Seattle Seahawks

Beware, Russell Wilson, of the Falcons’ sack attack

Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle Duane Brown was injured against Arizona and might not be able to play against Atlanta on Monday.
Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle Duane Brown was injured against Arizona and might not be able to play against Atlanta on Monday. AP

Adrian Clayborn reportedly made $750,000 in incentives for notching a franchise-record six sacks Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.

Vic Beasley, Jr. is making nearly $15 million to terrorize quarterbacks throughout the NFL.

In Dan Quinn’s defense with the Atlanta Falcons, it is all about applying pressure. And right now, these two pass rushers are doing it as well as anybody.

“We are really going to have to mix our (pass-blocking) stuff,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “They are really determined to cause havoc in the backfield, and we cannot let that happen.”

Especially considering what just happened almost a week ago.

Clayborn, a former first-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2011, had never recorded monster sack numbers during his career. His previous season-high was 7 1/2 sacks, set during his rookie season.

Coming into the game against the Cowboys, Clayborn had just two sacks this season.

But against second-string left tackle Chaz Green, Clayborn recorded five of his six sacks.

When the game was over, Clayborn became just the fourth player in NFL history to have six or more sacks in a game. And since it upped his season total to eight sacks, it triggered a bonus, according to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport.

If Clayborn sacks Russell Wilson two more times Monday night at CenturyLink Field, the seventh-year pro would earn another $500,000. And if he eclipses 12 sacks this season, his bonus would grow to $2 million.

It would certainly put Carroll at ease if newly-acquired Duane Brown (ankle) returns. If not, Matt Tobin – who came on for the injured Brown against Arizona – would likely get the start, Carroll said.

Brown did not practice on Thursday. The three-time Pro Bowl tackle acquired in a trade with Houston last month remains iffy at best to play against the Falcons. He injured his ankle last week after 33 plays against the Cardinals.

Tobin played the final 31 snaps. The 27-year-old former undrafted free agent joined the team in August in a trade from Philadelphia, after then-Seahawks starting left tackle George Fant sustained a season-ending knee injury.

Of course, Carroll could also pull a big surprise and start former first-rounder Luke Joeckel (knee), if he can make it back by Monday. Joeckel has started much of his NFL career at that position, and even though the Seahawks prefer him at guard, he has practiced at left tackle.

The good news is that Tobin is very familiar with Clayborn. The two played together at the University of Iowa.

“I was a scout-tean player going against him,” Tobin said. “He has definitely changed from then.”

Back then, Tobin said Clayborn would just overpower linemen “with his really good club (move) inside.”

“Now it seems all of his sacks are going around the outside,” Tobin said.

Carroll said the team was pleased with Tobin’s performance against Arizona, praising his intelligence.

“Right now, he has to get ready to play,” Carroll said. “We are thinking he is starting — until Duane can play.”

The matchup on the other side — Beasley, last year’s sack leader (15 1/2 sacks), against right tackle Germain Ifedi, the most penalized offensive lineman in the league — is equally terrifying. Beasley has four sacks this season.

“Both are very high-effort guys,” Brown said. “You’ve got to finish a play against them.”

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