After Russell Wilson, which Seahawks players are most important?
When the Seahawks play the Packers in Green Bay on Sunday, their most important player by far is quarterback Russell Wilson, who is coming off a 325-yard performance against the Philadelphia Eagles in the wild card round of the playoffs.
But after Wilson, who will likely finish in second place in the NFL’s MVP voting, which three players are most important against the Packers?
Former NFL wide receiver Michael Bumpus joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant and gave two names you likely would expect, with a third that’s more surprising.
The second-most important player, Bumpus said, is rookie receiver DK Metcalf, who dominated the Eagles secondary last week.
“He had a coming out party in his first playoff game last week against the Philadelphia Eagles,” Bumpus said. “I’m looking to see if he can repeat that.”
Metcalf had 160 yards and a touchdown, as well as this game-clinching reception on third down at the end of the fourth quarter.
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) January 6, 2020
He’ll have a tougher task this week as he’ll likely be covered by former UW Husky Kevin King, but Metcalf can still make a big impact against the Washington product.
“Kevin King is a good ballplayer, but he gives up a lot of yards – about 17 yards per reception – so I’m just looking to see if DK can do what he did last week. He doesn’t have to go for 160 (yards) or whatever he did, but I just need him to make some big plays,” Bumpus said.
Bumpus said Metcalf has now passed Tyler Lockett as the team’s go-to deep threat, which could come into play as the Packers have given up 15 passing plays of over 40 yards this season, which is tied for the second most in the NFL with the Eagles, who Metcalf torched last Sunday.
“It could mean that (they look to pass to Metcalf deep a lot like last Sunday), but I don’t think they should force it off of that stat,” Bumpus said. “That just means there’s big plays to be had and that’s what DK does, he makes the big play as of late.”
The Seahawks accumulated seven sacks against the Eagles and played well in the running game, which they hadn’t done in some time. Seattle’s defense will need to do that again against a Packers offense with Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones in the backfield.
A lot of last week’s defensive success can be attributed to defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who was the healthiest he’s been in some time since injuring his core in Week 10. Clowney had five tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack in Philadelphia, and his presence allowed his teammates to make big plays as well.
Head coach Pete Carroll said Friday that Clowney feels even better than he did before last week’s game.
“We talked to Pete Carroll on Monday and I asked him, ‘What was the biggest difference in your defense?’ Two words: Jadeveon Clowney,” Bumpus said. “He has to get after the quarterback. We all know about Aaron Rodgers. He can throw the ball from many different angles, he’s deceptively quick in the pocket, he can make things happen. If they’re going to get their hands on him, it’s going to start with the pass rush and Clowney.”
So, after Mectalf and Clowney, who else does Bumpus see as being most important for the Seahawks?
Safety Quandre Diggs, who returned to action last week?
Running backs Marshawn Lynch and Travis Homer, who had a combined 19 rushing yards against the Eagles?
Nope. It’s kicker Jason Myers.
“If the offense isn’t able to generate yards, it’s going to come down to field goals,” Bumpus said. “Can this guy be clutch on ‘the tundra’ in the Midwest in Green Bay and make some clutch field goals? Myers is going to have to make his money this week. “
Listen to Bumpus get more in depth on Metcalf’s role, Seattle taking shots deep in the passing game and who his alma mater, WSU, should choose as their net head football coach at this link or in the player below.
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