Let me just say straight from the start, any questions that surround Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas have nothing to do with him as a player. He is, without question, a once in a generation safety. The only questions around Thomas have to do with his contract and his team.
With that out of the way…
I am a firm believer that once you have a player that absolutely dominates in his position within the NFL, you hold on to him. When a player has the term “Future Hall of Famer” attached to him, you keep him. You pay him. Of course, every player starts to decline at some point, but until that point (or even just slightly past), you keep him on your roster. In this reporter’s opinion, this is the case with Earl Thomas.
There’s no way around it. The Los Angeles Rams have gone all in to win this year. Making huge additions to their team, additions that will probably only be around for a year or two, the former St. Louis team has decided its time, right now, to win.
Understandably, this has made Seattle Seahawks fans nervous. Add to that the fact the famed Legion of Boom (as fans knew it) has disbanded, there’s not enough Xanax in the world to help the 12th man make it through until preseason.
However, should there be panic in Seattle? Have fans focused too much on who has left, instead of seeing who is still here?
With the Seattle Seahawks bogged down in injuries, fans were concerned about today’s game against the Los Angeles Rams.
As of halftime today, 12’s have to come to the conclusion that there is no more home-field advantage when the majority of the Seahawks All-Pro players are on injured reserve or out of the game. After the disastrous ending of last week’s game, the concern centered on the defense.
With both linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright leaving the game with injuries, the conversation was whether either one or both would be able to play. Earlier in the week, there was the threat of suspensions on defensive ends Michael Bennett, Sheldon Richardson and defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson. Although Seattle lost Wright for the game having not cleared concussion protocol, everyone else was available for the game. On the offensive side, everyone was relatively healthy.
This week’s victory over San Francisco felt like a broken record. The distinct discrepancies between the two halves, the defense keeping Seattle in the game, missed field goals, and the offense finding its footing in the second half. They were able to pull out a win but still did not answer the questions of where this season is heading.
Seattle’s record is now 7-4 yet concern still arises that they will not even make it to the playoffs. Something that has only happened once in the 8 years Pete Carroll has been the head coach. This season has witnessed key contributors like corner Richard Sherman and defensive end Cliff Avril placed on IR; strong safety Kam Chancellor hasn’t played in two games with growing expectancy that he will also join them on IR.
The Washington Redskins came to Seattle with a slight limp. They were facing the fierce Seahawks defense with a very injured offensive line. The stat line showed this, however, the scoreline did not. Seattle rarely loses in November. Today that wasn’t the case.
The game didn’t start well for Seattle and never got better. In fact, the only points the Seahawks had in the first half came from the defense. They are now at 21 games without scoring on 1st possession. Slow starts have become commonplace for the Seahawks, but they often pick it up come the second half of the season. This game was not an example of that.
This weekend was guaranteed not to be a typical weekend in the NFL. With the reaction to the harsh comments from President Trump, there was not going to be a business as usual attitude. From the outset, the game had a different feel, with both teams opting to stay in the locker room for the national anthem.
The defense began the game with performances that we have come to expect. They forced a three-and-out on the first drive. Defensive end Michael Bennett and defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson were among many notable participants in shutting down Tennessee. Then Seattle received the ball on their 20 to start their drive and that is where things began to get interesting. Seattle went three-and-out with the offensive line getting penalized three times, two holding penalties and one unnecessary roughness all on just one third down play.
From that moment, the game turned into a flag fest and both teams paid dearly. Tennessee had two touchdowns taken away and Seattle had a key interception by safety Kam Chancellor taken back because of defensive pass interference on cornerback Richard Sherman. This sparked outrage by Sherman who took off his helmet to continue arguing with the official, and that caused an additional unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that took Tennessee from their 44-yard line to Seattle’s 25-yard line, for a gain of 31 yards.