For a third straight week and fourth time this season, Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls is up for Rookie of the Week honors at NFL.com after his performance in this past Sunday's 38-7 road win over the Minnesota Vikings.
Rawls ran for 101 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries (5.3-yard average) and made three catches for 22 yards against the Vikings. It was his fourth 100-plus-yard game and fourth trip to the end zone in his six starts this season. Signed by Seattle as an undrafted free agent out of Central Michigan following the 2015 NFL Draft, Rawls was asked postgame what his response would be if told prior to the season that'd he'd end his first year in the NFL as one of the premier players at his position.
"I've always got hope, but I probably wouldn't have believed them," Rawls said. "Because I know the grind, I know the struggle of trying to climb up to the top, and I'm just fortunate to be here."
Of running backs with at least 100 carries, Rawls' 5.6 yards per attempt ranks tops in the NFL. His 786 yards on the ground rank 10th, a number he's managed on 32 fewer carries than any other rusher in the top 10, and a number that's just 49 yards less than St. Louis Rams running back Todd Gurley, the No. 10 overall pick in this past year's draft.
Rawls was inserted as the Seahawks' starter after an injury to Marshawn Lynch, who head coach Pete Carroll said feels "really well" following surgery and could return in the coming weeks. It's tough to fill in for a superstar like Lynch, but Rawls has carried the torch admirably in his absence, and it's his consistency that has impressed Seahawks coaches the most.
"You have no idea," assistant head coach/offensive line coach Tom Cable said of Rawls' reliability after Sunday's win at Minnesota. "Seriously, that's my favorite thing. I don't care who's in there. If you just do right, you've got a chance."
Rawls' competition for Rookie of the Week includes Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota, New Orleans Saints linebacker Stephone Anthony, Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters, and Baltimore Ravens running back Javorius Allen. Click here to cast a vote for Rawls.
The Week 13 matchup in Minnesota saw five Seahawks touchdowns, an Earl Thomas interception and two sacks by Frank Clark that all contributed to a 38-7 team win over the Vikings.