That was the performance the Seattle Seahawks had been looking for out of their running backs all year long. Sunday we saw a running back run the rock in the quintessential Seahawk style that we got used to with Marshawn Lynch in the back field.
Thomas Rawls ran with purpose, and looked as good and healthy as he has all season. He sought contact, gained yards after his first hit and was as agile as he was before his broken ankle suffered last year against the Ravens. Looking back, it is almost shameful that Pete Carroll and the rest of his staff would try to pull the wool over our eyes and tell us that Christine Michael was ever going to be able to not only share the load, but adequately fill in for Rawls while he was injured. In the end though, Michael is now wearing green and yellow and gearing up for the Wisconsin winter.
Although one could make the arguement that Rawls benefitted greatly from starting center Justin Britt being back in the lineup, and maybe even point to the fact that All-Pro Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly was watching on the sideline. Still though, Britt may have enhanced the blocking, but he didn't boost Rawls' agility or speed. Rawls simply looked in top condition out there.
One thing to worry about is Earl Thomas' status. After nearly coming up with an interception before banging his knee against Kam Chancellor's in the process, it turned out that Thomas has broken his fibula and will be out the rest of the season. On top of that, he sent out a tweet that seemed to suggest he was mulling retirement. When asked by ESPN's Ed Werder Monday, Thomas said that he still wasn't sure if retirement is not an option.
Thomas is one of those players on the Seahawks who's absence is felt not just on the field, but off it. A certain energy is missing within the team and the secondary just isn't the same.
And how could it be? Thomas is that Troy Polamalu type safety that covers all 53 1/3 yards across and nothing gets over his head. He allows Kam to roam around looking for heads to chop off and gives Richard Sherman an extra security blanket over the top. No matter how much of his knowledge he's been able to pass down to back up Steven Terrell, Terrell at the end of the day doesn't possess THomas' superior athleticism or instincts.
Just as one man comes into his own on one side of the ball, another is lost indefinitely on the other side. Such is life I suppose.
Photo: Bleacher Report