Seahawks Takeaways: K.J. Wright on 3 issues going into Week 18

Jan 3, 2024, 12:21 PM | Updated: 4:08 pm

Sunday will be all or nothing for the Seattle Seahawks.

After losing at home to the Pittsburgh Steelers 30-23 in Week 17, the Seahawks fell to 8-8 on the season, essentially putting themselves in a must-win situation when they go to Arizona for a 1:25 p.m. Sunday contest against the 4-12 Cardinals if they want to make the playoffs.

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On Seattle Sports’ weekly K.J. Wright Show during Wednesday’s edition of Brock and Salk, the former Seahawks great shared his thoughts on everything about the team. You can watch video of Wright in studio at the top of this post, or hear the full show in the podcast at this link or in the player below. After that, we’ll detail a few of the more notable observations he shared.

Big missing piece

The Seahawks have been without linebacker Jordyn Brooks since he suffered an ankle injury on Dec. 18 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Wright, himself a one-time Pro Bowl linebacker in his playing days, said it was a clear problem against Pittsburgh. Seattle allowed the Steelers to gain 468 yards of offense, with Pittsburgh running for 202 yards to 88 by the Seahawks’ offense, and the Hawks registering just one sack on the day.

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“It was night and day not having Jordyn Brooks out there,” Wright said. “What he’s done since he’s really came on the scene, a guy that’s been a downhill guy, a guy that when he sees it, he shoots it and he takes his shot. And for him just have to deal with that ankle injury – Devin Bush was out there, Bobby (Wagner) was out there, (but) Jordyn for sure was surely missed out there on the football field. And he has to come back this game because the Arizona Cardinals are going to have the same exact game plan.”

What’s wrong with Seattle Seahawks’ run game

The Seahawks have invested in the running back position, drafting Kenneth Walker III and Zach Charbonnet in the second round in back-to-back years, yet they rank fourth from last in the NFL with just 90.1 rushing yards per game.

When Wright was asked about the situation, he put his focus on the offensive line.

“I think we can improve in that position – I think we can get better, interior, with the offensive line,” he said. “I look at K-9 (Walker) – I say this every single week, when K-9 is getting north and south, K-9 is a really, really good football player. He’s a really, really good football player. Zach Charbonnet, he’s got to come along. He has to come along way more and be that 1-2 punch that we need him to be. He got taken in the second round for a reason, and right now we haven’t seen the right production out of him. So can we get some big boys up front?”

Is OC to blame for not converting on third down?

Another statistic on offense where Seattle has struggled is conversion rate on third down, where the Hawks are 25th out of the league’s 32 teams at 35.4%. Does that fall on third-year offensive coordinator Shane Waldron?

Wright didn’t put the blame on Waldron. Instead, he pointed out how not being fully in sync can impact just about everything.

“What do you do when you try to run the ball and it’s not effective? When you’re get stalemated at the line of scrimmage?” he said. “And then on top of that, you can’t even get the run game going because you’re (bottom quarter) in the league when it comes to third down. So I look at Shane, I feel like he’s trying to run the ball, but K-9, O-line, give me something. Geno (Smith), I need you to keep me going on third down so I can come back to it. And so I look at football, everything’s connected – the play-calling, the third down, the O-line, the run game. Everything has got to be in sync.”

The K.J. Wright Show airs from 8-9 a.m. live Wednesdays during the football season during Seattle Sports’ Brock Salk. Click here for podcasts of every episode.

More on the Seattle Seahawks

Notebook: Pete Carroll updates injuries, laments run game
What Carroll Said: Seahawks’ run D, tackling, onside kick and more
Instant Reaction: Seahawks’ loss to Steelers hurts playoff odds
Rost: Seattle Seahawks are in playoff picture, but story is D’s woes

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