Baldwin had six catches, 82 yards and three more touchdowns, giving him eight touchdowns in his past three games and nine in his past five.

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BALTIMORE — The career year of Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin has led his most vocal supporter, teammate and friend — Richard Sherman — to shift the axis of his campaign.

Just two weeks ago, after Baldwin had a career-best 145 yards and three touchdowns against the Steelers, Sherman’s message centered on what Baldwin could be, given the opportunities.

“Doug could easily be one of the best receivers in this league,” Sherman said then.

Baldwin by the numbers

3: Consecutive games with two or more touchdown catches, the first Seahawks player to accomplish the feat.

8: Touchdown catches in his past three games. He had eight total receiving TDs in 2013 and 2014.

11: Touchdown catches this season, a career high.

860: Receiving yards this season, a career high.

But Sherman’s personal campaign on Baldwin’s behalf took on an added dimension after Baldwin’s game Sunday against the Ravens. Baldwin had six catches, 82 yards and three more touchdowns, giving him eight touchdowns in his past three games and nine in his past five.


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That also gives him 11 touchdowns for the season. He had 11 touchdowns in the three previous seasons combined, and he is the first receiver in franchise history to have at least two touchdowns in three consecutive games. In his past five games, Baldwin has 30 catches, 515 yards and nine touchdowns.

Sherman’s message has grown sharper as a result. It is no longer about what Baldwin could be but instead about what he should be: a Pro Bowler.

“Doug Baldwin has 11 touchdowns off, I don’t know how many catches or targets, but you guys can find that information for me,” Sherman said. “And you guys find me the targets; he’s probably the only one in the top five with the least amount of targets. Let’s find that, because I want to see his targets compared to everybody else’s. Doug Baldwin for Pro Bowl.”

So here is that information:

• After Sunday’s game, Baldwin is tied for third in the NFL with 11 touchdowns. Only Jacksonville’s Allen Robinson and Cincinnati’s Tyler Eifert, both with 12 touchdowns, have more.

• Baldwin has 71 targets this season, according to ESPN.

• Of the other players leading the league in touchdown catches — Robinson (12), Eifert (12), Brandon Marshall (11), Odell Beckham (10) and DeAndre Hopkins (10) — only Eifert, a tight end, had fewer targets than Baldwin’s 71. The remaining five receivers with at least 10 touchdowns all had at least 115 targets.

So to address Sherman’s inquiry, Baldwin has caught a touchdown pass for every 6.5 targets. Robinson is next-closest among the leaderboard with a touchdown catch for every 9.9 targets.

Baldwin is having the best season of his career and has three more games to play. He has career highs in yards (860) and touchdowns (11) with 61 catches is approaching his career high of 66. He should become the first Seahawks receiver to have 1,000 yards since 2007.

He could set a single-season franchise record for receiving touchdowns. The record is 13, set by Daryl Turner in 1985, and only two other receivers have 12-touchdown seasons: Steve Largent in 1984 and Joey Galloway in 1997.

But Baldwin’s case for the Pro Bowl is interesting, because the best argument for him isn’t quantity but efficiency. It’s not so much that Baldwin has 61 catches, 860 yards and 11 touchdowns. It’s that he has those numbers on just 71 targets, meaning only 10 times has a pass been intended for him and he didn’t come down with it.

Football is slowly incorporating advanced stats into the mainstream, but the changes still are young. Baldwin catches passes thrown to him, doesn’t drop many passes (although he had one against the Ravens) and turns a high number of catches into touchdowns. The argument for Baldwin as a Pro Bowler is an argument for context.

“Not to take anything away from our offense, but we’re not a prolific pass-first offense,” Sherman said. “We run the ball, play-action, we get our plays so he has to be incredibly patient. For him to have 11 touchdowns with three games to go is phenomenal, and that should be recognized — how difficult that is on the number of targets.

“If you compare him to the rest of the receivers in the top 10, how many targets they have and how many touchdowns, I guarantee you he leads in touchdown-to-target ration. And you have to respect that. Doug Baldwin for Pro Bowl.”

Baldwin’s only issue is what to do with all the footballs he has collected in the past three games. Seahawks receivers usually keep their touchdown catches, and Baldwin’s pile has grown so fast that he’s not sure what to do with all of them.

“I’m going to do something with them,” he said. “I just haven’t decided yet.”