Who the Guy?
It is hard to believe Geno Smith has emerged as a legitimate franchise quarterback, but the journeyman is playing the best ball of his career for the Seahawks. The ninth-year vet leads the NFL completion rate (72.8%) while posting the second-best passer rating (108.0) among starters. With Smith flourishing as the director of an offense built on run-action and movement-based concepts, the "Hawks" QB1 is the straw that stirs the drink for Pete Carroll's squad.
Know His Name
Jordyn Brooks has settled into his role as the designated playmaker for the Seahawks defense. The third-year pro leads the team in total tackles (106) while exhibiting outstanding instincts, awareness and range from his inside linebacker spot.
Don't Sleep On...
Kenneth Walker III has been as good as advertised as the Seahawks' RB1. The rookie has displayed exceptional vision, balance and burst as the workhorse runner for a team that is committed to the running game. With Walker flashing big play ability with the ball in his hands, the Seahawks could give the ball to No. 9 early and often to set the table for an offense that wants to dominate time of possession while delivering a barrage of body blows between the tackles.
Tariq Woolen has emerged as a frontrunner for the Defensive Rookie of the Year award due to his spectacular ball skills and coverage ability. However, the rookie could be asked to shadow Davante Adams in key moments as part of a game plan that features a ton of man-to-man coverage. Considering how Adams baptized Patrick Surtain II last week, the Seahawks' rookie cornerback faces a huge challenge this week.
Matchup to Watch: DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett vs. Raiders secondary
The Seahawks' underrated passing game features a pair of the league's most explosive big-play threats. Metcalf and Lockett excel at hauling in the deep ball but are also threats to go the distance on "catch-and-run" concepts (shallow crossers and deep overs) that take advantage of their superior speed and quickness. Given their ability to produce splash plays, the Raiders must pay attention to the duo's whereabouts at all times.
The Seahawks have returned to their "run, run, run" tactics that helped the team dominate the 2010s. Pete Carroll wants to attack opponents with a hard-hitting running game to set up deep throws to DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett on play-action passes. When the Seahawks are able to rely on a balanced attack that keeps opponents guessing at the line of scrimmage, Smith and Co. have the capacity to light up the scoreboard utilizing an old-school offensive plan.
The Seahawks have shown steady progress and improvement this season under defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt. The former defensive line coach turned defensive playcaller has added some creativity to the team's scheme while keeping things simple for the players. With the focus on playing hard from whistle to whistle while keeping the ball in front of the defense, the Seahawks have been able to win utilizing a bend-but-don't-break style that concedes yards but focuses on keeping points off of the scoreboard.
Take an exclusive look inside Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center as the Raiders prepare for their Week 12 road game against the Seattle Seahawks.