Monday night, the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Minnesota Vikings and moved to 10-2 on the season. Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was a question mark heading into the battle due to a core muscle injury, but he suited up and played through the pain. As he explained during an appearance on the Jim Rome Show, Clowney did so due to being motivated by the Lombardi Trophy.
"We're in a special situation right now," Clowney said during his appearance. "We know we've got a good team, and where we're standing at right now, nobody wants to sit out and miss games. So I'm trying to be there for my team. I want to help win games too, so whatever I can do or play through, I'm definitely going to try to do that."
The defensive end continued by explaining that the Seahawks have the ultimate goal of winning the Super Bowl, and securing a first-round bye in the playoffs will aid in that quest. CenturyLink Field is known as one of the most difficult stadiums to visit during the playoffs, so ensuring that the road to the Super Bowl goes through Seattle will increase the likelihood that Clowney will play in the first Big Game of his six-year career.
When the Seahawks secured a trade with the Houston Texans in order to acquire Clowney, they did so with the expectation that he would become a formidable presence on the defensive line. This is a team that has been used to chasing down quarterbacks and stopping opposing offenses during the Pete Carroll era, which previously resulted in two Super Bowl appearances with one victory.
In recent seasons, however, the line has gone through some changes due to departing players, and Seattle was in search of someone that could produce like Bruce Irvin or Michael Bennett. Clowney became the target that could potentially fill this role. In 11 games, the former Texans first-round pick has accrued 28 tackles, three sacks, one interception, four forced fumbles, two fumbles recovered, and one defensive touchdown.
With the victory on Monday night, the Seahawks now own first place in the NFC West and could be in line for a bye week during the Wild Card round of the playoffs. Although the Green Bay Packers are also in contention for this spot.
In order to maintain their advantage in the NFC West, as well as the NFC itself, the Seahawks will have to continue winning. Clowney is well aware of this fact, and he will do what it takes to help his team, even if it requires him playing through some pain.
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