Could there be a better setup for the Seahawks to return to form?
Nope. A trip to play a Dallas team in disarray with four straight losses and a Plan C quarterback. Then a bye week and three straight home games for only the second time in 11 years. Sure, one of them is against NFC West-leading Arizona, but the Cardinals don’t look invincible. The Seahawks are 21-4 the past three seasons in November and December. If they aren’t 7-4 and one game out in the division entering December, they will have only themselves to blame.
What to make of Greg Hardy with the Cowboys?
The Cowboys did what (I hope) few other teams would have this offseason: signed the pass rusher despite a judge finding him guilty of assaulting his ex-girlfriend. The case ended when the alleged victim would not testify in Hardy’s jury-trial appeal. Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones decided to sign him before the season after Carolina let him go in the wake of the incident. Hardy has three sacks — and one sideline blowup last weekend — in two games since his return from a four-game NFL suspension, and he might hugely impact Sunday’s game against the Seahawks’ struggling offensive line (NFL-high 31 sacks allowed). But would you want him on your team?
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Can we write off the 49ers?
Tough to do that to any team on Nov. 1 in a league with this much parity. But San Francisco is a not-so-hot mess in so many ways right now. The Niners are 2-5 — it only seems like 0-7. Players reportedly are calling out each other in team meetings, alternately attacking and defending quarterback Colin Kaepernick for, of all things, not hanging out with them enough. Chief executive Jed York has pretty much ruined this grand franchise, with no end in sight.
Why can’t Seattle overcome its porous offensive line the way New England does?
The Patriots dressed just six blockers Thursday and still steamrolled Miami, 36-7, with Tom Brady’s usual brilliance (356 yards, four touchdowns). The key: Brady gets the ball out, on average, in a little more than two seconds per throw, the quickest in the league. The Patriots run lots of clear-out routes, then sneak running backs and tight ends underneath into uncovered swaths of turf. That’s not how Russell Wilson operates — Brady has never extended plays like Wilson does — so that will never be how the Seahawks throw the ball. But the Patriots are 7-0 for the first time since their 16-0 regular season of 2007.
How scary is the police report on Jeremiah Ratliff at Bears headquarters?
It’s an awful scene that suburban Chicago police have painted with its report. Officers say the former Bears defensive lineman said he “felt like killing everybody” at the team’s facility the day before the Bears released him. The report said Ratliff also referred to himself as “the devil” while in the building retrieving his belongings after the team asked him to leave, and that he said he wanted staff members’ children to die. His agent issued a statement Friday saying his client doesn’t remember saying anything contained in the police report, and that “the primary focus right now is on Jeremiah’s cognitive health” while he receives medical care in Dallas.