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Hunt for Ram October countdown ends with an unforgettable chop

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Gameday is... now. Enjoy responsibly

First there was Beastquake. Then, The Tip. Soon thereafter? The Chop, a dance so precise, so fluid, so flawless, that it still looks impossible four years later. There will never be another Earl Thomas. I sincerely hope you appreciated him while he wore the uniform.

Today our countdown ends, because it’s gameday at last. If you’re here before gametime, check out moments 10 through 2 at the links below.

Go Hawks, in my humble opinion.

Moment 10 (Fumble Psych)

Moment 9 (Farwell Tackle)

Moment 8 (Whitehurst’s Finest)

Moment 7 (Tate Wave)

Moment 6 (Historical Wilson)

Moment 5 (Press Return)

Moment 4 (Watch The Fake)

Moment 3 (The Chop II)

Moment 2 (The Team)

Today’s the first Seahawks outing in the post-ET era. Maybe we’ll see something special again, even if it’s not exactly this:

Number 1: The Chop

When: December 28, 2014. Week 17.

Game state: Seahawks 20, Rams 6. Third and goal for STL, from the SEA 6, 6:05 Q4

What happens: Earl Thomas makes a play you’ll always remember. With Benny Cunningham racing to the left pylon, Thomas appears out of his regular nowhere and pushes the running back out of bounds at the — hahahaha no of course he doesn’t do that, instead he karate chops the ball loose in the final foot of the field, then flicks it surreptitiously out the side of the end zone. Threat negated. Touchback.

The film:

Observations:

  • What an angle on the replay. It allows us to watch the tip of the ball tease the end zone, but never reach it while still in Cunningham’s possession.
  • Underrated is Thomas’ follow through — that right hand swivels back toward the ball and either knocks it out or causes the runner’s arm to knock it out.
  • I like to imagine Byron Maxwell’s next words: “DID I JUST SEE WHAT I JUST SAW?”
  • There will never be another Earl Thomas.