Five Most Valuable Seahawks for 2017 (besides Russell Wilson)

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 04: Wide receiver Tyler Lockett
SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 04: Wide receiver Tyler Lockett /
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SEATTLE, WA – JANUARY 07: Earl Thomas
SEATTLE, WA – JANUARY 07: Earl Thomas /

2. Earl Thomas

12s all saw what happens in a Thomas-less world in 2016. It was not pretty. The Seahawks did several things without Thomas last year:

  1. They failed to win against the Cardinals late in the year during a game in which Thomas would have made the difference in winning and losing. All those passes that Carson Palmer made in the middle of the field and down the sidelines late in the game? They do not happen with Thomas playing. The Seahawks lost to the Cardinals because Thomas did not play.
  2. The Seahawks, and in particular safety Steven Terrell, got beat soundly by the Atlanta Falcons in the playoffs. I was there. I saw how slowly Terrell reacted to passes over the middle distance. If Thomas had been playing, the Falcons would not have completed, nor would they have tried, as many of those passes. Again, I do not want to dismiss out-of-hand the Falcons in 2016. They were a very good team. Seattle, if healthy and in Seattle, could have defeated them though.
  3. Finally, the Seahawks learned that they need Thomas even more than they thought. Terrell was thought to be a decent backup. The difference between Thomas and Terrell was a void that not even Cassius Marsh while playing Magic: The Gathering could fill. There is no substitute for Thomas. And that is either currently or formerly on the Seahawks or in the NFL. Thomas will be inducted in Canton one day.