A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Oct. 23:
Pro Bowl voting. The polls are open, so let the debates begin.
Fan voting for the NFC and AFC squads has begun at NFL.com, and you can cast your votes here. But who deserves your vote among the Seahawks?
Earl Thomas was voted the starting free safety on the NFC team last season, while strong safety Kam Chancellor and cornerback Brandon Browner were first alternates and added as injury replacements. Each is playing a big role on the Seahawks’ No. 5-ranked defense.
Marshawn Lynch also was a first alternate last year who was added to the team as an injury replacement. This season, he is second in the NFC and tied for third in the league with 652 rushing yards and second in the NFC in total yards with 735.
Chris Clemons already has seven sacks, which ties the Seahawks’ “Leo” end for second in the NFC and third in the league.
Richard Sherman, the fourth member of the Seahawks’ secondary, has three interceptions, which ties the second-year cornerback for fourth in the NFL, and he also leads the team with 11 passes defensed.
Nose tackle Brandon Mebane is in the middle of everything the defense does, and has 26 tackles to pace the linemen. He also has a pair of sacks and has deflected three passes.
Fullback Michael Robinson was another first alternate last season who was added to the squad as an injury replacement, and he continues to provide Lynch with lead blocks against some of the best middle linebackers in the game.
Center Max Unger also draws high marks – and praise – for his efforts in anchoring the line and opening holes for Lynch.
Heath Farwell, who led the league with 21 coverage tackles in only 11 games last season, has eight in seven games.
Punter Jon Ryan is second in the NFC in average (50.4) and fifth in net average (41.4) – putting him on pace to break the club records that he already holds in each category.
Fan balloting, which concludes Dec. 17, counts one-third toward selecting the Pro Bowl squads. The other two thirds will be provided when the players and coaches vote in December. The NFC and AFC teams will be announced De. 26.
Russell Wilson. The Seahawks’ QB has become the first rookie since the NFL/AFL merger in 1970 to throw two game-winning touchdown passes in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime.
The first was a 24-yarder to Golden Tate on the final play of the Monday night win over the Packers. The second was a 46-yarder to Sidney Rice with 78 seconds left in the win over the Patriots. Both came at CenturyLink Field.
“I think he’s done some pretty extraordinary things,” coach Pete Carroll said. “I think he’s played within the format that we have setup for him well. … He’s grown. He’s corrected things. And he’s totally in control, poise-wise, in the game and in the situation.
“I think he can do special things. There are just not very many kids that are as well prepared to take on the workload, and the stress of it, and the pressure and all of that, as he is.”
STATS ’N STUFF
In addition to the Seahawks’ No. 5 ranking in average yards allowed, the defense also is No. 6 against the run and No. 8 against the pass. The offense ranks No. 30 overall, No. 8 rushing and No. 31 passing.
The Seahawks also rank second (12.9) in the league to the Bears (10.7) in average points allowed by the defensive unit.
Strongside linebacker K.J. Wright has regained sole possession of the team lead in tackles with 52 – two more than rookie middle linebackers Bobby Wagner, who has 43 of his 50 tackles in the past five games.
Leon Washington is fourth in the league in kickoff return average (31.7).
Lynch also is tied for 10th in the league in first downs produced with 33 (28 rushing, five receiving).
STAT DU JOUR
Rice leads the Seahawks with 22 receptions and, not surprisingly, also is the leader in targets. Here’s a look at the targets and catches by the Seahawks’ top nine receivers, ranked by number of times the ball has been thrown their way:
Player Targets Catches
Sidney Rice 38 22
Golden Tate 27 13
Doug Baldwin 19 11
Zach Miller 18 14
Braylon Edwards 15 8
Anthony McCoy 15 8
Marshawn Lynch 12 10
Robert Turbin 10 9
Ben Obomanu 9 4
The players return from their off day to continue practicing for Sunday’s game against the Lions in Detroit. This game marks the conclusion of a five-week stretch where the Seahawks played on the road four times.
YOU DON’T SAY
“The biggest issue I have with our team right now is we’ve got to get the football away from our opponents. They’ve gone quiet a little bit on the turnover thing. I know that we’ll do better at home, we have historically. But here we go on the road again. We’ve got to get the football away from our opponent, which gives us field advantages, shorter opportunities to get into scoring zones and all that kind of stuff.” – Carroll on the Seahawks forcing four turnovers in their three homes games compared to six in their four road games; but turning the ball over nine times in their four road games compared to twice in their three home games