Obviously, the Hawks were the only team to make it to the playoffs’ second week without having a player voted as a Pro Bowl representative. They won their division, but were also the only team in the division without getting someone voted in. Hard to debate the issue, too.
It made me start wondering who on this team had the best season, and how many really had what could be considered career years. Who, in fact, would be the team’s MVP? Interested in your take on the matter.
Skilled guys are generally the ones who get such honors. Who on this team? Hasselbeck had his lowest passer rating since his first year here. Marshawn Lynch came late and finished with modest stats. Receiver Mike Williams had 65 catches, but 32 came in three games. Linemen? Nope. Leon Washington contributed three huge kickoff return touchdowns, but two were in one game, and his numbers declined as teams focused on him more.
On defense? Chris Clemons had 11 regular-season sacks, started all 16 games. That was a consistently strong effort. The sacks ranked him 10th in the NFL. Rookie Earl Thomas had five interceptions, but four were in the first six games. I would have said in the first half of the season that defensive end Red Bryant was the MVP, and his value was emphasized by how the run-stop ratings plummeted when he was lost with his knee injury.
Linebacker David Hawthorne led the team in tackles for the second consecutive year, played all 16 games, and was versatile enough to move over to the middle and run the defense if Lofa went out. He seemed to be a very important stabilizing force on the defense.
In my mind, I’m tempted to say Hawthorne by a (broken) nose over Clemons. I could be swayed if you nominate the real-estate agent who handled the paperwork of all those who moved in and out during the season, or the clerical assistant who kept track of the 284 player transactions.