It is crucial that TE Greg Olsen’s surgically repaired foot is sound and that he returns to the lineup to give QB Cam Newton another reliable receiver.
The Ravens are playing much better, with three straight wins, and securing a wild-card spot is a realistic possibility. Their meeting with the Steelers on Sunday night in Pittsburgh will be difficult but the Browns and Colts are up next after that.
But someone else was better. That someone else: Chris Carson, who picked up 46 yards on eight carries. Carson, the Seahawks’ seventh-round pick, also shined last week, when he rushed for 27 yards on six carries. In his first preseason game, he scored two touchdowns. Nobody should expect Carson to jump over Lacy on the depth chart, but Carson is making his case to claim a spot on the final roster.
As for Lacy, he simply hasn’t done enough to earn the starting job over his competition, Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise, both of whom didn’t play on Friday. So, expect some sort of backfield by committee in Seattle.
Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett continued his protest against racial injustice by remaining seated for the national anthem. Once again, Justin Britt stood next to Bennett and placed his hand on his shoulder.
An easy argument can be made that Campbell has been the NFL’s best defensive player in 2017. His career-high in sacks (14.5) and his first career All-Pro selection are the tangibles, but in his first season with the Jaguars, Jacksonville went from a 3-13 team to a 10-6 team with a chance to go to the Super Bowl. That’s not a coincidence.
Gronk remains arguably the biggest matchup nightmare for defenses in the NFL. While the league’s best tight end didn’t set any career highs in 2017, his stats — 69 catches for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns — were good enough for another All-Pro selection, his fourth in eight seasons.
Ramsey is in his second year as a pro, and many already consider the Jaguars’ cover man the best cornerback in football. His four interceptions, 17 passes defensed and 52 tackles in the regular season earned him an All-Pro selection for 2017.