1. How did the Seahawks get past Richard Sherman’s sideline screaming?
Not completely. Kris Richard, the defensive coordinator who shouted back and forth with Sherman after the first of Seattle’s two blown coverages last weekend against Atlanta, says he needs to coach better. Kelcie McCray, singled out by Sherman in his postgame press conference lack of experience and communication in the secondary, said this Friday: "I’m not here to throw nobody up under the bus. We just got to do better, as a team. The whole defense, we’ve got to do better. You know, it wasn’t one person’s fault, regardless of what everybody is saying or people are saying. It wasn’t one person’s fault. We’ve got to do better." Seems Sherman being in one coverage and everyone else, include McCray, being in another on Julio Jones’ touchdown may have been Sherman’s fault. The Cardinals are going to try the same route combination Sunday night that Atlanta did to confuse Seattle. We’ll see if the Seahawks fixed it; McCray will be playing again for injured Kam Chancellor. And we’ll see if there are any guys getting thrown under buses this weekend.
2. Why is Josh Brown still in the NFL?
Likely he won’t be for much longer. Another question: How much slimier can the NFL be about domestic violence? The New York Giants’ kicker and former Seahawk had been under investigation by the King County sheriff here for allegations of abusing his wife. Now the sheriff department has released 150 pages of documents that show Brown’s wife alleged her husband had abused her more than 20 times. Each day the league keeps investigating, keeps Brown on an exempt list and keeps paying him his salary of more than $1 million undercut its proclaimed tougher stance on domestic violence. What happed to an instant, six-game suspension for the first offense? The NFL looks awful for appearing to sneak around the sheriff’s department investigation by having the league’s local security official for Seattle not reveal any NFL affiliation while filing a public-records request. And the Giants knew they had a domestic abuser on their team, yet suspended him for just one game. It’s bad on top of bad on top of worse in an already awful problem within our society.
3. Is this Arizona’s last stand? Already?
Almost. The Cardinals’ 1-3 start is why its two consecutive wins still leave the defending division champions far behind the Seahawks for the NFC West lead. Sunday night’s game will determine whether Arizona will be in panic mode, or back within range of the division lead over the final nine games of the regular season. This is a different Cardinals team. The offense has a premier runner in David Johnson instead of just Carson Palmer chuckin’ the ball all over. But it so far lacks the big-play strikes of previous seasons. Time for Arizona’s undeniable talent to show up – or the Seahawks will be three games up on the Cards in the loss column. Already.
4. Can Green Bay keep winning with Aaron Rodgers throwing 56 times?
Not the NFC title. Rodgers completed 39 of those 56 passes Thursday night. But that was while beating the horrid Bears. The Packers can win the NFC North that way, but they won’t be a true threat to Seattle and the rest of the conference’s top teams until they can get some at least semblance running game going. Green Bay is 16th in the league in rushing offense. Better defenses will attack that lone, passing dimension in the playoffs.
5. What is it with Ndamukong Suh’s feet?
First, the Miami Dolphins defensive tackle stepped on Russell Wilson’s right ankle six weeks ago, resulting in a sprain from which the Seahawks’ quarterback is still recovering. No one, including the Seahawks, said it was a dirty play. Last weekend, Suh swung his leg toward Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger’s right knee while pass rushing. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported the Steelers sent the play to the NFL for review. The league did not fine Suh this week for the play – as it has multiple times before, including $100,000 for going at an opponent low in 2013. For sure, he is a standout player – and a marked, watched man.