seahawks

Homecoming — Seahawks Face Raiders In NFL Week 9

Seahawks Must Be Careful With Raiders

On the surface, everything looks just so for the Seattle Seahawks in week 9 of the NFL schedule.

After playing three of the last four games on the road the Hawks get to go home to the roaring comfort of Century Link Field to face a winless opponent in the Oakland Raiders.

How could the Seahawks possibly lose this game?  It seems nearly impossible which is exactly why Pete Carroll and his staff must be very careful with this game.  If the Seahawk’s players starting thinking this one is a gimmie this week, they could easily fall victim to the “looking past a team” cliché.

Here are a few things I’ll be watching closely for in this one.

Injuries

This year injuries have really taken their toll on the Seahawks.  Out for sure this week are Bobby Wagner and Zach Miller both of whom the Seahawks will really miss.  Their replacements, Luke Willson and Brock Coyle are going to have to step up and play better.

Bobby Wagner

The Seahawks run defense will really miss Bobby Wagner (Photo: Ron Chenoy/US PRESSWIRE)

For Willson, other than his one catch to seal the Panthers game, he has not seized the opportunity presented him when Miller went down a few weeks ago.  The ability is there for Willson but he’s just not making plays consistently enough both in blocking assignments and catching the ball.

For Coyle, it’s a much more difficult task.  Coyle is actually backing up Malcolm Smith who is also likely out with a groin injury.  Smith was in there for Wagner until now.

Coyle’s limited game experience will really hurt the Seahawks run defense.  Hopefully he can get some help from his fellow linebackers K.J. Wright and Bruce Irvin.

The other notable injuries that are still question marks for Sunday are Max Unger , Byron Maxwell, and James Carpenter.

If both Unger and Carpenter have to sit this one out it could be a very tough day offensively, especially in pass protection for Russell Wilson.

If Maxwell can’t go again this week, I suspect we’ll see Richard Sherman floating around the field covering the Raiders best receiver, James Jones.

Penalties

Are you getting tired of the sheer number of penalties committed by the Seahawks every week yet?  I know I am and nothing seems to change each week too.

Pre-snap penalties are especially bad for the Seahawks this year.  One would think there would be no false starts this week given the Hawks are playing at home but that doesn’t seem to have mattered thus far.

It's time for the Seahawks to go Beast Mode

It’s time for the Seahawks to go Beast Mode

Pete Carroll has got to get a handle on the yellow hanky issue.  Another sloppy week of penalties could net the Raiders their first win of the year and that’s something I’m not anxious to write about.

Feed the Beast

The Raiders rank just 22nd in the NFL in run defense.  They allow on average over 130 yards per game.  Marshawn Lynch has to be just licking his chops.

Despite the continued problem with injuries on the Seahawks offensive line, that squad does a much better job run blocking than they do in pass protection.  I expect to see, finally, a heavy dose of Beast Mode this week.  In fact if Lynch does not get at least 25 carries in this game I’d be stunned.

Run the ball Mr. Bevell, run the ball.

Russell Wilson

QB Russell Wilson needs to have, and I expect him to have, a better game this week.  Wilson was inaccurate on several passing attempts last week including one that would have been an easy touchdown to wide open Cooper Helfet.

I got the feeling that Wilson was feeling pressured to make something happen with his arm last week and forced a couple of balls he probably shouldn’t have.  He got away with those passes fortunately.

Despite their winless record the Raiders have the 6th best passing defense in the NFL.  Wilson is going to have to avoid making those same mistakes this week.

Final Thoughts and Predictions

Like I said at the top, everything on paper says the Seahawks win this game but games like this worry me.  The Seahawks are going to prevail though although I think it will be closer than most people expect.

Seahawks win 27-20 over the Raiders.

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About Brian Scott

Husband, Philosopher, Animal Rights Advocate, and Author Brian is a Spokane native and Gonzaga University grad. Seahawks, Mariners, GU Hoops and Cougar football are the teams that drive his passion for sports. You can catch him on twitter too! Connect with Brian today!
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