Here are three non-Seahawks things to watch around the NFL this weekend.
JIMMY G. GETTING TO KNOW THEE AGAIN
Neither the football world nor the 49ers really got to find out what Jimmy Garoppolo is all about a year ago when he suffered an ACL injury in the third game of his first full season as San Francisco’s acknowledged starter. The preseason this year began roughly for Garoppolo — who while it feels like he’s been around forever has just 10 career starts, fewer than either Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen — leading to a bit of panic among 49ers faithful. A better outing the next time quieted the anxiety some. But the pressure will be on Garopplo from the first snap of Sunday’s regular season opener at Tampa Bay to prove he is both worth the hype and all the money San Fransisco handed him. The game is also the first for longtime Seahawks nemesis Bruce Arians as coach of the Bucs.
PEEKING IN ON THE STEELERS
It’s never too early to look ahead to next week, when things start to get really real for the Seahawks — a trip to Pittsburgh to play the Steelers. The Steelers could be looking at needing to win their home opener to avoid an 0-2 start next week unless they can go into New England and spoil the home opener for the defending Super Bowl champs. The Steelers have been team contentment in camp without Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell. But talent usually matters more.
A RAM TOUGH OPENER
While Seattle is one of the biggest favorites of the weekend, the team they are trying to usurp as two-time NFC West champs — the Los Angeles Rams — will have a battle on their hands, traveling to Carolina to play the Panthers. Carolina is a really hard team to read, due in part to Cam Newton’s health. But Newton is considered as injury-free heading into week one. And the pressure will be on Jared Goff to show he’s worth the hefty contract he just received.