Seattle vs. Oakland: Seahawks Week 4 Preseason Preview
The Seattle Seahawks have put the league on notice, outscoring their last two opponents by a combined score of 75-20. As the fourth game of the preseason it's likely the starters won't be seeing much action as they prep for the real thing on August 6.
Instead this week's matchup against, easily, Seattle's least challenging opponent will be about figuring out which guys will be staying on the roster and what 22 players will find themselves without a team.
The Raiders offense's second unit has actually performed well this season and should still offer the Seahawks' reserves valuable, prolonged playing time. Offensively, quarterback Terrelle Pryor will have the opportunity to play against his former team.
Pryor will need to play well if he would like to remain on the team's final 53-man roster, so there will be points of interest on both sides of the ball.
Seattle Seahawks Week 3 Preseason Recap
The Seahawks defense was swarming last week, while the offense rained down points at will. When the starting offense was on the field Seattle scored touchdowns on their first four drives, finishing the half with a Steven Hauschka 59-yard field goal as time expired.
The Bears offense was stymied after squandering a couple of opportunities to put scores on the board by dropping passes, penalties and an interception. Sure, it's only a preseason game, hardly a barometer of what's to come during the regular season.
But with two soundly executed victories, after an even more convincing Super Bowl victory earlier in the year, the Seahawks have given a very strong impression that they'll be a very serious Super Bowl contender.
Russell Wilson shined brightest in the game, throwing for 202 yards and two touchdowns, and scrambling for another score and 23 yards. Marshawn Lynch's debut went well, averaging 5.3 yards a carry on three rushes and powering his way to a score of his own.
Jermaine Kearse continues to thrive in his increased role. He was on the receiving end of one of Wilson's touchdown strikes, and he pulled in four grabs in total for 64 yards.
News and Notes
LB Heath Farwell, G C.J. Davis, CB A.J. Jefferson were each placed on injured reserve, DT Michael Brooks, LB Horace Miller and WR David Gilreath were each waived/injured. DB Eric Pinkins was placed on reserve/non-football injury list.
OT Wade Smith, CB Terrell Thomas, OT Cory Brandon, RB Demitrius Bronson, S Mike Dobson, DE Jackson Jeffcoat, WR Kevin Smith and CB Thomas Wolfe were cut.
NFL Fines Seahawks, Carroll
For violating non-contact rules that govern NFL teams' offseason practices, the Seahawks and head coach Pete Carroll have been fined a total of $300,000. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also ruled Seattle will be forced to go without two double practices in 2015, per Chris Mortenson of ESPN.
Pete Carroll praised the Seahawks offense over the last two preseason games:
The entire offensive group is just executing at a good clip right now. Russell is really committed to what is happening. We've got a really nice receiving corps where the guys are all making their plays and a lot of guys are contributing to it. ... We have good guys to go to, and they really believe in what we're asking them to do. I think we're just hitting at a pretty good clip right now. Hopefully we can keep it going.
|Cooper Helfet||TE||PUP/ Week 7?|
|Jessie Williams||DT||Injured Reserve|
|Heath Farwell||LB||Injured Reserve|
|Anthony McCoy||TE||Injured Reserve|
* All injury information gathered from Rotoworld.com.
The Seahawks continue to get healthier as the season draws near. Irvin and Smith would be the biggest if time was missed, but they should be just fine for the season. Norwood's injury remains a concern for him because, despite making it through the first roster cuts, there's still no guarantee he'll make it through the next one.
X-Factors and Matchups to Watch
Terrelle Pryor vs. Raiders Defense
The Seahawks have carried two quarterbacks on its roster the last two seasons, but Terrelle Pryor is hoping to change that by making the team this season. Pryor will need a strong performance against the Raiders in order to have any kind of chance.
Pryor's preseason to date has been a bit topsy-turvy but remains intriguing due to his athleticism. Here's what Pete Carroll had to say:
The two-quarterback thing really helps you because you get another football player on the team. But sometimes you just can’t afford to do it because the guys (at quarterback) are too good.
Justin Britt vs. LaMarr Woodley
Looking through Pro Football Focus for more news on the Seahawks, I came across this tidbit of information. Through the first two weeks of the preseason, only one offensive tackle allowed more than six pressures. Justin Britt allowed seven pressures against the Bears.
As a whole the Seahawks' starting offensive line has performed well over the last two weeks, but Britt's play creates a weakness in a unit that is already only considered to be adequate. LaMarr Woodley and Britt may only spend a few snaps on the field against one another, but it's a point of concern.
Seahawks X-Factor of the Week
Seattle's secondary doesn't have the depth it was able to field last season, but the group has performed well overall. Jeremy Lany and Tharold Simon will get lots of extra playing time, along with Phillip Adams and Akeem Auguste.
The play of these reserves will be a determining factor in this game.
Seattle has its season opener just a week after their final preseason game, so the starters aren't expected to see much playing time against the Oakland Raiders. Terrelle Pryor and Tarvaris Jackson will receive the most playing time they've seen all preseason, so expect several scrambles to keep drives alive.
This isn't likely to be a heavily-schemed game, and the Seahawks are Super Bowl champions looking to repeat, while the Raiders are still figuring out how to get back to .500. The depth on each team should be noticeably in favor of Seattle.
Prediction: SEA 31, OAK 17