Earl Thomas sets sights on defensive player of the year award

AP

The Seattle Seahawks have one of the best defenses in the league. They are ranked second in yards per game and third in points per game through the first eight weeks of the season. They held the St. Louis Rams without a touchdown on Monday night and came up with a last second goal line stand to improve to 7-1 on the year.

No one is having a bigger impact to the Seahawks’ success on the defensive side of the football than safety Earl Thomas.

Thomas has been Seattle’s most valuable player through the first half of the season. He’s the key cog that makes Seattle’s defense so effective as his speed allows the Seahawks to play tight press coverage with Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman on the perimeter and still have help over the top.

In his fourth year in the league, he’s putting together his best campaign. It has Thomas setting his sights on one of the league’s highest honors. In an interview with Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt on Sirius XM NFL Radio, Thomas said he wants to bring home the defensive player of the year award.

It would mean everything to me,” Thomas said. “I know what i put into this game. I think I’m the best and I know I’m the best out there at all times.”

Thomas has 59 tackles, four interceptions and two forced fumbles through the first eight games of the season.  He ranks in the top two of the league in each category among defensive backs. With his production so far this season, Thomas has put himself in the conversation for the award come season’s end.

If Thomas were to win the award, he’d be the fourth safety in the last 10 seasons to take home the award joining Pittsburgh’s Troy Polamalu, Indianapolis’ Bob Sanders and Baltimore’s Ed Reed. Seattle safety Kenny Easley also earned the award 1984.

However, Thomas will have to continue to produce to remain in the conversation. Four players have already surpassed 10 sacks on the year: Colts linebacker Robert Mathis (11.5), Buffalo defensive end Mario Williams (11), Kansas City linebacker Justin Houston (11) and St. Louis defensive end Robert Quinn (10). Thomas will have to keep producing tackles and interceptions in order to remain in the race with the best pass rushers in the league.

“No matter who is out there, I just show up. Your play is going to speak for yourself and who can be consistent the longest,” Thomas said.