The Seattle Seahawks wrapped up the NFC West division crown and clinched a playoff spot in the process by beating up the division rival Los Angeles Rams 24-3 on Thursday Night Football. It was an impressive performance from a Seahawks team that has been inconsistent over the past several week. The Seahawks were coming off of a 38-10 blowout loss to the Packers last Sunday, but prior to that, they had blown out Carolina at home 40-7.
That seems to be the theme of this season so far for the ‘Hawks as they continue their push towards the playoffs. The question is, which Seattle team will show up from week-to-week?
“It’s been iffy, I always say this when I talk about the Seahawks, you never know which Seahawks team you’re going to get on any given week,” said Seattle radio host Terry Hollimon on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence show. “Last week, you watched they performance against Green Bay and you were like oh my gosh what team is this? A week before that you watch what they did against the Carolina Panthers and blowing them out of the park, you don’t know which team you’re going to get on any given week. Then this week they get the opportunity to go in there and play against the Rams for the opportunity to clinch the NFC West and it’s a blowout once again at CenturyLink Field. So, I hope this is the team we see going into the playoffs because they’re going to have to play this well to be successful.”
One of the biggest losses that the Seahawks will have to contend with as they make their playoff run is the injury to All Pro safety Earl Thomas. Thomas left the game against the Panthers after suffering a broken leg that ended his season. While the defensive guys have stuck to the regularly used ‘next man up’ mantra, the loss of Thomas is one that Hollimon believes affects this defense more than they’d be willing to admit.
“I believe it’s affected them tremendously. The guys, when you listen to them talk on television or the radio they say it’s next man up, we’re just going to have to rally around each other, it’s not that big of a deal,” said Hollimon. “But, you have a guy like Earl Thomas, he’s irreplaceable. Not just on the field the things he’s able to do, we know how good he is on the field, he’s just an incredible athlete. We know Richard Sherman is an incredible cornerback. We know he’s one of the top corners to play the game. But, the reason that he’s very successful is that he’s able to take chances and risks out there on the field knowing that Earl Thomas has his back. He knows that if I make a mistake over here on the left side of the field Earl Thomas is going to be able to get over here and help me out. That allows him to play a lot more free. Also, take into account that he is such an emotional leader on that team and in that locker room. I think when he’s not there it takes away from the entire attitude of the defense. They have a bunch of other guys they can lean on, but there is no replacing Earl Thomas.”