The Seattle Seahawks offense was far more explosive this season than almost anybody outside of the organization expected. A big factor in this has been the impressive rookie season that Kenneth Walker put together. He finished the year with 1,050 rushing yards, according to Pro Football Reference. In doing so, he joins Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf in the 1K club, as they put up 1,033 and 1,048 receiving yards, respectively. Finishing with two 1,000 yard receivers is impressive enough as it is, but adding a running back in the mix indicates that this team is pretty clearly loaded with playmakers. This is a pretty uncommon feat, apparently.
The Seahawks join elite company, with only one other team being able to boast a running back and two other skill players with at least 1,000 yards. Who was that team? The Philadelphia Eagles, who hold the 1-Seed in the NFC and finished tied with Kansas City for the best record in the NFL at 14-3. You are likely familiar with these players, as they are exceptionally talented guys to be sure.
- A.J. Brown — 1,496 yards, 11 TDS;
- Devonta Smith — 1,196 yards, 7 TDs; and
- Miles Sanders — 1,269, 11 rushing TDs
Many other teams had one running back and one pass catcher exceed 1,000 yards, such as the rival San Francisco 49ers with Brandon Aiyuk and Christian McCaffrey (the latter was obviously acquired via trade, but he still gets credit here). The Detroit Lions started the season with a trio who got close with Jamal Williams, Amon-Ra St. Brown, and T.J. Hockenson, but 519 of Hockenson’s 914 receiving yards came after they traded him to the Minnesota Vikings. The Miami Dolphins similarly had two receivers surpass 1,000 (Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle), but neither of the leading running backs for Miami topped 1,000 rushing yards.
Several teams had three players account for 1,000 yards from scrimmage, which obviously shouldn’t be ignored, but even if you included those teams, the list wouldn’t grow exponentially. It would expand to include the previously mentioned Dolphins, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Cincinnati Bengals, according to StatHead. Unsurprisingly, every one of these teams is in the playoffs.
Of course, simply accumulating yards as a receiver or running back doesn’t correlate directly with wins, but having multiple skill players who can threaten the defense at all levels of the field definitely helps. And we know for a fact that the Seahawks have the personnel to do that. Remember these plays?
TYLER LOCKETT SEAHAWKS TOUCHDOWN!!!! pic.twitter.com/DhXb0UtWQh— Sami Jarjour (@SamiOnTap) January 8, 2023
Bart Simpson: "You can actually pinpoint the precise moment when Jalen Ramsey's heart rips in half."— Stan "the Soy Boy" Taylor ️⚧️ (@GoodGuyAtSports) December 9, 2022
Courtesy of DK Metcalf. pic.twitter.com/LHJtI1MqVp
Kenneth Walker to Leonard Floyd:— Emerald City Sporting News (@ECSN206) January 8, 2023
"Now you see me, now you don’t"
(Credit: @NFL )#Seahawks @Kenneth_Walker9 pic.twitter.com/vecBQXRvjn
Or even just the uncanny efficiency of Tyler Lockett?
#Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett is the only receiver in the NFL to earn an 85+ ESPN Analytics score at both getting open and making the catch over the past two seasons.— Seahawk Nerd (@SeahawkNerd) January 10, 2023
The only other WRs to have an 85+ open score and even a 65+ catch score are Justin Jefferson and Stefon Diggs.
Having a quarterback like Geno Smith who can get the ball to these playmakers is critical as well, and he deserves a ton of credit for stepping up in a way that only he knew he could. The Seahawks are headed into the postseason as a team that went from enshrined to maligned as the season wore on; but I will gladly stand behind any offense that has this many weapons and a quarterback who can get the ball to them.
They are going to need these guys to make their presence felt on Saturday when they travel to take on the 2-Seed San Francisco 49ers, who boast the league’s toughest defense to score on. In their first two meetings this season, the Niners were able to hold Metcalf and Walker in check (the first game still featured Rashaad Penny as the starter). Hopefully, the energy of making the playoffs combined with the opportunity to knock off a division rival who swept them during the regular season will be the motivation the Hawks need to bring everything they’ve got this weekend. I feel confident, because when everyone doubted them the most, this team took a page out of Geno’s book and refused to write anything on it. Narratives don’t win football games, but this team isn’t simply a feel good story at this point; they deserve to be here, and they can prove that this weekend.