A recap of the activities on Day 2 of NFC West Championship week:
The Pro Bowl. The NFC and AFC squads for the Jan. 30 all-star game in Honolulu were announced today. But, for the second consecutive season, the Seahawks were snubbed.
It’s not a stunning development, considering the team’s 6-9 record. But there were a few players who deserved some consideration.
Leon Washington leads the NFL with three kickoff returns for touchdowns. But the Pro Bowl roster includes one returner and the NFC spot went to the Bears’ Devin Hester, who has scored on three punt returns (including one in the Week 6 game against the Seahawks) and leads the league with a 17.1-yard average. Hester also is averaging 35.6 yards kickoff returns, which would lead the league if he had enough returns (12) to qualify.
Chris Clemons has posted a career-high 10½ sacks, which ranks fourth among defensive ends in the NFC behind the Falcons’ John Abraham (13), Panthers’ Charles Johnson (11½) and Giants’ Justin Tuck. The three Pro Bowl berths at the position went to Abraham, Tuck and the Bears’ Julius Peppers.
Free safety Earl Thomas has five interceptions, tops among rookie defensive backs in the NFC. In casting his “absentee ballot,” NFL.com senior analyst Pat Kirwan selected Thomas as one of three safeties, offering, “Thomas is only a rookie but he can matchup with any wide receiver or play the deep middle.” The Pro Bowl picks at free safety, however, were the Packers’ Nick Collins and Giants’ Antrel Rolle.
The Seahawks and Bucs – who played last Sunday – were the only NFC teams without a Pro Bowl selection. The Bills and Bengals were shutout in the AFC.
The Seahawks played against 23 of the 42 players on the NFC squad this season, and 10 of the AFC Pro Bowl selections. The entire rosters are available here.
HERE’S NO. 275
Defensive end Maurice Fountain was signed to the practice squad today. Fountain (6-4, 270) played for Hartford of the UFL in 2010 and went to training camp with the Miami Dolphins in 2008.
His signing is the 275th roster move made by coach Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider since they were hired in January.
SUNDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
This week’s game will mark the Seahawks’ 27th appearance on “Sunday Night Football,” but their first matchup against the St. Louis Rams in the weekly primetime game.
The Seahawks are 15-11 in their previous Sunday night games, on three difference networks. They are 14-7 on ESPN, 1-3 on NBC and 0-1 on TNT. They are 13-6 at home and 2-5 on the road. They are 5-1 against the Broncos; 2-0 against the 49ers; 4-4 against the Raiders; 0-2 against the Chiefs; 1-0 against the Chargers, L.A. Rams, Vikings and Texans; and 0-1 against the Jaguars, Bears, Bucs and Saints.
The best individual performance by a Seahawk on Sunday night came when Shaun Alexander scored an NFL-record five first-half touchdowns against the Vikings at Qwest Field in 2002.
AN EARLY “TOUCHDOWN”
Touchdown City in the Qwest Field Event Center will open at 1 p.m. on Sunday, allowing fans extra time to prepare for the game, which kicks off at 5:20.
STAT DU JOUR
Thomas still needs one more interception to set the franchise rookie record with six. Thomas got three picks in the first four games, but has two in the past 11 – and none in the past five. He currently shares the rookie record with Michael Boulware, who had five in 2004.
Thomas has the most interceptions by a Seahawks since cornerback Marcus Trufant picked off a career-high seven in 2007, the season he was voted to the Pro Bowl.
YOU DON’T SAY
“We didn’t write the way the things are. But at the same time, we’re just taking advantage of the situation we’re in. Coach Carroll talks about how it’s a unique situation for us to be in. You never know if this situation will happen again. But this is our situation and we’re just going to try and do our part and win on Sunday.” – wide receiver Ben Obomanu, on the possibility of the Seahawks becoming the first time with a losing record to win its division and advance to the playoffs