WR Darrius Heyward-Bey makes a nice sideline catch in the Raiders preseason win over the Seahawks back on September 2. Photo by Tony Gonzales.
The Oakland Raiders will take on the Seattle Seahawks at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum this Halloween Sunday. The Raiders hope to reach a .500 record through eight games for the first time since 2002. In order to accomplish this feat, the Raiders will have to beat a feisty Seahawks team that leads the NFC Western Division.
The Seattle defense, led by LB Lofa Tatupu, CB Marcus Trufant, and S Earl Thomas, will be a test for the Raiders offense. "They're really good. They're active, they're fast and they're ball hawks," said Raiders rookie WR Jacoby Ford. "It's going to take a good effort on our part running good routes, and just trying to beat them in transition. No matter what, they're still going to be in our hip. It's going to take a lot of technique and discipline on our part to get open and have some good plays against these guys."
TE Zach Miller recognizes the tough match up created by the Seahawks defense. "The front seven's real strong," said Miller. "They get after the quarterback, they get you in third and long and they're playing real well. They stop the run. It's going to be a big challenge for us this week."
Raiders Head Coach Tom Cable has been preparing his offense for a Seattle defense that has been successful with 19 sacks and eight forced fumbles so far this season. "They're very good up the middle defensively, no question about that; good middle linebacker, really all three linebackers are good," said Coach Cable. "But the two inside tackles are tough, tough guys and the two ends are good pass rushers. And then you've got a good secondary; that young safety from Texas is a fine player."
Coach Cable has also been preparing his defense for a Seahawks running game that ranks 2nd in the NFL through Week 7. "[Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch] has juiced up their run game and they've got a real solid run game though," explained Defensive Coordinator John Marshall. "The thing about Marshawn is that he says 'no' to going down. He just keeps his legs driving, he carries [tacklers], he gets extra yards and so he's juiced them up. And [Justin] Forsett's his running mate so they're two Cal guys coming home. They'll be juiced up."
DT Tommy Kelly understands the impact Lynch can have on an offense. "Runs real shifty," said Kelly. "He'll give you a shoulder; he can slip blocks real good, runs hard, runs real hard. He's going to give you something to hit, it's about you just getting him down to the ground."
LB Kamerion Wimbley also appreciates the strength of the Seahawks offense. "We have to be on top of our job," said Wimbley. "We have to respect these guys. We know they are a good team and they're capable of coming out and putting up a fight."
The Raiders defense will also be facing one-time Raiders WR Mike Williams who had a standout game against the Cardinals last week with 11 catches for 87 yards and a touchdown. "He's still the same physical, big guy that can go up and get balls and bring them down so it'll be good for us to go against him," said CB Nnamdi Asomugha.
The Seahawks have also won games because of their special teams' play, including RB Leon Washington's success on kickoff returns with 35.1 yards per return average and two touchdowns. "He's a running back so you know he can break tackles, he's second in the NFL history as far as touchdowns scored on kickoff returns with six," said Special Teams Coach John Fassel. "So it's kind of thrown up a challenge and we have a few things that we'll do on kickoff hopefully to kind of gobble him up. But it's containing them and making sure he doesn't have a lot of windows to hit cause he'll find them if there are any."
The players are looking forward to playing against an energetic Seattle team as well as some of their former college teammates. FB Marcel Reece will face off with Seahawks S Roy Lewis who was a teammate at the University of Washington. "It's fun. Roy and I are really close, really close, he's my frat brother," said Reece. "We actually are from the same place, right down the street from each other so it's a lot of fun. I hope I get to hit him a couple times. It's a fun experience to be able to go against old teammates, old friends, especially if you beat them. You get bragging rights."
The Oakland Raiders look to win two in a row, reach the .500 mark, and give the fans a great treat on Halloween. The Raiders will play the Seahawks at 1:15 p.m. PT this coming Sunday at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Follow the action live on Raiders.com, the Raiders Facebook page, and Twitter.