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Challenge For Seahawks Sunday Extends Beyond Loss Of Earl Thomas

Ross D. Franklin
AP Photo
Seahawks defensive back Earl Thomas is greeted by Arizona Cardinals players as he leaves the field after breaking his leg during the second half of the game Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. The Seahawks won 20-17.

The Seahawks host the division-leading Los Angeles Rams Sunday afternoon at CenturyLink Field. The team is coming off a costly win against the Cardinals last weekend.

It's the topic of this week's conversation between KNKX sports commentator Art Thiel and Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick.

Thomas 'One Of The Best'

Thiel said Thomas is future Hall of Famer.

"I hope people remember him as one of the great players in Seahawks history that led them to a lot of success," he said.

"He was the cornerstone of a defense that, for four years in a row, gave up the fewest points in the NFL. I hope that people appreciate how difficult that feat was, especially in the era of free agency now."

"They were a tremendous unit - the Legion of Boom. And now they're all gone."

"Earl is a free agent after this season and undoubtedly will go somewhere else if health permits. So, he's done."

'Game Of Chicken' Was A 'Lose, Lose'

"I think his big mistake was that he misunderstood the marketplace and the Seahawks' unwillingness to guarantee his contract into his early 30s when they previously had gotten burned by similar offers to Michael Bennett and Kam Chancellor."

"Those guys got hurt in their third contracts. The Seahawks weren't willing to risk Earl, no matter how good he was, and Earl lost on that one."

"They could've traded Earl. They had an opportunity, I think, after the season ended last year. But the Seahawks decided to hang on to Earl to get the highest possible value. That included hanging on to him after he returned this season from his holdout that included all of training camp and the preseason."

"He was at the top of his game and then he broke his leg. So, the Seahawks lost big on that because they wanted to maximize the value before his trade and now he has no value."

'Wounded' Seahawks No Match For Rams

Thiel expects the Rams to beat the Seahawks on Sunday. He said the division shifted in the Rams' favor last December when they beat the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field 42-7.

"It was the worst loss in Pete Carroll's tenure in Seattle. Complete domination. The dominance is going to continue because, now, the Seahawks are starting a second-year pro Tedric Thompson, in place of Earl Thomas, who's really not ready for a game like this."

"They're starting a rookie at cornerback and now they have to start a rookie at linebacker because they had to sub in for K.J. Wright, who's injured temporarily, with Mychal Kendricks. He's a convicted felon. He was busted on an insider trading charge."

"Just this week, the Seahawks learned that the NFL is suspending him indefinitely. It just gets weirder and weirder."

"With that much inexperience on the defensive side, I see a huge vulnerability."

"And I think the Rams might go 16-0 this year as the best team in the NFL and they're certainly not going to be stopped by a wounded Seahawks team on Sunday."

Never miss an episode again. Subscribe to Sports With Art Thiel with iTunes or Google Play now. You can find Art Thiel's work at Sportspress Northwest and

Kirsten Kendrick hosts Morning Edition on KNKX and the sports interview series "Going Deep," talking with folks tied to sports in our region about what drives them — as professionals and people.
Art Thiel is a co-founder and writer for the rising sports website Sportspress Northwest. In 2003 Thiel wrote the definitive book about the Seattle Mariners, “Out of Left Field,” which became a regional bestseller. In 2009, along with Steve Rudman and KJR 950 afternoon host Mike Gastineau, Thiel authored “The Great Book of Seattle Sports Lists,” a cross between and Mad Magazine that has become mandatory reading for any sports fan who has an indoor bathroom.