With 29 and 25 tackles the past three games, respectively, linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright are giving free safety Earl Thomas a run in the competition to lead the defense in tackles.
A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 19, when the players were “off” for the first of six consecutive days during their bye week:
WORD OF THE DAY: LINEBACKERS
Or to be more specific, middle linebacker Bobby Wagner and weak-side linebacker K.J. Wright.
They led Sunday’s defensive effort against the Minnesota Vikings with nine tackles each – six solo and three assists for Wagner; four solo and five assists for Wright. Wagner’s total included a sack and he also intercepted a pass to setup a touchdown. Wright combined with defensive tackle Tony McDonald and strong safety Kam Chancellor to stop Adrian Peterson for gains of 1 yard and 2 yards to open the Vikings’ second possession and also dropped tight end John Carlson for a 1-yard loss on a third-and-1 reception to end the Vikings’ first possession of the second half.
Wagner missed two games with a sprained ankle, but has been better by the game in the four since his return.
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“He’s at his best right now,” coach Pete Carroll said during his weekly day-after Q&A session with the media. “I think it took him a couple weeks. He missed a couple and it took him really a couple to get back going.
“He played really well. K.J. was really on it. And Kam was a big factor, too. So all of those guys were all contributing to it. You could just see the intensity and the aggressiveness, and we owned the line of scrimmage we felt against Adrian in really good fashion.”
Their efforts against the Vikings and Peterson, who ran for 182 yards against the Seahawks in Week 9 last season but was held to 65 on Sunday, also has increased the competition to lead the defense in tackles.
Wagner led the team in tackles as a rookie last season and was the leader this season before missing two games, when free safety Earl Thomas moved past him. But Wagner has 29 the past three games to given him 69 for the season – six behind Thomas. Wright is in between them with 71, including 25 in past three games. Chancellor, who had eight tackles against the Vikings, is fourth on the team with 57.