Despite sitting at 1-4, the fanbase of the Oakland Raiders sees a small flickering light at the end of this week’s tunnel. Although travelling to London makes for boring, dreary football, some feel the Raiders can grab a victory. Overall, the feeling of positivity surrounds the Raiders defense in this game. Granted, Seattle does not set the world on fire offensively, but Russell Wilson is a magician. More importantly, the Raiders hope to actually dominate defensively.
If you look at Russell Wilson’s stats for the past few years, you emerge impressed. For two seasons, both Super Bowl appearances, the Seahawks protected him well. Now, under constant pressure, Wilson still averages 7.6 yards per attempt. Yet, teams sacked him 18 times. After a while, Wilson will begin to stand up slower and slower. In this game, expect Arden Key to play well. With so many near hits, Key looks close to notching his first sack. Also, watch the interior of the line. Hurst and Hall should maintain a quickness advantage. Meanwhile, guard Ethan Pocic will probably sit this game. Veteran backup JR Sweezy could slide in and grab reps. If the Raiders cannot feast on this line, the problems in Oakland appear deeper than we had thought.
Since the ill-fated pick in the Super Bowl versus New England, the Seahawks reverted to a want to pound the ball. As a result, the Raiders need to ready themselves for the eighth-ranked rushing attack in the league. While Russell Wilson still escapes the pocket, Mike Davis and Chris Carson are the ones to focus. First, Davis runs strictly downhill with a low center of gravity. He looks to bounce off or run through tackles with force. On the other hand, Carson brings shiftiness to the gameplan. While Carson receives the lion’s share of the plays, Davis cashes in on short yardage. He owns three of the four Seattle rushing touchdowns. In order to stop him, Marquel Lee must get free and shed blocks. In addition, Tahir Whitehead should be the one to meet Carson on the perimeter.
For Russell Wilson, his first look remains vertically. With Doug Baldwin returning and Brandon Marshall occupying the outside, focus shifts to Tyler Lockett. If the Raiders end up playing a nail biter, Lockett’s explosion should serve as the reason. If he does not get behind the secondary, Lockett is the lone Seattle deep threat. Hopefully, Reggie Nelson will not start and Gareon Conley would. Conley’s ability to stay with quick receivers gives the Raiders a fighting chance.