Football is the ultimate team sports, there is no doubting that. Each week modern day gladiators put their bodies on the line for each other in order to reach their ultimate goal of being the best in the world in what they do. Sacrificing countless ways each week, football players are the epitome of playing for a team, not just yourself.
However, there’s also no doubting the fact that some players have bigger impacts each week than others.
Whether it be a quarterback eclipsing the 400-yard passing mark, a running back trucking his way for 150 on the ground, or a defensive standout racking up sacks and interceptions, there are special players each week who electrify a team and forward their cause even further.
The Seattle Seahawks were no different this week.
Playing host to the Minnesota Vikings before a crucial bye week that will see them get plenty of rest, the Seahawks jumped out of the gate and never looked back, eventually coming away with a blowout 41-20 victory that saw them forward their record to 10-1 while creating distance in the NFC West as well (thank you, New Olreans).
A game filled with plenty of highs — notably the debut of Percy Harvin — there was plenty to love about this mid-November matchup.
Here are the players on each unit who earned a game ball for their standout effort.
At this point in the season fans can essentially expect either Russell Wilson or Marshawn Lynch to earn the offensive game ball, though I’m sure Percy Harvin and Golden Tate will have something to say about that statement.
And yesterday, in the midst of a return of a bevel of offensive stars, the captain of the offense did everything he needed to in order to ensure a Seattle victory.
Completing 13-of-18 passes for 230 yards — a 12.8 average!! — Wilson dissected Minnesota’s defense and took advantage of every opportunity he was presented with. Tossing for two touchdowns as well, he racked up a QBR of 98.5 and carried the ball twice for 14 yards.
For comparison purposes, Wilson’s QBR was 4.7 points above that of Peyton Manning’s, who passed for 323 yards and a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Walter Thurmond III
A player who has had his fair share of injury trouble throughout his young career, Walter Thurmond III is making quite the statement on the field in 2013.
Though he is often shrouded by Brandon Browner at the corner slot, Thurmond III is taking advantage of his time in the limelight by showcasing his speed, coverage ability, and general knack to be a shutdown corner in the NFL.
Though he did accumulate just three tackles in the game (two solo), Thurmond was all over the field on Sunday afternoon. Shutting down receivers, he displayed an innate ability to read the routes and play smarter than his opponent, eventually leading to a beautiful pick-six that turned the game into a route.
If Seattle can find consistent success in him as well, expect their Legion of Boom to become the Legion of Doom for NFL receivers.
Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, could have seen Harvin’s return coming.
With time winding down int he second half and Pete Carroll previously stating that Harvin would not run back any kicks in this contest, the CenturyLink crowd bursted with excitement as No. 11 stood in the end zone, awaiting his first kickoff return in 2013.
And what did he do with it? Did Minnesota play smart and kick the ball out of the end zone? Did they cover him well and shut hip down? NOPE.
Flashing his speed and upside, Harvin took the ball from the right and cut it back up the middle, bursting through the Minnesota kick coverage for 58 yards and a near touchdown.
Though he couldn’t manage to break that final tackle, his speed, elusiveness, and desire to get out there was amazing.
Watch out, NFL, Seattle is just getting started.