Seahawks Insider

Morning links: Five keys for Hawks vs. Raiders

Post by Eric Williams on Oct. 31, 2010 at 8:29 am with 16 Comments »
October 31, 2010 8:29 am

Good morning. I’m getting ready to head out to Oakland Coliseum, but wanted to post my five keys to the game for the Seahawks against the Raiders. If the Seahawks get a victory today, they would be 5-2 for the first time since the team’s Super Bowl season in 2005.

Unleash the Beast: RB Marshawn Lynch won’t say it, but he’s certainly motivated to play well in his return to Oakland, his hometown. And Seattle needs to get the run game going today against one of the worst run defense in the league.

Throw it deep: Once they do get the run game going, there will be opportunities for Seattle to take some shots down the field because the Raiders like to play press coverage. So I think Seattle’s should test them with Deon Butler or Golden Tate and try and stretch the field. But of course I would avoid Nnamdi Asomugha, that’s just a turnover waiting to happen.

Contain McFadden: Running back Darren McFadden is Oakland’s most explosive playmaker, so the Seahawks, ranked second overall in run defense, need to continue to take care of that aspect of the game and make sure they swarm to the ball and wrap up because McFadden is very fast and very elusive.

Pressure the quarterback: The Seahawks have done a good job of getting after the quarterback so far with 19 sacks, good enough for seventh overall in the league. So look for the sub packages where they get Lawyer Milloy, Jordan Babineaux and Roy Lewis in blitz situations. I think Jason Campbell can be pressured into making some mistakes.

Get Leon going: It’s been a couple games since Leon Washington has made some explosive plays, so Seattle needs to figure out a way for him to impact the game, either through special teams or on offense.

My story today focuses on Raiders corner Nnamdi Asomugha, one of the best in the business, and how the Seahawks plan to attack him.

Doug Farrar of Yahoo Sports’ Shutdown Corner wonders if Asomugha is still the best.

Greg Johns of offers five things to watch for in today’s game.

Check out a video preview of the game here.

Clare Farnsworth at previews the game here.

Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks are a legitimate contender in the feeble NFC.

Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe talks with Hawks general manager John Schneider about his team’s turnaround. Bedard covered the Packers for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel while Schneider was there.

John Boyle of the Everett Herald says that the Seahawks got it right in drafting rookie safety Earl Thomas.

Dan Pompei in his Sunday Blitz column for the National Football Post says Thomas is in the running for defensive rookie of the year.

Vittorio Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that Oakland quarterback Jason Campbell gets another chance to prove the critics wrong against Seattle.

Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 16
  1. Dukeshire says:

    I actually disagree with one of your keys; throwing it deep. Hass has never been a real vertical QB, even at his best. And aside from Butler, this particular group of WRs is not the fastest (I suppose we can throw Tate in there, should he be able to get on the field) while the Raiders secondary is very fast, all of them. If Hass was able to out-throw the coverage, if necessary, then I might be inclined to agree. But as it stands, this isn’t the type of defense I’d encourage them to take many deep shots with.

    Should they get the running game going (which I believe they will) I would prefer to see a lot of play-action. They’re going to play man, so lock those LBs up and get so 12-15 yard looks under the safeties, over the LBs. Control the clock and keep McFadden / Bush off the field.

    This is going to be a tough game. Not the best match-up for Seattle but certainly a winable game if they play sound fundamental football (aka, enough with the penalties.)

  2. Dukeshire: I understand your point, but if Seattle is in a spread set like trips or trips open and Oakland is playing bump, guys like Butler and Tate can get a step or two pretty quickly in the route. Hasselbeck doesn’t have to throw it 60 yards down field. He just has to lead his receiver once they create separation and get it to them early, maybe 40 yards down field, and Hasselbeck can do that.

    Play action also will be available to them, creating some openings in the middle of the field, as you said. That should open some opportunities for John Carlson and Brandon Stokley if he plays down the middle of the field. Should be a fun game.

  3. Dukeshire says:

    Fair enough, and usually I’m only who encourages them to take a shot or two. But they are so adept at man coverage and Seattle has had a hard time finding spots for Tate (and after Carroll’s presser I’m wondering how much they trust him right now) that Butler’s speed alone doesn’t seem like it’s enough. If they were more zone oriented, I’d be less concerned. But man, as you know, requires precision. Ultimately, I’m concerned about Hass’ arm being strong enough to put it where only a ‘Hawk can make a play on it.

    You think it’s a fun game because you are a Raider lover. ;) …I saw where Carroll compared Asomugha to Haynes… High praise, indeed. Young Eric’s favorite player, right?

  4. williambryan says:

    how come no one is playing up the rivalry of Campbell and Hasselbeck, the former expedia pitchmen?

  5. princeaden says:

    I think the Seahawks will have some good chances to go down field given the play action after establishing the run especially considering the press coverage. . It makes me wonder why we don’t practice the deep ball “underthrow”(where the receiver slows just before the ball arrives to come back a yard or so for the ball). It seems like the corner is virtually helpless and the play has good success. It seems like an absolute perfect fit for our offense. Is this not something that they practice or teach?

  6. Hasselbeck has only 3 different types of throws he completes with regularity these days – there is only so much you can expect here.

  7. Dukeshire: Asomugha is smart, humble and has great work ethic — what’s not to like about him?

    Princeaden: They practice the back shoulder throws all the time, and Hasselbeck and Mike Williams in particular have gotten good at executing them.

  8. definately test the deep ball if raiders want to press, but I also say go right at Asomugha! Have no fear. A true #1 will win the % battle of a true shutdown corner. Same as in hoops, you can never shutdown a great offensive player. Williams is a strength of ours, and Asomugha a strength of theirs. If we can nullify their strength, cancel it out, it becomes a true test to their resiliency and mental resolve.

    The quickest way to demoralize an opponent is to defeat their strength.

  9. Dukeshire says:

    Eric, Totally agree.

  10. Dukeshire says:

    new02 – You may be right, but it’s also the quickest way to lose. Aggression yes, but got to be smart.

  11. Long just picked Raiders to win! :(

  12. Mebane or Jennings playing? Okung is out right?

  13. So receivers for Oakland are Heyward-Bey and Jacoby Ford? That’s a lot of speed, but not really receivers who are known to make though catches and have good hands in general, so if our corners can stay on them, which is a big if because I’m not sure how fast our corners are compared to those receiver, but if we can do that, we’ll only have to worry about McFadden, who sadly has decided he is going to be a great player. I have to say, I’m nervous.

  14. Dukeshire says:

    Yeah, pick a poison. I’d like to see them play man-press and force the issue. That puts a lot of pressure on Thomas and your pass rush, but I’m concerned that they are just too inexperienced in the secondary to play an effective zone. Match up the athletes, disrupt them off the line and hope for the best. They can always drop into nickel if the front proves to contain McFadden.

  15. Am I the only one enjoying the fact that we are a team on the rise, and the Cowboys just seem to get worse and worse? Even if we lose tonight, it’ll comfort if the Cowboys has lose as well.

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