My Seattle Seahawks go up against the Oakland Raiders this week (that’s right, they’re mine!). I so want to see this game. However, living here in the wilds of Eastern Washington, I don’t get television (it’s a long, sad story; don’t ask).
Anyway, I’m trying to find a way to watch and I know there are places on the Internet that provide some not-strictly-legal means of doing so.
We’ll see what I can find.
How does this game stack up, though? Does it matter that the ‘Hawks are unbeaten since the addition of Marshawn Lynch? Probably not, since two games doesn’t really merit being called a streak.
Does it make any kind of difference that rookie Earl Thomas is a front-runner for Rookie of the Year? Doubtful, since one remarkable player in the secondary can't save a team from ignominy.
Is it important that Oakland is in front of Raider Nation at home? Maybe, maybe not.
Starting QBs show a serious edge for the Seahawks (and I can’t believe I just said that!) as Hasselbeck has made more pass attempts, thrown more completions and gained more yardage with them, than Jason Campbell.
Still, Hasselbeck has six touchdowns to Campbell’s four; hardly a significant statistical difference. When all is said and done, this just shows that Seattle’s receivers are not making the kind of progress off these passes that they should be, even though Hasselbeck is doing a pretty good job this season.
Rushing and receptions are another story altogether. While Lynch is a fairly unknown quantity for the Seahawks, and while he’s produced well so far, the fact is that he and Forsett don’t come near McFadden and Bush for actual scoring.
Forsett/Lynch have scored two touchdowns to Bush/McFadden’s seven.
The Seahawks will need to shut down Oakland’s rushing game for sure. The question is: Can they?
The receiving stats are not any better. Williams and Carlson have, collectively, roughly the same number of receptions as Miller and Murphy, but that’s where the similarities end.
The Raiders receivers have gained nearly 300 more yards this season than Seattle’s, and the ‘Hawks contingent has posted two touchdowns to Oakland’s five.
The Seahawks need to look for ways to shut these guys down, too.
Oakland has the home field advantage today, and that’s not been good for the Seahawks. However, just because Seattle has lost 17 of the 26 games they’ve played against the Raiders in Oakland doesn’t mean they have to lose today.
They have, after all, won nine of those games as well; no reason they can’t do it today.
One thing that seems to be in Seattle’s favor is the fact that the Raiders have been nothing if not inconsistent this year. They don’t seem to do well at the same things two weeks in row.
If my boys in green-and-blue can keep their quarterback protected and upright, they have a shot. A real shot.
Leon Washington is a great asset for Seattle and could help set the tone for the game; it always helps to have a league-leading anything on your team, even "just" a kick returner.
Seattle may have a bit of an emotional/psychological edge as well, in that their win–loss record is a little better than Oakland’s, at 4—2 to Oakland’s 3—4.
It doesn’t hurt, mentally, to be going up against a team that isn’t playing .500, when you’re doing better than that, and leading your division to boot.
The fandom is a huge asset for both teams, of course, and the ‘Hawks will be without their 12th Man while the Black Hole will be full of loud, rowdy, obnoxious, face-painted, drunk, boorish, frothing-at-the-mouth Raider fans (sorry, Jay Dee) and that’s not going to help Seattle in the least.
However, it could spur the Seattle team on to greatness, if it motivates them, rather than demoralizing them. We’ll see.
Really, this may all come down to the coffee. Is there a Starbucks in Oakland? Is it near the Coliseum? Can the Seahawks get it delivered to the bench?
I think all Seattle fans, no matter the sport, know how important really good coffee is to the win-loss ratio.
Of course, as we all know, it ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings. Let the showdown begin!