Seahawks' Michael Bennett, six others selected to Pro Bowl


Michael Bennett, DE, first Pro Bowl selection: He finds a way to impact the game on a weekly basis. Bennett ranks fourth in the NFL with 17 tackles for loss and is tied for 10th with 9.5 sacks. He plays defensive end in the Seahawks' base package and swings inside when they're in nickel. Five players in the NFL have posted at least nine sacks and 15 TFLs on the season: Houston's J.J. Watt, Oakland's Khalil Mack, St. Louis' Aaron Donald, Cincinnati's Geno Atkins and Bennett.

Russell Wilson, QB, third Pro Bowl selection: An easy choice. Wilson leads the NFL with a passer rating of 111.4. His completion percentage of 68.8 ranks second, as does his 8.55 yards per attempt. Wilson has thrown 29 touchdowns against seven interceptions and has also run for 502 yards. Regardless of how this season turns out, Wilson's growth as a pocket passer will make the Seahawks contenders for years to come.

Richard Sherman, CB, third Pro Bowl selection: The Seahawks have asked him to shadow opposing No. 1 receivers more this year, and Sherman has answered the call. His best performance of the season was probably against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In that game, Ben Roethlisberger went 3-for-10 for 24 yards when targeting Antonio Brown against Sherman. In addition to his performance at cornerback, Sherman has emerged as a leader and is lauded by those in the organization for being a great teammate.

Earl Thomas, FS, fifth Pro Bowl selection: Put simply, the Seahawks can play their scheme because they have him at safety. Seattle is a single-high team, and Thomas patrols the deep middle of the field. He has four interceptions on the season and can get downhill in a hurry against the run.

Kam Chancellor, SS, fourth Pro Bowl selection: The Seahawks caught a glimpse of life without him early in the season when Chancellor held out, and they went 0-2 against the St. Louis Rams and Green Bay Packers. Since Chancellor has returned, Seattle is allowing a league-best 15.58 points per game. His impact is most felt up in the box against the run.

Bobby Wagner, LB, second Pro Bowl selection: He has 101 tackles, two forced fumbles and six pass breakups. Wagner is one of the Seahawks' most consistent players and a big reason why the team has allowed just 3.68 yards per carry to opponents. To be fair, the case could easily be made that his teammate, K.J. Wright, was equally deserving of a Pro Bowl nod.

Tyler Lockett, KR, first Pro Bowl selection: The Seahawks drafted Lockett believing strongly that he'd be able to contribute as a returner and perhaps one day have a role on offense. But he showed quickly that he was too good to keep off the field. He makes the Pro Bowl as a returner, where he has scored twice (once on a kickoff, once on a punt). Lockett has averaged 25.72 yards per kickoff return, seventh-best in the NFL.


Doug Baldwin, WR: Given that the Seahawks have attempted only 416 passes this season (30th), there's no doubt that Baldwin is hurt by the system he plays in. He ranks 23rd among wide receivers with 65 catches and 21st with 905 yards. But Baldwin is tied for first with 13 touchdowns and is third with a catch rate of 79.3 percent. Consider this: Seven wide receivers have double-digit touchdowns. Baldwin has done it on 82 targets. The other six have averaged 134. Baldwin was named an alternate.

Cliff Avril, DE: He gets hurt by the emphasis on sacks (7.5), but Avril has given opposing offensive linemen fits on a consistent basis this season. He ranks seventh with 26 hurries and has to play a versatile role in the Seahawks' defense. Avril has been good against the run and has shown remarkable athleticism when asked to drop in coverage. Avril was also named an alternate.