A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Dec. 7:
The P-word. While the Seahawks were going 3-1 to open the second half of their season, the Bears and Falcons split their first four games, the Lions went 1-3 and the Giants 0-4.
The sum of those records is that the Seahawks, even at 5-7, could make a playoff run – if they continue to win; the 6-6 Giants and 7-5 Lions continue to struggle; and the 7-5 Bears and 7-5 Falcons slip.
Farfetched, of course, but not so much so that coach Pete Carroll didn’t have to field a question about the possibility after Tuesday’s bonus practice in a week when the Seahawks are preparing to face the Rams at CenturyLink Field on Monday night.
“That kind of question is good,” Carroll said. “It’s good those questions are out there. That means there are some possibilities and things like that.”
Just don’t expect Carroll to breakout a spreadsheet and dissect just how it is that a team that started 2-6 can even be remotely including in the playoff patter in December.
“It just reemphasizes to us how important it is to go to work this week,” he said. “None of that matters unless you do something this week and you set yourself what that opportunity at hand.
“It’s a long ways away right now.”
A trip that, after Monday night’s game against the 2-10 Rams, will take the Seahawks to Chicago to face the Bears on Dec. 18; back to CenturyLink Field to host the NFC West champion 49ers on Christmas Eve; and then to Arizona to close the regular season on Jan. 1 against the 5-7 Cardinals.
“HEATER” IN SELECT COMPANY
Fredd Young. Brian Bosworth. Rufus Porter. Chad Brown. Lofa Tatupu. And now David Hawthorne.
What does Hawthorne have in common with some of the most famous – and one of the most infamous – linebackers in franchise history? He joined their ranks today when Hawthorne was selected NFC Defensive Player of the Week after the Seahawks’ middle linebacker returned an interception 77 yards for a touchdown and shared the team lead with six tackles in a 31-14 victory over the Eagles last Thursday night.
Young (Week 2) and Bosworth (Week 15) were honored in 1987; Porter (Week 13) in 1991; Brown in 1997 (Week 3) and 2003 (Week 17); and Tatupu (Week 13) in 2007.
This is the first time Hawthorne has been honored, but he is the second Seahawks defensive player to be selected in the past three weeks as defensive end Chris Clemons was the pick after his three-sack, two-forced fumble outing against the Rams in Week 11.
Making Hawthorne’s efforts against the Eagles even more impressive is the fact that it was not decided whether he would be able to play until just before the game because of a knee injury that limited him in practice during the week and left him listed as questionable for the game.
“We didn’t know until the last minute when we had to put in who was going to be up and down,” Carroll said after the game. “He said, ‘Don’t hug me, I’m full of DMSO and I have stuff all over me.’ He was really trying to work it like crazy to get out there, and he shows up with a 77-yard run.
“How cool is that?”
Very cool for the player his teammates call “Heater.”
Hawthorne, a third-year starter, leads the Seahawks with 78 tackles and is seeking to become the sixth player in franchise history to lead the team for three consecutive seasons – a group that includes Terry Beeson (1977-79), Michael Jackson (1980-82), Young (1985-87), Brown (1997-99) and Tatupu (2005-08).
Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch was a nominee for Offensive Player of the Week after running for 148 yards and two touchdowns against the Eagles, but the choice was Panthers rookie QB Cam Newton. Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner also was a nominee for Defensive Player of the Week. He had two interceptions against the Eagles.
HELP LYNCH MAKE A RUN
Lynch, the Seahawks’ Skittles-munching running back, has been nominated for FedEx Ground Player of the Week for his 148-yard, two-touchdown performance in last Thursday night’s 31-14 victory over the Eagles. Both marks were season highs.
But Lynch faces stiff competition in the voting at NFL.com from the Titans’ Chris Johnson, who rushed for 153 yards and two touchdowns; and the Ravens’ Ray Rice, who ran for 204 yards and a touchdown.
So help Lynch out and vote for him here.
STAT DU JOUR
With their 3-1 surge to start the second half of the season, the Seahawks have tied for the second best third-quarter record in franchise history and have a chance to match the second best five-game mark with a win over the Rams on Monday night. Here’s how the 2011 Seahawks stack up in both categories:
First four games of second half
First five games of the second half
The players return from Tuesday’s bonus “off” day on Wednesday to begin another mismatched week as they prepare for Monday night’s game. Thursday will be like a normal Wednesday; Friday like Thursday; and Saturday like Friday. They will practice each day.
Tickets are available for the Rams game and can be purchased here.
YOU DON’T SAY
“Leroy has really been solid. He’s a real tough-minded guy and an aggressive guy that brings good attitude. He’s been very settling to the changes and so many young guys playing on the defensive side. He’s always stood for the classic tough-guy mentality that we love and he’s had really, really good season.” – Carroll on linebacker Leroy Hill, whose story in featured here