The Oakland Raiders Week 6 game will certainly be a memorable one.
Set to take place at Wembley Stadium, the Silver and Black will not only “host” the Seattle Seahawks at one of the most revered stadiums in all Europe, but they’ll do so as part of the de facto kickoff game for the NFL’s slate of international games in 2018.
The crowd should be raucous, and the environment will likely be a unique one compared to what Head Coach Jon Gruden and his team are conditioned to seeing stateside, but as exciting as at is to play on an international stage, currently three games under .500, and looking up at every other team in the AFC West, the Raiders need to fly back to California with a “W.”
“There’s nothing left to be said, man; we gotta win,” said Derek Carr Friday evening in London. “We know that. We know that as a team. We know that as a unit. We need to score points. We need to win games. However, we need to do that, that’s what we need to start doing, and once we do that, they come, they come in doubles, triples, all those kinds of things…. Once we hit our stride, hopefully, it’ll start this week, and we can have that bye week, and get ready for the next one.”
Take a look at the Raiders arriving in London in preparation for their Week 6 matchup with the Seattle Seahawks.
Unlike the Seahawks, who flew in Wednesday, the Raiders time in England is short, and although there is indeed some free time worked into the schedule Friday night and Saturday afternoon, rookie defensive tackle Mo Hurst stressed the fact that the Raiders aren’t here to go sightseeing.
“At the end of the day, this is a business trip,” Hurst explained. “We’re here to play football, so just try to keep our minds focused, and not have too many outside distractions.”
While the Seahawks are coming off a loss last weekend as well, and are also currently residing under .500, they still present quite the challenge to the Raiders, specifically on the defensive side of the football.
And while the days of the “Legion of Boom” are now just a memory in the Pacific Northwest, the Seattle defense is still a formidable group, capable of making life miserable for any offense.
“They still have playmakers,” Jordy Nelson said. “They have some younger guys, some very athletic guys, that can make plays. I have some experience against them the past couple years, so obviously, we look forward to the opportunity. It’s definitely not going to be something where we just go out there, and make it easy, so we’re going to go out there, be assignment sound, execute, do our job, and hopefully make the plays that come our way, and then we’ll be successful.”
He added, “it’s going to be a battle. They’re a physical team, always will be, they fly to the ball, that’s kind of just what they hang their hat on, and then they have playmakers as well.”
Add in the fact that the Seahawks are running the ball incredibly successfully at the moment, and they’ll be a tough test for Derek Carr and Co.
But in dire need of building some positive momentum headed into the bye week, Carr and the rest of the Raiders are looking forward to the next chapter of the season – even if it’s one that takes place on the other side of the world.
“It’s different to travel 10 or 11 hours to play a home game,” Carr explained. “But as [former Fresno State Head Coach] Coach [Pat] Hill always told me, play anybody, anywhere, anytime.”