Seattle Seahawks

5 questions for Week 9 in the NFL

How many coaches would let Russell Wilson play through his injuries?

Not a ton. Definitely not Vince Lombardi. But this is the way Pete Carroll has run the Seahawks for six years. His rule? Players rule. Yes, it may have been better for the team if its $87.6 million key to the franchise sat out a game (or two) for the first time in his career, to heal the sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee over the past month. But when the Seahawks’ coaches and medical staff suggested he sit, Wilson replied: “No chance.” And the team was fine with that. So he plays on, even while being limited to almost no running or scrambling that make Wilson the NFL’s most unique quarterback. Even while the offense has just one touchdown in its past 23 drives. Monday will be Wilson’s 82nd consecutive start to begin his career.

Does Wilson think like Cam Newton?

No. This week, Carolina’s quarterback got the meeting he wanted with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Newton is mad at defenses targeting and hitting him excessively and game officials not protecting him per the league’s tight rules protecting quarterbacks. On Friday at Seahawks headquarters, Wilson was asked if he fears for his safety as a mobile quarterback like Newton does. “No, I don’t feel that way. I just try to play smart football,” Wilson said. “I (wouldn’t) want to play football, if I didn’t want to get hit. I’d be playing tennis.” Wilson added “you know you’re going to take some tough hits every once in a while and you have to hang in there. At the same time, it’s a rough game and you always want to make a smart decision and get down, get out of bounds. I haven’t seen his particular situation. Honestly, I try to stay away from watching ESPN and all that. But I know, for me, trying to get down, slide, get out of bounds, all of that, because those guys are chasing after you.”

How does Josh Norman get fined while Richard Sherman doesn’t?

Pro Football Talk reported on Saturday that the NFL fined Washington’s outspoken star cornerback $25,000 for saying the following after last weekend’s tie with Cincinnati in London: “Who is official 88? I’ve gotta know. You suck. I’m just putting it out there. We play a physical game, they know that. We come here, international game, it all goes out the window. … He needs to be reprimanded.” The reason he gets fined and Richard Sherman does not for what Seattle’s star cornerback said about “egregious” officiating in last week’s Seahawks loss at New Orleans? Sherman is smart and savvy enough to not single out individual officials by number and address them directly with “You suck.” Sherman is more nuanced than that.

How in the name of Jon Gruden are the Raiders 6-2?

It’s not because of their defense. Oakland is 31st in the league allowing more than 410 yards per game. Only the 0-8 Cleveland Browns allow more. But Derek Carr is the NFL’s fifth-ranked passer, completing 66 percent of his throws with 17 touchdowns and just three interceptions. Last week, in an overtime win at Tampa Bay, Carr completed 40 of 59 passes for a franchise-record 513 yards. Yes, more than even Daryle Lamonica in the old, wild AFL threw for that many yards for Oakland. Carr became the third player in league history with at least 500 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions in a game. The others? Ben Roethlisberger (2014) and Y.A. Tittle (1962). This is the first time the Raiders have been 6-2 since Gruden was coaching them and Rich Gannon was throwing it to Jerry Rice and Tim Brown and UW’s Napoleon Kaufman was still in their backfield. NBC is getting on board, scheduling Oakland’s first scheduled Sunday night game in 10 years against AFC West co-leading Denver. It’s the first time the Raiders and Broncos have both been 6-2 since 1998, when John Elway was in his final season as Denver’s quarterback.

What does Veterans Day mean to one of the most military Seahawks?

Wide receiver Jermaine Kearse is the son of a former 19-year U.S. Army veteran, who retired as a sergeant first class. David Kearse isn’t his boy’s only military influence. The younger Kearse’s foundation benefits military families, especially those who have service members deployed to war zones from Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Kearse will wear a U.S. Army patch on the back of his helmet for Monday’s “Salute to Service” game against Buffalo. His teammates will wear helmet patches of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. “Big military family. What that day means for our country and all of those who served and fought for this country and gave us the freedom we have,” Kearse said. “It’s important to me, and I’m pretty sure it’s important to a lot our players on this team. I support the military family wholeheartedly. I have a foundation that supports military families. It’s going to be a lot of fun to be able to wear that army sticker on the back of my helmet. My dad was in the Army so I’m going to wear that with a lot of pride.”