It took Seahawks’ rookie Doug Baldwin all of five minutes to claim his first Player of the Week honor.
The undrafted free agent was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week today after blocking a punt that was returned for a touchdown, downing a punt at the 6-yard line and breaking a 37-yard kickoff return on a reverse.
Impressive, obviously. But even more stunning was the fact that Baldwin did all three at the start of Monday night’s 30-13 victory over the Rams at CenturyLink Field. The return came on the opening kickoff. The downed punt, which he caught at the 6, followed the Seahawks’ first possession with 13:37 left. The blocked punt, which Michael Robinson picked up and returned 17 yards for the TD, came with roughly 10 minutes to play.
Baldwin took his big night on national TV the way he has everything else he’s accomplished this season, which includes leading the team in receptions (45) and receiving yards (718): In stride.
“The plays that were given to me, the opportunities I was given, I expect to take full advantage of,” Baldwin said after the game.
Baldwin is the third Seahawk to be honored in the past four games. Middle linebacker David Hawthorne (last week) and defensive end Chris Clemons (Week 11) were selected Defensive Player of the Week. The last Seahawk to win the special teams category was punter Jon Ryan in 17 last season – also against the Rams. Kickoff returner Leon Washington (Week 3) and former kicker Olindo Mare (Week 7) also were honored last season.
Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks’ Skittles-back, was a nominee for Offensive Player of the Week after rushing for 115 yards and a touchdown against the Rams. But the nod went to Falcons QB Matt Ryan, who passed for four touchdowns and 320 yards.