Bumpus: How Seahawks’ Kenneth Walker III can help open up offense

Oct 10, 2023, 1:58 PM

Seattle Seahawks Kenneth Walker III...

Seattle Seahawks RB Kenneth Walker III carries the ball against the New York Giants. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

(Al Bello/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks’ offense is off to a good start to the 2023 season. But could it get even better?

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After Week 5, Seattle ranks sixth in the league with 27.8 points per game, a big reason they sit 3-1 through four games. The Hawks’ averages in yardage, however, are considerably lower – 19th in total yards per game (319.8), 16th in passing yards (211.3), and 17th in rushing yards (108.5).

That last number is one Michael Bumpus looks at as an area of improvement for Seattle, specifically when it comes to the Seahawks’ top rusher, Kenneth Walker III. Thus far, Walker ranks 12th in the league with 70.8 yards per game on the ground. Why does Bumpus think that number could jump? Because Walker hasn’t had the same kind of huge run he pulled off a few times as a rookie last year.

Bumpus, a former NFL wide receiver who now is an analyst on the Seahawks Radio Network and co-hosts Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy, pointed out that Walker had three rushes in 2022 of at least 60 yards. So far this year, his biggest plays have gone for 31 and 36 yards.

“If he can do this, then I think that this team can take a another step forward, and it’s all about taking steps forward,” Bumpus said. “… The Hawks are 4-1 in games (in Walker’s career) when he has rushes of 30-plus yards, so we’ve got to get that going. He was No. 3 last year in explosive plays, he was No. 2 when it comes to top speed at 22.09 mph. This year, he’s reached 20 mph four times. So you see that it’s there, you feel the rumble.”

Bumpus compared Walker’s runs so far of at 30 yards to the 4.2 magnitude earthquake that shook the Puget Sound on Sunday.

“He’s that little 4.2 that we had, little rumbles – I’m waiting for the big one and I think they are really close,” Bumpus said. “And that is what makes his kid so special is that he has those capabilities. In 2022, he had gains of 60, 74 and 69 yards – that is ridiculous. So with his gains of 31 and 36 (this season), you see it happening, you feel the momentum.”

Michael Bumpus answers four football questions at 11:15 a.m. daily in Four-Down Territory during Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy. Click here for podcasts from the show.

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Bumpus: How Seahawks’ Kenneth Walker III can help open up offense