'Beast Mode' Punches His Ticket to Hawaii Along with 4 Other Seahawks
When you look at the Seattle Seahawks' selection of Pro Bowl players, I have a hard time figuring out what's more surprising—the fact that cornerback Richard Sherman was completely snubbed or the fact Seattle has more offensive players in the Pro Bowl than defensive players?
Regardless, the fans have spoken, so let's take a look at who will be heading to Honolulu from Pete Carrol's bunch.
For the third time in his six-year career, Marshawn Lynch will be making a Pro Bowl appearance. He won't get the starting nod over Adrian Peterson, but he will be second in command when it comes to playing time. Lynch will be looking to pile up plenty of yards on the ground, just as he has done this season.
"Beast Mode" is in the midst of the best season of his career, as he has racked up 1,495 yards on 297 carries. Moreover, Lynch has scored 11 touchdowns and forced 53 missed tackles—which means only Peterson has forced more missed tackles this season.
Yet, the most impressive stat line of all would be Lynch's yards after contact—834 of his 1,495 yards have come after contact.
Russell Okung and Max Unger
Despite being the most penalized tackle in all of football, left tackle Russell Okung has played lights out in every other area. Heading into Week 17 he hasn't surrendered a single sack, he has only allowed two quarterback hits and 13 quarterback hurries.
In regard to the run game, the 'Hawks' backfield has averaged 4.9 yards per carry when running off his backside.
However, center Max Unger's numbers give Okung a run for his money. Unger is equally impressive in one main department: pass protection. Through 15 games, he has given up 12 total quarterback pressures. Three coming in the form of quarterback hits and nine coming in the form of quarterback hurries. Like Okung, zero sacks allowed.
Both players will be making their Pro Bowl debuts as members of Tom Cable's offensive line.
Former first-round pick Earl Thomas will be heading to Hawaii for the second straight year like his fellow teammate, Mr. Lynch. Even though Thomas hasn't quite played up to his same level of play from 2011, he is still one of the league's best safeties.
He currently has nine passes defended, two interceptions, one touchdown and two tackles for loss in the run game. Not to mention, he has given up one measly touchdown through the air. He could afford to bring his missed tackles down a bit, but we could all sit here and nit pick any player's stats if we wanted to.
Leon Washington is the second Seahawks running back to make it into this year's Pro Bowl—the only difference being, he will be the kick returner for the NFC. He leads the NFC with 30.2 yards per return, with a 98-yard return for a touchdown being his longest.
Even though he has only had 23 kickoff returns this year, he has made the most out of every one of his returns. There isn't another player in the NFC who averages 30 yards a return, so it's safe to say Washington has earned it based on performance and not reputation.
This will be his second Pro Bowl selection. The last time he made it he was a member of the New York Jets.
I didn't have many problems overall with the Seahawks' selections for the Pro Bowl, except the snubbing of No. 25. He was fourth in fan voting, so I'm assuming the players and coaches decided the PED suspension was too much to put him in.
Sherman will most likely be first-team All-Pro, so not much to worry about, and chances are he will make the team as an alternate, but it is still disrespectful to not award a player for his hard work and outstanding play.
His quarterback rating against this year is an absurd 45.6. Additionally, quarterbacks are only completing 47.6 percent of their passes when throwing into his coverage area. He has picked off seven passes and defended 23 passes. Unreal numbers for a guy who doesn't make the Pro Bowl.
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