A Spartan Dawg Returns to Michigan Territory
Alim McNeill knows all too well that the upcoming match against the Seattle Seahawks is no ordinary game. The Spartan Dawg—formerly a Michigan State standout and current Seahawks running back—Kenneth Walker III, is set to make another return to the Wolverine state. For those who remember, Walker III and the Seahawks edged out the Lions 48-45 in their last encounter, despite McNeill and company managing to control the rushing threat to an extent.
A Riveting History Between Alim McNeill and Walker III
In 2022, the Detroit Lions and the Seahawks battled it out at Ford Field. McNeill recalls the duel vividly; his team managed to limit Walker III to just eight carries for 27 yards, mainly because he wasn't the starting running back. But don't let the stats fool you—McNeill is keenly aware of the ability Walker III holds.
Alim McNeill and Kenneth Walker III have a history that transcends their young NFL careers. Before making it to the league, both athletes had their share of battles in college. McNeill represented NC State, while Walker III donned Wake Forest‘s colors.
“He is a really talented running back,” McNeill commented. “I remember him from his college days at Wake Forest for a couple of years. He’s explosive and possesses great vision.”
These matchups yielded split victories for their respective schools but offered a preview of the talent each player possessed. Walker III, particularly, had 27 carries for 131 yards and three touchdowns in their last meeting in college.
Walker III's Resurgence and the Lions' Strategy
After the Seahawks' victory over the Lions last season, Walker III returned to his Michigan State form, accumulating an impressive 992 rushing yards and nine touchdowns over the remaining 12 games. McNeill knows what's at stake.
“You’ve got to stop him. You’ve got to stop the run. That’s the game plan every game.” McNeill affirmed. “We can’t let him get exposed, get started, (and) get warm.”
Alim McNeill goes on to say, “Bringing him down can be a tough task, so we’ll need to employ a gang-tackling approach.”
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- Alim McNeill and the Detroit Lions are preparing for a crucial matchup against Kenneth Walker III and the Seattle Seahawks.
- McNeill has previous experience playing against Walker III from both college and their last NFL meeting, in which the Seahawks narrowly defeated the Lions.
- The Lions are also prepping to counter the Seahawks' recently acquired Jason Peters at the line of scrimmage.
The Additional Challenge of Jason Peters
While prepping for Walker III is already a tall order, Alim McNeill and the Detroit Lions' defense also have to plan for Jason Peters. The Seahawks just recently signed this potentially future Pro Football Hall of Famer to fill in the gap created by injuries to Charles Cross and Abe Lucas.
McNeill admits that while the team has discussed Peters' acquisition, it's not their primary focus. “This is the NFL. The next guy up is going to be pretty good as well,” McNeill commented. “He gets paid to do this too. So it is topic of discussion, but we also got to worry about what we got to do too.”