The defending Superbowl Champion Seattle Seahawks have looked like a shell of the team that won it all last season. After a great start on the national stage opening week, they went down to the desert and lost to the Chargers in what many thought should have been a blowout victory for the champs. They got a huge home win over their Superbowl foe, Denver Broncos in overtime, and things were looking good again. Back to back losses at home and on the road had the media questioning if this team was really that tough to beat after all. Last week they went on the road and got a gritty, anything but pretty, victory over the Carolina Panthers to bring their record to 4-3. This week they look to right the ship and exert their dominance.
The Seahawks now get a home game against former division rival, Oakland Raiders. Up until the league reshuffled the divisions and conferences in 2002, the Seahawks were members of the AFC West, and battled it out with the Raiders twice a season. The rivalry may be over a decade old, but for the lifelong fans, it is still very much familiar. The Raiders come into Seattle winless on the season.
Sunday’s game looks to be an easy win for the defending champions. The winless Raiders coming into the hostile environment of Century Link Field, and a defense that needs a big day; on paper it is easy. The Raiders have been riding with rookie quarterback Derrick Carr all season long. The quarterback had some success against the Seahawks in the preseason when the two teams met up. In a winless first half of the season, Carr has been one of the only bright points for the silver and black.
Seattle media has been adamant all week long that the Seahawks cannot simply get a win. Last week against the Panthers, a win was all that mattered. Century Link Field gives the Seahawks one of the best home field advantages in all of sports, and no doubt the stadium will be rocking for this match up. For the Seahawks, it is important to get back on track and right the ship. That means getting more turnovers, and getting to Carr a lot more. Last year the Seahawks led the league in takeaways with 28. This season they have a mere five through seven games.
On the Seahawks run to the Superbowl, everything that was thrown at the defense it seemed was caught by a defender. This season the Legion of Boom, as they are called, is seeing plenty of passes batted down. They just are not hanging on to the balls that are thrown their way. The Raiders are ranked dead last in rushing yards this season, and the Seahawks defense is ranked first against the rush. That means that Carr will have to throw the ball a lot in this match up. The opportunities for turnovers will be there, but the question is whether the defense get back to being the ball hawks they once were.
Kick off for the game is at 1:25pm as the Seahawks look to right the ship and continue dominance in their house. The Raiders are looking to get their first win of the season in one of the harshest environments in the NFL. While most fans of the league will be tuned into the Broncos versus Patriots match up which starts at the same time, the west coast will be watching an old rivalry getting renewed.
Commentary By Andy Lapic