Thomas and Wilson are irreplaceable, so the Seahawks are building around them. They added depth up front by trading for Sheldon Richardson, who will take over after top selection Malik McDowell suffered what appears to be a career-threatening injury over the summer. General manager John Schneider finally invested in his offensive line, locking up Justin Britt and signing Luke Joeckel to play guard on a one-year deal. Left tackle is still a problem with George Fant’s torn ACL — Rees Odhiambo is the replacement — but if the stars stay healthy, everyone knows the Seahawks are going to be in the discussion come January.
Then there’s this: For the past eight seasons, the Niners’ sleeve stripes have been in this weird limbo. They’re supposed to have three stripes on each sleeve, but most players have had just one full stripe and one or two partial stripes. This year, they’re giving up on the triple-stripe idea and giving everyone two full stripes, which are thicker than the ones used in the past. It’s an odd solution, given that other teams are able to have three full stripes, but at least it’s an improvement (further info can be found in this statement from Roger Hacker, the team’s director of corporate communications).
Kevin Seifert, national NFL writer: Bears over Falcons. Yep, going there. I’m falling for all of the Falcons’ “hangover” storylines. Relatedly, I think the Bears will be much more competent than conventional wisdom suggests. They have a decent chance to control the ball against the Falcons’ defense and limit QB Matt Ryan’s opportunities.