Oakland Raiders at Seattle Seahawks: 5 Things to Know
It's a game that screams blowout. The Seahawks at home against the hapless Raiders. But nagging at the Seahawks must be the thought: "Don't let us be the ones to give Oakland their first win".
What do we need to know about this game?
1) The Seahawks Defense Is Not What It Was Last Year:
In 2013, the Seahawks defense was a dominant force, taking control of a game and literally thrashing their opponents. Look at their numbers in 2013: Passing yards per game - 172; Rushing yards per game - 102: 39 total turnovers; and 14.4 points allowed per game. This is not the case this year at all. So far this year the Seahawks defense is truly pedestrian: Passing yards per game - 227; Rushing yards per game - 90; only 7 total turnovers; and 21.4 points allowed per game.
Not even home field advantage, which with the "12th man" crowd caused so many problems for incoming offenses, has not gome completely Seattle's way as they are only 2-1 at home.
Seattles defense is obviously not what it was, but they should be able to handle the inept Raiders, but it is somethng to watch and makes the game somewhat more interesting (competitive????) than it would have been last year.
2) With Percy Harvin Gone, WR Doug Baldwin's Role and Production Has Increased:
Since Harvin's departure prior to week seven, Baldwin has become Russell Wilson's main target. Baldwin's targets have increased from an average of 5 in weeks one through six, to 10 in week seven and 8 in week eight with cooresponding increases in catches and yardage. Baldwin will continue to be Wilson's first look and should be in for a solid game this week.
3) Marshawn Lynch Is Key To Seattle's Fortunes:
Lynch must find his "Beast Mode" once again and Seattle needs to give him the ball. In their three losses, Lynch has an average of less than 12 carries per game for an average of only 50 yards. In their four victories, Lynch had an average of 19 carries for an average of 83 yards. Clearly, getting Lynch going is paramount to Seattle getting their wins.
Against a Raiders team giving up the 2nd most yards on the ground, look for Lynch to get into the action early and often, should this happen a Seahawks victory is that much more possible.
4) Andre Holmes Appears To Be The Key To The Raiders Offense:
So far this year the Raiders have scored more than 14 points in only one game, versus the Chargers. What made that game different was the breakout of Andre Holmes. Against the Chargers, Holmes had 121 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is a dynamic WR and if Derek Carr can get him the ball downfield, he can open up more options for the team and give the Raiders at least a fighting chance against the Seahawks.
5) Seattle Must Put Aside Last Year's Super Bowl Victory And Concentrate On This Year:
It is time for the Seahawks to get over their Super Bowl headache and get down to business. They are 4 and 3 and though tied with the 49ers, they are technically in third place in the NFC West and currently out of the playoffs were they to start today. A loss to the Raiders would put Seattle in a very bad way in terms of the playoffs and this could be the single biggest key to this game. If Seattle is truly going to make it back into the playoffs and contend for the SuperBowl again, they need to take this game and the Raiders by the scruff of the neck and shake it like a wild dog. This is one they need to win.
There is no reason to assume that the Raiders will be able to beat the Seahawks at home in Seattle this week, but this is the NFL and on any given Sunday any team can win. If the game goes according to "Chalk" Seattle should win handily, but if Oakland can muster any kind of offense it could be an intersesting game to watch, or at least check in on.
Have a great football weekend!!!