Can Seahawks prove DK right, ‘get the best’ of Ja’Marr Chase?

Oct 12, 2023, 1:39 PM | Updated: 2:00 pm

Seattle Seahawks Devon Witherspoon...

Devon Witherspoon of the Seattle Seahawks reacts after a stop on Sept. 24, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks return from their bye week and get a very tough task against a Cincinnati Bengals team that appeared to finally find its footing on offense last week.

Seattle Seahawks Football 101: Close look at rookie standout Devon Witherspoon

Star quarterback Joe Burrow, who has been banged up with a calf injury, connected with his No. 1 target Ja’Marr Chase in a big way against Arizona last Sunday. Chase finished the game with a whopping 15 catches for 192 yards and three touchdowns.

Seahawks receiver DK Metcalf was asked this week by reporters about Chase, and he gave the LSU product plenty of love.

“He’s just a great receiver. I tip my hat off to him with what he’s done the first three years in the league. It’ll be fun to watch Sunday,” Metcalf said.

But Metcalf also said he thinks one of Seattle’s top defenders will have the upper hand on Chase on Sunday.

“I think ‘Spoon’ will get the best of him.”

“Spoon” is rookie cornerback Devon Witherspoon, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft and the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 4 after recording two sacks and a pick-6 against the New York Giants.

Chase clearly heard what Metcalf said, reposting a video of the comments on social media.

So what would a good game on Sunday against Chase look like for Witherspoon and the rest of Seattle’s secondary? Former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus shared his thoughts during Thursday’s Bump and Stacy on Seattle Sports.

“Ja’Marr Chase is one of those players where you’re not going to shut him out. The only way he gets shut down or shut out is if the protection isn’t good for Joe Burrow, and Joe Burrow is making poor decisions and the chemistry just isn’t on point,” Bumpus said. “Ja’Marr Chase catches 73% of the passes thrown at him. He’s averaging nine catches per game, his two longest receptions are 63 yards and 43 yards and he has three touchdowns, all last game. So if you just look at those stats right there, a good game against Ja’Marr Chase looks like he’s around 65% (reception) rate, he’s catching about six or seven footballs and he doesn’t have any of those explosive plays, especially the extreme explosive plays. You eliminate those.”

While Metcalf pointed to Witherspoon specifically in regards to covering Chase, it won’t be just him on the star wideout.

“They’re gonna isolate him, they’re gonna move him in the slot. Everybody’s gonna get a piece of him whether you are a corner on the outside or you’re a nickel or you’re the safety cover on a deep cross or a post,” Bumpus said. “What you want to do is make life difficult for him. Limit all of his numbers. But to say that you’re just gonna shut him down, man, that’s a tall order for Devon Witherspoon or anybody else in this league.”

Witherspoon will join Bumpus and former Hawks receiver Bryan Walters for Hawks Live Thursday evening at the Bellevue Mall. Check out details about that at this link.

More Seattle Seahawks coverage

• K.J. Wright: What Seahawks’ defense can do to fix woes on 3rd down
• Huard on Seahawks: What stands out in each of 3 phases
• Bumpus: How Seahawks’ Kenneth Walker III can help open up offense
• Seahawks Check-In: What we’ve learned through 4 games

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