Welcome to the first edition of “Who to Rep,” an ongoing series in which we recommend a player to rep for the upcoming week. This could be a player poised for a big game, a return from injury, or even just someone whose birthday happens to land on gameday. Or, put another way, this is a totally unscientific process but we hope you like it anyway.
Our inaugural pick is Seahawks super-safety Earl Thomas. After missing the end of last season following a brutal tibia injury against Carolina, Thomas has been saying all the right things pretty much all summer long. Seattle’s defense slipped without him, and the initial outlook was so bleak that Thomas publicly considered retirement. Luckily for Seattle, he’s since rallied and figures to be back in peak from by the time the season kicks off. With the leader of the leader of the Legion of Boom once again healthy and calling the (extremely hard but within the rules) shots, Seattle looks poised to reclaim their position as the NFC’s deadliest defense.
Their first test promises to be a mighty one, though, as they go up against one of the best quarterbacks in the game in Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers led the league in passing touchdowns last season, and as much as the various talking heads may try to turn the narrative into “Rodgers vs. Wilson,” the reality is that Rodgers is an all-time great and as good as Wilson is, he just isn’t there yet, throwing four more interceptions and nineteen fewer touchdowns than Rodgers last season. In truth, it’ll fall to Thomas and his LoB allies to counter Rodgers’ world-class passing assault, and there may not be a more compelling two-man offense vs. defense chess match in the league. Think unstoppable force vs. immovable object.
Thomas certainly has a challenge ahead of him in his comeback game, but if anybody’s up to the task, it’s ET3. He’ll be suiting up in his white away jersey for the season opener in Lambeau, Field, and that’s as good a choice for a first-week rep as there is for Seattle fans, both within the Emerald City and across the nation.