Guest of the League
GSOFFL Est. 2010
FFL: Week 11 | NFL: Week 11

Bird is the Word: Jackson and Ravens face Wilson's Seahawks

Thu Oct 17 7:01pm ET
By TIM BOOTH
AP Sports Writer

Players: Russell Wilson, Lamar Jackson

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson works out prior to an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)


In this Sept. 8, 2019, file photo, Baltimore Ravens free safety Earl Thomas (29) intercepts a pass, as Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (11), attempts to tackle, during the first half at an NFL football game, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Over the course of nine NFL seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, Earl Thomas picked off 28 passes, earned a Super Bowl ring and was selected to the Pro Bowl six times. Those are some of the memories the standout safety will take across the country before he faces former team on Sunday as a member of the Baltimore Ravens.(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)


Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson looks to pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)


Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley, left, and quarterback Lamar Jackson celebrate Jackson's touchdown run against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first half of a NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)


SEATTLE (AP) There is an understandable mutual admiration between Baltimore's Lamar Jackson and Seattle's Russell Wilson.

In Jackson, Wilson sees a combination of speed and shiftiness working in concert with an underrated passing ability that has the young QB causing headaches for anyone tasked with slowing him down.

In Wilson, Jackson sees a veteran who has reached the pinnacle of the NFL, who has figured out a way to balance his athleticism and running ability with a dynamic right arm that makes him one of the premier passers in the league.

''I love everything about his game,'' Jackson said. ''He's a great quarterback. He makes guys miss. He breaks the pocket, and there will be guys chasing him everywhere. He knows what to do with the ball - dish it out, go to a checkdown. He makes plays. He's a playmaker, and that's what you need in a guy and at the quarterback position. That's what he is.''

Jackson and Wilson will meet on the field or the first time on Sunday when the Seahawks host the Ravens in a showdown between two of the better teams in each conference and two of the early MVP candidates.

Jackson has wowed with his combination of running and passing. He's on pace to rush for 1,200 yards and throw for 4,000. Last week, he became the first player in league history to throw for more than 200 yards and rush for more than 150 in the same regular season game.

Jackson is completing 65% of his passes, has 13 touchdowns passing and rushing and causing nightmares for opposing defenses.

''People always mention his speed. That's obvious. But I think the mixture of all the different things he can do - he can throw it down the field, he's tough, he hangs in there, he's a smart player too,'' Wilson said. ''You put all those things together with his elusiveness, which is as good as it gets, probably best you've ever seen kind of speed, he's really special.''

Where Wilson has impressed is his overall command of Seattle's offense. He's just the fourth QB in league history to start the season with six straight games with a passer rating of 100 or higher. He hasn't thrown an interception since Week 17 of last season. Wilson is playing with a confidence and savvy that's flashed at times throughout his career, but perhaps never for such a prolonged period.

''I know he's deep in the conversation for the MVP already,'' Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said. ''We hope, and we're going to do everything we can, to make sure that we don't make that argument any stronger, or help make that argument any stronger.''

Here's what else to watch as the Seahawks and Ravens meet for the first time since 2015:

MY NAME IS EARL

Aside from the quarterbacks, the biggest story line is the return of safety Earl Thomas, who spent his first nine seasons with Seattle before signing with Baltimore in free agency. Thomas was a star with the Seahawks, a founding member of the ''Legion of Boom'' secondary and a three-time first-team All-Pro selection. The final image of Thomas with Seattle was being carted off the field last season after breaking his leg in Arizona and flashing the middle finger at Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, angry about not getting a contract extension with the Seahawks.

''I don't know what this game is going to bring, but I definitely respect and love the organization. They gave me my first shot,'' Thomas said.

BACKFIELD IN MOTION

The Ravens have been forced to shuffle their defensive backfield this season to cope with injuries to Tavon Young, Tony Jefferson, DeShon Elliott and Jimmy Smith. First-year general manager Eric DeCosta refurbished the secondary this week by trading for two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters and signing safety Bennett Jackson from the Jets practice squad.

Both newcomers are expected to play Sunday, so it's imperative that they work in unison with cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Brandon Carr, as well as Thomas.

''Communication is going to be really critical, especially there,'' Harbaugh said. ''It won't be quite as loud, because their offense will be on the field, maybe as it would be here. But it's a loud place, and you're on the road. It's terminology.''

WELCOME BACK

Seattle should get a boost on its defensive line with the return of Jarran Reed after he was suspended for the first six games. Reed had 10+ sacks last season, but more important will be his ability to draw attention and potentially open up more on the outside for Jadeveon Clowney and Ziggy Ansah. Seattle has just 10 sacks through six games and didn't have a quarterback hit recorded last week against Cleveland.

The task this week isn't so much getting pressure on Jackson as it is keeping the elusive QB contained.

''That's why we come out here to practice, to get a feel of each other,'' Reed said. ''We talked a long time. We're going to get out here. We're going to work together. We're going to build that chemistry together.''

HIGH VOLUME

The Ravens cranked up the music at practice this week to simulate the crowd noise at CenturyLink Field. Jackson played in packed stadiums while at Louisville, and he's twice started in Kansas City against the Chiefs. But playing in Seattle is taking it to another (sound) level.

''The coaches have been telling us it's very loud,'' Jackson said. ''I just have to do a good job of executing, calling out the plays and letting everyone hear me.''

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