Rookie RB Kenneth Walker III's Emergence Brings Balance to Seahawks Offense – Sports Illustrated

Don't look now, but the Seattle Seahawks currently boast a 3-3 record and find themselves in the thick of not only the NFC West title race, but the overall NFC playoff picture.
If you told someone before the season that at this point of the season the Seahawks would still be firmly in the playoff picture, it isn't unlikely that they'd laugh at you. However, after six games, that is exactly where they are. 
How, you might ask, is a team that appeared destined for a clear rebuild so competitive still? Well, the answer can be found on the offensive side of the ball, with quarterback Geno Smith leading the way. Despite all the uncertainty surrounding the Seattle quarterback position during the offseason, Smith has stepped up in a big way.
In the Seahawks' 19-9 win over the Arizona Cardinals, Smith didn't light up the stat sheet by any stretch of the imagination. He only completed 20-of-31 passes for 197 yards without a touchdown, but he continued to play efficient, turnover-free football when Seattle needed him to. 
The lone offensive touchdown for the Seahawks came from rookie running back Kenneth Walker III, who was making the first start of his NFL career with Rashaad Penny done for the season. 
In his first start, Walker recorded 97 rushing yards and a touchdown on 21 carries, showing why the Seahawks took him in the second round of the 2022 draft. Walker's emergence over the Seahawks' last two games gives them a more balanced offense and makes life easier for Smith. 
Six games is a small sample size and there is the definite possibility that when the season ends, the Seahawks will be on the outside looking in of the playoff picture. If they are, though, that's okay. 
The play of Smith through the first six games has given them a reason to extend him and continue to build around him moving forward. Now, with the continued emergence of Walker, the offense is balanced and can beat you both through the air and on the ground. 
As the rebuild marches on in Seattle, that will help them remain competitive, and ahead of schedule. 
You can find Connor Zimmerlee on Twitter @Connorjz98
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