Is this the beginning of the end for Marshawn Lynch?
He’s 29 years old — roughly the age running backs historically and dramatically fall off the NFL map — as in, almost overnight. Or have you forgotten Shaun Alexander? And Lynch will miss his second consecutive game because of a pulled hamstring. That’s twice the number of games he missed in five previous seasons with Seattle. I don’t think Lynch is done — coach Pete Carroll says to expect him to play next week against Carolina. But the Seahawks are thinking about his replacement more now than they did even three weeks ago.
Will he ever be “that”
Colin Kaepernick again?
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Was it really less than two years ago that Kaepernick came close to single-handedly beating the Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game? Kaepernick threw four interceptions in a 40-point loss at Arizona in Week 3, then admitted after passing for just 119 yards in last week’s loss to Green Bay that he played to not make a mistake. Coach Jim Tomsula says he still believes in Kaepernick, but at 1-3 and with the lowest-scoring offense in the league, how many of his teammates do? By the time the Seahawks get there later this month, San Francisco could be Sunken Cisco.
What if the Rams played just Seattle and Arizona?
They’d be undefeated. At least that’s how it’s played out so far. St. Louis has beaten both NFC West contenders, including a win at Arizona last weekend when everyone short of the Pope was sainting the Cardinals as invincible. St. Louis’ attacking defense gives up big plays, but when it’s on, it’s really on. If Nick Foles passes as well as he did on some throws against Arizona, the Rams are going to be in the division race into December.
How great is Matt Hasselbeck?
My favorite guy to cover during my first stint as a Seahawks beat writer. He’d talk about anything, and with a dry wit. How early he was onto “Twitt-ah.” How many donuts his girls wanted on a postgame Krispy Kreme stop. Then Thursday, the 40-year-old Colts backup rescued Indianapolis after Andrew Luck couldn’t play. Ol’ No. 8 beat Houston in his second start since 2012 — less than two days after he was hospitalized with a bacterial infection. “He didn’t look good, man,” Colts offensive lineman Joe Reitz told the Indianapolis Star. “He was sitting there like a zombie.” Kicker Adam Vinatieri said Hasselbeck “looked like warmed-over death.” And then he wins hours later. That’s pretty great.
From no teams in Los Angeles to three applying to move there?
It’s a land rush by teams trying to claim stadium ground to move to what NFL commissioner Roger Goodell this week breathlessly called “the entertainment capital of the world.” The league is falling over itself to get back to the L.A. for the first time since the Rams and Raiders both left in 1995. The Chargers, Rams and Raiders are all set to apply for relocation, with two of the three likely to end up moving there perhaps as soon as 2016. Why do I get the feeling Raiders owner Mark Davis will be the odd man out, stuck in Oakland’s dead-end stadium situation, while the Rams and Chargers strike a deal to share a new stadium in the nation’s No. 2 market?