1. When will the Seahawks run it (well) again?
Not until Russell Wilson gets fully healthy. And that’s not likely to be Sunday against the Falcons. Sprained medial collateral ligaments in knee and high-ankle sprains don’t heal in a week or three. Coach Pete Carroll said Friday Wilson is likely to be wearing a knee brace and heavy ankle tape again. So it’s likely to be more of the same for Seattle, which has passed the ball 142 times and run it 113 so far this season. Wilson has just 28 yards rushing through one quarter of this season; he had 553 last season. Last season Wilson scrambled for 19 first downs. He’s scrambled for none on his injured legs this season. The Seahawks won’t run like they normally do until Wilson is as healthy as he’d always been – until last month.
2. Why does K.J. Wright say this Falcons offense is the best the Seahawks have seen?
Because of how Atlanta uses its running backs in the passing game. Tevin Coleman is its second-leading receiver in yards behind Julio Jones. Coleman and Devonta Freeman don’t just run swing routes like most running backs. They run go patterns, crossing routes – all kinds of stuff. And when you take that away, Atlanta puts up 122 yards rushing like it did last week in winning at Denver. Wright says this Falcons offense is better even than Peyton Manning and the Broncos’ record-setting one from the 2013 season – the one the Seahawks punished 43-8 in Super Bowl 48. "This is much better than that offense," Wright said. "Trust me."
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3. Will Colin Kaepernick starting again give momentum and support to his protests on race relations?
I asked that question this week to Nate Boyer, the former U.S. Army Special Forces Green Beret and Seahawks long snapper in the 2015 preseason. His answer is sad. And true. "It will probably spin back up again. I’m sure the media will be all over it," Boyer said. "Unfortunately, it will probably depend somewhat on how he plays, too. It’s just the way it is."
4. Dak or Romo for Dallas?
The Cowboys are 4-1 atop the NFC East entering Sunday’s game at Green Bay – all with rookie Dak Prescott from Mississippi State. He’s thrown for more than 1,200 yards already, with four touchdowns throwing and three TDs running. He has 155 throws without an interception, the most ever by a rookie to start a career. But Cowboys owner/ultimate all-decision maker Jerry Jones says 36-year-old Tony Romo will return to starting once he returns from the back injury Seahawks end Cliff Avril gave him in the preseason. Reports are Romo might be ready to play again in two to three weeks. "We’ve got a great situation here," Jones said. But Dallas has almost $21 million against the salary cap committed to Romo this year. And here’s suspecting Jones isn’t going put that money on the bench when Romo is ready to return.
5. Is Nevada THAT desperate to lure the Raiders to Las Vegas?
Apparently so. The Nevada Legislature on Friday approved a plan to use $750 million in Nevada’s public money to build an NFL stadium in Vegas. Three-quarters of a billion dollars, to enrich a city that has casino billionaires who could build – and have built – any palace they want. Las Vegas Sands hotel and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson has said he’ll commit $650 million of his own cash to this estimated $1.9-billion stadium project (before the almost inevitable cost overruns). According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Raiders would add $500 million in equity, seat licensing fees and an NFL loan. How about Adelson paying all $1.9 billion? He’s shaking down a state that according to a 2014 report by the nonprofit organization State Budget Solutions had public debt of $52.8 million. A state that according to the most recent annual report by Quality Counts for K-12 schools nationwide was dead last in education ranking, A state that Quality Counts says ranks 48th in public spending on K-12 education. Think parents of elementary-school kids in Nevada might appreciate $750 million? Casino owners are like the NFL; they print money. But, hey, as long as public governments continue to approve handouts, prospective pro-sports team owners aren’t going to shell out any more than they have to.