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Seahawks can't afford drops in rematch with 49ers

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Seahawks can't afford drops in rematch with 49ers

RENTON, Wash. (AP) Drops.

A problem that plagued Seattle's wide receivers in the past hasn't been an issue for most of this season. The one time it became a problem was in the Seahawks' first meeting against the San Francisco 49ers in October. The two teams play again Sunday night in Seattle in a key NFC game.

According to STATS LLC, the Seahawks have the fifth-fewest drops in the league this season. Through 14 games Seattle has just 19 drops. The San Diego Chargers have the fewest with 15. Last year, the Seahawks were tied for 14th with 27 drops on the season.

Golden Tate was targeted three times against the 49ers and didn't make a catch. It was the only game this season when he didn't have a reception. Both of Tate's drops this season came against San Francisco. With Seattle holding a 6-3 lead, Tate bobbled a third-down pass that would have kept the chains moving into San Francisco territory early in the third quarter.

Backup running back Robert Turbin broke free behind the 49ers' defense in the first quarter for what would have been a big gain and possibly a touchdown. But the pass slid through his fingers.

In a game decided by just a touchdown, the missed chances proved costly for the Seahawks. If Seattle wants to end the 49ers' four-game winning streak in the series, it can't make the same mistakes this Sunday.

Tate said going catch-less in the loss to the 49ers left a bad taste.

``For me it was tough. The last time we played them was a Thursday night game, so we had the whole weekend to think about it. Had a little time off, so it was frustrating to think about it. I was ready to get that one out of my system for the next week,'' Tate said.

``I want to be a player that we count on - a consistent player more importantly. Really I've just been trying to be consistent. That game I showed inconsistency.''

Quarterback Russell Wilson wasn't fazed and never showed outward frustration over the inability of his receivers to hang on to the football.

``He's not going after anybody, he's not going to get bothered by it, and he's just going to go to the next play,'' coach Pete Carroll said. ``He really believes that something is going to happen there. It's easy for him in essence because his mindset is so strong, so that doesn't affect him at all.''

Wilson was just 9 of 23 for 122 yards and an interception against the 49ers. His 38.7 passer rating against San Francisco is his lowest mark this season. Yet Wilson doesn't see the point of dwelling on a missed opportunity.

``There's times where you're like, `Oh man I wish he caught it' ... You have emotions but the key is staying even-keeled as possible, I think,'' Wilson said.

``I let the receivers know I'm coming right back to them. You don't think that they're not going to catch the next one, so you've got to keep playing.''

Seattle's offense has greatly improved since the initial meeting in October. Wilson has a passer rating of 111.3 over the seven games following the loss to the 49ers, throwing 13 touchdown passes and just two interceptions while Seattle has gone 5-2.

With the Seahawks able to clinch a playoff berth with a win, they are looking forward to judging how far they've come in the last seven weeks. For Tate, it's a chance to finally wash the bad taste from his mouth.

``We didn't play our best game the last time we played them, so to get another chance in such a crucial moment of the season is going to show everyone everything they want to know,'' Tate said. ``We're definitely excited about it.''

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New Ravens DL Derek Wolfe: ‘I think we can have the best defensive line in the league’

New Ravens DL Derek Wolfe: ‘I think we can have the best defensive line in the league’

Derek Wolfe is set to join a Ravens team that broke all kinds of records in 2019 — offensive records.

With Lamar Jackson at quarterback, the Ravens averaged the most points in the league last season and broke the record for team rushing yards in a season.

Now, Wolfe thinks they can break defensive records, too.

“When I saw that Calais (Campbell) was going up there and I knew that Brandon (Williams) was up there already, it was a no-brainer for me,” Wolfe said during a conference call Friday. “It was just like, ‘You know what, man? I think we can have the best defensive line in the league, for sure, and we could break records. We could break the rushing record – yards per rush, stuff like that.’”

Wolfe, who came over from the Broncos after spending the first eight years of his career there, is set to start on a revamped defensive front with Campbell and Williams.  

He posted a career year last season and finished with seven sacks, and paired with the new-look front, he’s confident in the Ravens new front.

“I feel like as a defensive lineman and as a defense as a whole, I think we're going to be able to eat these quarterbacks up, especially with the secondary that we have,” Wolfe said.

He doesn’t think the goals are too lofty, though. They’re the expectation for both himself and his defensive unit.

“Those are the kind of goals that I like to set,” Wolfe said. “Sometimes you don't reach them, but you can get close, and that helps you win. So, I think that we're going to be able to shut that run game down, and then when it comes to our offense keeping us up by 10, 20 points a game, it's going to get ugly for these quarterbacks.”

Those quarterbacks he’s referencing, as it turns out, can even include former league MVP and current Super Bowl champion Patrick Mahomes — Wolfe’s former division rival.

The Ravens are set to host the Chiefs in the 2020 season, a matchup that will surely be seen by many as a game between the league's two best teams.

“I’ve been playing against him twice a year for so long, and I was trying to say that it’s nice to be in a different division,” Wolfe said. “It’s nice to be in a different division where I’m not playing against the same guys year-in, year-out. It’s nice to get some fresh faces, that’s what I was trying to get around with that. Nothing against him as a player; he’s an unbelievable player, and he’s tough to beat. I’m looking forward to beating him twice.”

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NFL plans to re-air the entire 2019 season on the RedZone channel

NFL plans to re-air the entire 2019 season on the RedZone channel

Missing football? So are we, and the NFL has come up with a plan to fix that.

The league announced Friday that for the next 17 days starting on Monday, April 6, the NFL RedZone channel will re-air each week of the 2019 season, as fans will get to re-live the entire experience of each Sunday this past fall.

Broadcasts will begin with Week 1 on Monday and carry on through April 22, the day before the NFL Draft. Week 2 will be shown on Tuesday, Week 3 on Wednesday, and so on.

The seven-hour program will begin at three different times each day: 8 a.m., 3 p.m., and 10 p.m. on the NFL RedZone channel. 

This move comes just a couple of weeks after the NFL made their premium streaming service, NFL Game Pass, free to all fans through May 31.

With everyone expected to remain inside across the country due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NFL has come up with a solid way to pass the time.

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