, including one of the biggest highlights of the week in the NFL when he finished off a 12-yard gain in the fourth quarter by sending a Panthers defender flying.

It’s a pretty good sign that Walker and Charbonnet both averaged over 5 yards per carry against Carolina, and Bumpus wants to see their numbers getting called more when the Seahawks are nearing the end zone.

“After seeing what Ken Walker can do – we know what he can do – and after seeing Zach Charbonnet get physical, alright. I’m looking at this team and I’m saying, you get into that red zone, be physical. Because you know what that’s going to do? It’s going to open up the play-action.”

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Bumpus said the Seahawks saw the result of that on a late 5-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Geno Smith to rookie wide receiver Jake Bobo, which came two plays after Charbonnet’s aforementioned 12-yard run.

“That touchdown to Jake Bobo? Play-action. Why? Zach Charbonnet’s in the backfield and teams are like, ‘Look, that man just ran our homie over. We gotta gang tackle because he can run,'” Bumpus said. “Also, you got the tight ends open – (Colby) Parkinson with big plays, Noah Fant with big plays. You get inside the red zone, run the football and be stubborn early because then all that stuff in the back is going to open up for you.

“I love the wide receiver fade in the end zone because I’m a wide receiver, but it’s a low-percentage play. And I think (Seahawks offensive coordinator) Shane Waldron is in his bag, he’s getting creative, he’s got guys in motion, he’s (calling) play-action, (the Seahawks are) rolling out. Continue that. You get inside the 20, run the football, let Ken Walker and Zach Charbonnet set the tone, and now you can open up and throw it over the top or to your tight ends.”

Michael Bumpus answers four football questions during the Four-Down Territory segment of Bump and Stacy at 11:15 a.m. weekdays on Seattle Sports. Listen to Tuesday’s edition in the podcast at this link or in the player near the top of this post.

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