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Wilson off to sensational start, hits road against Browns

Thu Oct 10 7:15pm ET
By TOM WITHERS
AP Sports Writer

Players: Doug Baldwin, Russell Wilson, Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Tyler Lockett, Jared Goff, Baker Mayfield

CLEVELAND (AP) Always underrated, often overlooked and rarely mentioned in any conversations about who is the NFL's best quarterback, Russell Wilson is outplaying every one of his contemporaries.

Through five games of his eighth pro season, Seattle's steady leader is in a class by himself.

''He is the best that he has ever been right now,'' said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll.

And that's saying something.

Patrick Mahomes has the stronger arm. Tom Brady the more impressive resume. Aaron Rodgers may have a higher Q rating.

None of them, though, has started a season as strongly as Wilson, the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to pass for 1,400 yards with 12 touchdowns and zero interceptions in his first five games.

Wilson's 73% completion percentage leads the league, as does his 126.3 rating. And, he's made a couple of those did-he-really-just-do-that plays that prompted early-season MVP chatter.

''The play is never over with him,'' said Browns defensive coordinator Steve Wilks. ''I've seen him make so many plays that you think the play is over and all the sudden now he finds the way to get the ball in there.''

Wilson will look to keep it rolling Sunday as the Seahawks (4-1) visit Baker Mayfield and the Browns (2-3), reeling after a dreadful prime-time performance at San Francisco that has cast further doubt about their chances to make a playoff run.

''Our sense of urgency is at an all-time high right now,'' said Mayfield, who leads the league with eight interceptions

While Mayfield struggles in his sophomore season, the 30-year-old Wilson has come of age in 2019, displaying an all-around game he's nurtured through tireless hours of work on the field and in the film room.

A six-time Pro Bowler in seven seasons, Wilson has been nearly flawless so far. That hasn't always been the case, but Carroll knew Wilson would fully blossom because of his persistence.

''It takes years to figure out how to play quarterback in the NFL to me,'' Carroll said. ''Early on when Russ had a lot of success, he was immediately compared to the top quarterbacks in the league. I always used to say, `Give him a few years. These guys are in their double-digit years of their career. He is way behind them.' ... Russ in the last two-three years has continued to improve. It's a result of the great consistency.

''I do not even think that he has ever missed a practice since he has been here. It just adds up eventually.''

The Browns are hoping that's the case for Mayfield, who isn't playing with the confidence he showed as a rookie last season.

Mayfield's issues extend beyond his own shortcomings. Cleveland's line hasn't protected him and first-year coach Freddie Kitchens hasn't figured out how to best use star Odell Beckham Jr., the team's best weapon.

Maybe the Browns can glean something from their up-close look at Wilson.

WOE-DELL

Beckham's streak of catching at least three passes recently ended at 60 straight games. He's made just four in the past two.

To this point, the sometimes volatile star has kept his cool.

''He's frustrated when he's not getting the ball and we're losing,'' Mayfield said. ''I mean, why not be? Because he feels like he could help us win if we get the ball in his hands. And when we're winning, that's the thing about it; he's a team guy. He's helping us win any way he can and he understands how teams are going to play him.''

FAVORITE TARGET

One of Seattle's big questions before the year was whether Tyler Lockett could handle the attention of being the No. 1 wide receiver with Doug Baldwin gone. So far, Lockett's doing just fine.

Lockett leads Seattle with 30 receptions through five games and his remarkable toe-tapping TD in the win over the Rams will be on his career highlights tape. He's already more than halfway to last year's career-best total of 57 receptions.

HOME WRECKERS

Cleveland's crowds have been great, not the Browns. They're 0-2 at FirstEnergy Stadium.

''We must find ways to win at home,'' wide receiver Jarvis Landry said . ''Obviously winning on the road is extremely important, but we want to definitely establish winning at home. One of the first things that coach Freddie talked about was making sure that we win at home. We haven't done that so far this season.''

FIND THE RUSH

Seattle's pass rush is creating pressure. The Seahawks just aren't getting sacks.

They have 10 through five games and only 18 quarterback hits, both ranking in the league's lower half. It's not what was expected from the pass rush duo of Jadeveon Clowney and Ziggy Ansah. The sack stats might not be there, but the Seahawks are being disruptive. Clowney didn't sack Rams quarterback Jared Goff, but he was regularly in his face while forcing a key fumble he recovered.

Carroll believes the rush will get better as the season goes on.

''Just the combination with (Ziggy) outside and what's going on inside, I think we're going to be able to work together better,'' Carroll said.

PAINFUL MEMORY

Only one player remains on Seattle's roster from the team's last visit to Cleveland. It's not a good memory for linebacker K.J. Wright or anyone else.

''Just a bad game,'' Wright said. ''We were super young, didn't know how to win. It was just ugly.''

Cleveland's 6-3 win in 2011 included Charlie Whitehurst starting at quarterback for Seattle, which had only 137 total yards, 69 passing.

Player Notes
Kareem Hunt Nov 16 10:13pm ET

Cleveland Browns RB Kareem Hunt will 'absolutely' continue to play a big role in the passing game, according to Jake Trotter of ESPN.

Fantasy Spin: Hunt has 13 catches for 90 yards in two games for the Browns, and he has become a safety valve of sorts for quarterback Baker Mayfield. Throw in a handful of carries, and he is worth considering as a flex option in PPR formats.

From TheHuddle

Robby Anderson Nov 16 9:53pm ET

New York Jets WR Robby Anderson has 13 total receptions in five games since QB Sam Darnold returned from a bout with mono.

