Earl Thomas Reaches New Heights
Aug 8, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas (29) during the second half against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
By this point in time it’s pretty much common knowledge that Earl Thomas is a mighty fine football player. If you haven’t heard this you’ve been living in a hole and if you refuse to acknowledge it you are probably the type of person that wears a tinfoil hat around the house. Thomas is only 24 years old and he’s already made the Pro Bowl twice and been an All-Pro once. He has never missed a game as an NFL player and he has rarely disappointed. What people may not realize is the extent to which he is dominating this year.
Given that Thomas is 24 it makes sense that he is still improving, but due to the fact he has been in the league for a relatively long time he has been treated as a known commodity. However, it seems that he is taking it to the next level so far this year. In order to illustrate this, I pro-rated some of his basic numbers over the course of a full season (he has always been durable in the past so I assumed he’ll continue to play) and compared them to his career stats. Keep in mind that there is some rounding work here (it would have been much easier to do this at the 8 game mark but I suppose I’m too impatient for that) and although he is unlikely to keep up his torrid pace he won’t have to in order to set multiple career highs:
2013 (pro rated)
As I mentioned before there is likely to be some regression to the mean here leading Thomas to slow his pace slightly, but this is fairly remarkable stuff. While he might not blow away all of his career highs the way this chart shows, he is pretty likely to best them. When we look at the coverage numbers from Pro Football Focus they are even more dramatic:
Completion % Allowed
Yards per Completion
Passer Rating Against
Earl Thomas is quite simply not allowing offenses to operate within his area. His range is well renowned and it seems that he is putting it to better use in 2013 than ever before. It shouldn’t be altogether surprising that a 24 year old player with the kind of talent Thomas possesses is having a breakout year. However, after his All-Pro year in 2012 I think people assumed that Earl Thomas had arrived. It turns out he had a whole other gear.