Who wouldn’t want to vacation in Hawaii this time of year? While that would mean your team didn’t make it to the Super Bowl, I couldn’t think of a better consolation prize. And I doubt the six Seattle Seahawks playing this weekend are complaining.
The Pro Bowl is an achievement for any NFL player. No matter how they made it, the players have something impressive to add to their resumes. This year’s Seahawks representatives made it to Hawaii in different ways, but they get to add an ever impressive Pro Bowl appearance to their career.
Let’s take a look at how these six made it to Hawaii.
Russell Wilson – QB
While Seahawks rookie QB Russell Wilson put up some pretty impressive numbers this year, his ticket to the Pro Bowl was punched when the country saw how fun it is to watch RW3 do his thing. His statistics alone warrant entry to the game, but the fact the he’s one of the most exciting players in the NFL made his case even stronger.
Wilson was not originally voted to the Pro Bowl, though. He made his way in due to an injury to Matt Ryan. With the other 2 voted Pro Bowl QB’s going down with injury, Wilson was a shoe-in to get the nod.
It must be destiny.
This season, Wilson threw for 3,118 yards amassing 26 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions. He rushed for 489 yards and 4 more touchdowns. He had a mind blowing 100.0 quarterback rating by season’s end, one of the highest in the NFL.
This was a season easily deserving of a Pro Bowl trip for the possible Offensive Rookie of the Year. His 26 touchdown passes tied Peyton Manning for most all time by a rookie in a single season. His 100 QBR is a new rookie record.
Oh yeah…he led his team to the division playoffs in his very first year as a pro.
Marshawn Lynch – RB
Marshawn Lynch was a dead lock to make the Pro Bowl this year. One of the more exciting running backs in football rumbled and bowled his way to another stellar season, landing him in Hawaii. Lynch is the NFC’s #2 running back in the game, finishing just behind Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson in fan voting.
Lynch ran for 1,590 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. He averaged 5 yards a carry – a true testament to Lynch’s physical, dominant run style. He finished in the top 3 in rushing in the NFL and more than likely dished out more punishment than he took.
What more can you say about the guy? He’s Beast Mode…enough said.
Russell Okung – LT
Lots can be said about Russell Okung and his time in Seattle so far. With his past consisting of mainly injuries and penalties, Okungseems to have changed his ways. It almost gives Seahawks fans a sense of de ja vu and a flashback to Okung’s predecessor.
Okung committed 9 penalties this season – 7 false starts and 2 holding infractions. The 9 penalties totaled 55 yards. While those seem high, and maybe they are, the most important stat to this Seattle team is the single most important protection number: sacks given up. Okung was responsible for only 2 sacks of his rookie QB.
Max Unger – C
Max Unger‘s selection to the Pro Bowl surprised me quite frankly. Unger is one of the types of players to fly under the radar, silently dominating his opponents while the guys around him get all the glory. I’m sure he’s fine with it. He gets to go home to Hawaii and represent the Seahawks for his very first time.
Unger has been highly reliable in his tenure as the Seahawks starting center. This season’s stats showed it once again. He only committed 1 lone 5 yard penalty, a false start.
And if you think he couldn’t be any more dominant, check this stat out (via ProFootballFocus): Unger is 1 of 4 centers in the NFL with 400+ pass block snaps and ZERO sacks allowed.
Earl Thomas – FS
Earl Thomas is known around the NFL for his ballhawking ability and big hits. The fans see it, too, as Thomas was voted as a Pro Bowl starter. The only member of the Legion of Boom to make the game this season will look to represent the impressive Seattle secondary.
Thomas had 66 tackles this season with 3 tackles for loss, 9 passes defended, 3 interceptions, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a touchdown. He, along with the other 3 members of the Legion of Boom, combined to shut down top offenses and top receivers around the league.
Leon Washington – KR
Leon Washington was voted in as the NFC kick returner for the Pro Bowl. It was a record year for Washington as he returned 27 kicks for 784 yards and a touchdown.
He also returned 41 punts for 356 yards.
That lone kick return touchdown tied with Josh Cribbs for the NFL record for kick return touchdowns with 8.
While we would like to have seen more Seahawks make the Pro Bowl, they couldn’t have 6 better representatives of this Seahawks team. Their hard work this season has surely earned them a nice little vacation.