Fantasy Spin: He actually had a big performance in Darnold's first game back, but Anderson has just eight catches for 97 yards in the last four games combined. A Week 11 matchup with Washington looks good on paper, but he is a big-play dependent flex option, at best.

From TheHuddle

DeVante Parker Nov 16 9:23pm ET

Miami Dolphins WR DeVante Parker's 'upside' may be limited in Week 11 because of the coverage skills of Buffalo Bills CB Tre'Davious White, according to Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com.

Fantasy Spin: Parker had five catches for 55 yards and a touchdown in the first meeting with the Buffalo, but with Preston Williams sidelined, White and the Bills can focus all their attention on Parker. He is a touchdown-dependent WR3.

From TheHuddle

Blaine Gabbert Nov 16 9:13pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Blaine Gabbert (shoulder) won't be activated from the Reserve/Injured list this season, head coach Bruce Arians said Saturday, Nov. 16.

From TheHuddle

Justin Evans Nov 16 9:13pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers S Justin Evans (foot) needs surgery on his foot and won't be activated from the Reserve/Injured list this season, head coach Bruce Arians said Saturday, Nov. 16.

From TheHuddle

Jerry Hughes Nov 16 5:53pm ET

Buffalo Bills DE Jerry Hughes (groin) likely will be a game-time decision for the Week 11 game.

From TheHuddle

Obi Melifonwu Nov 16 5:53pm ET

New England Patriots S Obi Melifonwu (undisclosed) was placed on the practice squad Reserve/Injured list this week.

From TheHuddle

Allen Hurns Nov 16 5:23pm ET

Miami Dolphins WR Allen Hurns signed a two-year contract extension with the Dolphins Saturday, Nov. 16, worth $8 million, according to a source. The deal includes $3.27 million in guaranteed money.

From TheHuddle

Deon Cain Nov 16 5:23pm ET

Indianapolis Colts practice squad WR Deon Cain and Chicago Bears practice squad RB Kerrith Whyte were signed to the Pittsburgh Steelers 53-man roster Saturday, Nov. 16. Terms of the contracts were not disclosed. The Steelers also waived LB Jayrone Elliott and RB Tony Brooks-James.

From TheHuddle

Bo Scarbrough Nov 16 5:13pm ET

Detroit Lions practice squad RB Bo Scarbrough was signed to the 53-man roster Saturday, Nov. 16. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The team also waived RB Paul Perkins.

From TheHuddle

John Kelly Nov 16 5:03pm ET

Los Angeles Rams RB John Kelly was waived Saturday, Nov. 16.

From TheHuddle

Maxx Williams Nov 16 4:43pm ET

Arizona Cardinals TE Maxx Williams signed a two-year extension with the Cardinals Saturday, Nov. 16, that will run through the 2021 season. Financial terms were not disclosed.

From TheHuddle

Patrick Chung Nov 16 4:43pm ET

New England Patriots RB Damien Harris (hamstring) and SS Patrick Chung (chest, heel) have been ruled out of the team's Week 11 game.

From TheHuddle

Thomas Davis Nov 16 4:33pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers OT Sam Tevi (knee) did not participate in practice Saturday, Nov. 16, and has been ruled out for Week 11. WR Geremy Davis (hamstring) and RB Justin Jackson (calf) did not practice and are listed as doubtful. OT Russell Okung (groin) did not practice and is listed as questionable. S Roderic Teamer (groin) and LS Cole Mazza (illness) fully participated in practice but are listed as questionable. LB Drue Tranquill (calf) was limited during practice but is not on the injury report. LB Denzel Perryman (knee), DT Justin Jones (shoulder), OG Dan Feeney (shoulder), LB Thomas Davis (non-injury) and OT Trey Pipkins (toe) fully participated in practice and are not on the injury report.

From TheHuddle

Sammy Watkins Nov 16 4:23pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins (groin) fully participated in practice Saturday, Nov. 16, and is not on the injury report for Week 11.

Fantasy Spin: Watkins has been targeted 27 times in three games since returning from injury and should have a solid role against the Los Angeles Chargers. He can be considered a No. 3 receiver or flex option in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Frank Clark Nov 16 4:23pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs TE Blake Bell (ankle), DE Emmanuel Ogbah (pectoral) and DE Alex Okafor (ankle) did not participate in practice Saturday, Nov. 16, and have been ruled out for Week 11. CB Kendall Fuller (thumb) was limited during practice and is listed as questionable. OT Mitchell Schwartz (knee) was limited during practice but is not on the injury report. DE Frank Clark (neck), OG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (ankle), OT Cameron Erving (ankle), OT Eric Fisher (groin), DT Chris D. Jones (groin) and DT Derrick Nnadi (elbow) fully participated in practice and are not on the injury report.

From TheHuddle

Damien Williams Nov 16 4:13pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs RB Damien Williams (non-injury) did not participate in practice Saturday, Nov. 16, and is listed as questionable for Week 11.

Fantasy Spin: Williams is not dealing with an injury, so he should have a good chance to play in Week 11. He can be considered a No. 2 running back in fantasy leagues if he plays.

From TheHuddle

Patrick Mahomes Nov 16 4:13pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (knee) fully participated in practice Saturday, Nov. 16, and is not on the injury report for Week 11.

Fantasy Spin: Mahomes has thrown 18 touchdowns and one interception in eight games this season and continues to be one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. He is a must-start option in all fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle