The awards are starting to roll in for the Seattle Seahawks! Following a performance that saw him put up two touchdowns and over 150 scrimmage yards against the Carolina Panthers, second year running back Kenneth Walker III has been named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week.
#Seahawks running back Ken Walker III has been announced as NFC Offensive Player of the Week for Week 3.— Corbin K. Smith (@CorbinSmithNFL) September 27, 2023
Officially, Pro Football Reference credits Walker with 97 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries, as well as hauling in three receptions on three targets for 59 yards. In addition to this, he made it through yet another game without fumbling, which he has impressively managed to do literally his entire NFL career thus far. Through three games in 2023, he has logged 204 yards on 47 carries (4.3 ypc) and found the endzone four times. Add 73 receiving yards on 10 targets, and you have a pretty good stat line going in 2023.
One particularly interesting side note... Detroit Lions defender Aidan Hutchinson received NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his 2-sack performance against the Atlanta Falcons, who were held to 6 points one week after Detroit surrendered 37 points to Seattle. The Falcons had scored 24- and 25-points in their first two games, respectively. The Lions also held the (albeit severely wounded) Kansas City Chiefs to 20 points in Week 1. As you likely recall, the Seahawks sent out two backup tackles against Hutchinson and the Lions and they shut him down; he had two sacks against Atlanta and 3 QB hits on Mahomes, according to Pro Football Focus. Not only does PFF credits him with zero of either against Seattle, but they also gave him his lowest overall defensive grade, particularly for his run defense. Not to take anything away from Walker... but maybe Andy Dickerson is turning out to be a great hire and this offensive line is playing out of their minds right now.
Getting back to the matter at hand, though, this is not the first time we have seen the form Michigan State Spartans standout receive such recognition. Last season, Walker earned Offensive Rookie of the Month honors following his performance throughout October — a distinction he shared with his defensive counterpart, Tariq Woolen, who received the defensive honors that month, as well. In addition to this, we all know that KWIII was the real offensive rookie of the year in 2022, which was only undermined by a broken voting system that rewarded mediocrity. Fair to say, he is having a great start to his NFL tenure and looks to be picking up where he left off after a stellar rookie season.