RENTON, Wash. — The Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers will be looking for different things when Pete Carroll’s team heads down to the Bay Area this weekend for a Sunday rematch of one of the NFL’s most compelling rivalries with Jim Harbaugh’s bunch. The 11-1 Seahawks would put a bow on the NFC West with a win and come one step closer to home-field advantage for the playoffs — a prospect that no potential postseason opponent wants. The 49ers would gain a measure of revenge and recompense after Seattle thrashed them 29-3 in Week 2 at CenturyLink Field, and a win would further establish them as one of the teams opponents don’t want to face anywhere. They’ve come much closer to that with their current 8-4 record after a five-game winning streak glossed over a rocky start.
There’s the additional factor of similarity — both teams are built on outstanding defense, a power running game, and the efforts of second-year starting quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson. These are two franchises too similar to have regard for each other, though there is an obvious respect on both sides. Carroll and Harbaugh are two coaches who have bucked the recent trend of NFL failure among college coaches, and their beef goes back to the days of the PAC-10, when Carroll was at USC and Harbaugh was at Stanford. It seems that these two teams and their coaches are destined to compete against each other in smashmouth fashion.
As 49ers tight end Vernon Davis said Wednesday, “It might be the most intense game this season, because those guys don’t like us, and we don’t like them.” Continue Reading
Each year, a number of NFL teams are faced with the reality that their quarterback situation isn’t what it needs to be, and it’s time for a change. For every team with a Manning, Brady, Rodgers, Luck or Wilson, there are two with an “Insert Franchise QB Here” spot that must be filled. That puts some quarterbacks in the lurch, and in the latest Cover-Two, Chris Burke and Doug Farrar examine the possible futures of eight quarterbacks with question marks surrounding them.
A few weeks back on Twitter, I somewhat jokingly suggested that the NFL copy ESPN’s 24-hour college hoops marathon format and line up six or seven nationally televised games in a row. Well, we’re one step closer now: The NFL announced that next season’s Falcons-Lions game from Wembley Stadium in London willkick off at 9:30 a.m. ET.
Per Tim Twentyman of the Lions’ website, that game (scheduled for Oct. 26, 2014) will be broadcast on FOX as a lead-in to the rest of that day’s slate.
You’ve seen (and likely disagreed with) the Week 13 Power Rankings. Now the Sour Rankings take a spin through the worst of the past week in the NFL …
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has been fined $100,000 by NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Ray Anderson for stepping onto the field during his team’s 22-20 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Thanksgiving night. With 6:26 left in the third quarter of the game, Ravens receiver Jacoby Jones took a kickoff back and had to alter his path because Tomlin had — inadvertently or not, depending on how you want to look at it — gone past the sideline boundary. Jones returned the kick 73 yards, but was tackled by defensive back Cortez Allen on the play, and Baltimore had to settle for a field goal on the drive.
In the statement accompanying the fine, the league said that the removal or alteration of draft picks for the Steelers in 2014 could still be in play because the act affected play on the field. The only larger fine ever given to a head coach in NFL history was the $500,000 levied against Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots for his role in the Spygate scandal.