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The Seattle Seahawks played just about the worst half of football a team can play, putting themselves in a 10-0 hole at halftime. The offense was inept, the defense held, but made a few costly mistakes, all giving the Raiders, who haven’t been fantastic themselves, the lead. Seattle had 69 total yards of offense, much of which came late in the half. Matt Hasselbeck spent more time on his back than upright, dropping back behind a patchwork line that couldn’t hold back the Raider defense.
Hasselbeck completed 6-13 passes for 87 yards. The run game was non-existent, with the Seahawks combining for 3 yards. Sacks led to the 69 yards of offense. The Seahawks were 0-7 on third down, allowing the Oakland defense to easily get off the field.
The Raiders drew first blood with a field goal, before Jason Campbell found Marcel Reece for 30 yards and a touchdown. Campbell was 10-15 for 105 yards and a touchdown. Darren McFadden carried the ball 12 times for 29 yards and Darrius Heyward-Bey added a 30-yard reverse.
Seahawks kicker Olindo Mare broke his consecutive field goal streak, after 31-straight, with a missed 51-yarder before the half.
The Seahawks look to get back on track in the second half and climb out of the 10-0 hole they’ve dug themselves into. It’s going to take a lot more for an offense that’s been stuck in reverse for the last two weeks.
After showing up on Friday’s injury report, Zach Miller is active for today’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. Fantasy owners rejoice, Miller will play and appears to be ready to go for the Oakland Raiders. A foot injury had slowed Miller, limiting his ability to practice on Friday, but he will start today for Oakland.
Bruce Gradkowski is back for the Raiders, as well, though he will assume the backup quarterback role against the Seahawks today. Jason Campbell will make his third straight start today. Louis Murphy and Chaz Schilens, both wide receivers, are also inactive. Jacoby Ford and Darrius Heyward-Bey will start on the outside for Oakland.
With two weapons at wide receiver out, look for Jason Campbell to target Miller early and often against the Seahawks. With a banged-up secondary, the Seahawks could have trouble in the passing game, giving Miller a chance to shine in Oakland today.
The Seahawks and Raiders take the field at 1:15 p.m. on Fox.
The Seattle Seahawks have released their inactive list ahead of today's matchup against the Oakland Raiders. Kelly Jennings and Walter Thurmond, the starter and backup at cornerback, are both out for this afternoon's game. Jennings has been dealing with a hamstring problem while Thurmond suffered a concussion last week and was not cleared for today's game.
The Tacoma News Tribune's Eric Williams tweeted the full list.
With Jennings and Thurmond shelved, Roy Lewis gets the start at corner in banged-up Seahawks secondary. Russell Okung is also inactive after injuring his ankle last week in the Seahawks first possession. Without Okung, the offensive line struggled against Arizona, failing to effectively move the ball most of the game.
Chester Pitts is also active for the first time this season, providing some much needed depth on the offensive line.
The Seahawks take on the Raiders at 1:15 p.m. on Fox.
The Oakland Raiders, looking to match the Seattle Seahawks in the injury department, had a huge list of players limited or not participating in practice today. Quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, listed as questionable for Sunday’s game, did a light workout but isn’t near 100 percent ahead of this weekend’s game. If he is unable to go, or coaches deem he’s not healthy enough to be useful, Jason Campbell will make a third straight start.
The full injury report can be found here. Nine Raiders, including Gradkowski, are listed as questionable. Other notable injured Raiders were: guard Robert Gallery, tight end Zach Miller and cornerback Chris Johnson. Three players — Louis Murphy, Chaz Schilens and John Henderson — have been ruled out. In total, 15 Oakland players were either limited or did not practice.
With both teams limping into Sunday’s game, it should be interesting to see who steps up for both teams. The Raiders and Seahawks kick off Sunday at 1:15 p.m. on Fox.
The Seattle Seahawks put their finishing touches on the gameplan today before heading out to Oakland to take on the Raiders this Sunday. Injuries are still an issue for Seattle and seven players are listed as questionable on today's injury report. Among the walking wounded, starting cornerback Kelly Jennings and his replacement, Walter Thurmond, are both looking doubtful this week. If they are unable to go, Roy Lewis will step in and start opposite Marcus Trufant.
The Seattle PI's Greg Johns tweeted the injury report after practice today.
Of those seven, only Matt McCoy and Brandon Stokley participated in practice today. There was one positive for the Seahawks, however. Guard Chester Pitts is back and had his best week of practice this year, according to head coach Pete Carroll. Pitts is well on his way to making his debut this week, backing up the guard and tackle on the left side of the offensive line. Ben Hamilton is still holding down the starting spot at left guard.
The Oakland Raiders are dealing with injury problems of their own, much like the Seattle Seahawks, with the most significant being to starting quarterback Bruce Gradkowski. After being unable to practice on Wednesday, Gradkowsi returned to work today, only practicing on a limited basis. Head coach Tom Cable didn’t sound optimistic about Gradkowski’s chances of starting, making it likely that Jason Campbell gets another start this week.
ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson had the report on Gradkowski and a few other injured Raiders.
The Oakland Tribune reports that Raiders coach Tom Cable said starting quarterback Bruce Gradkowski will only play Sunday against Seattle if he has no issues and can practice fully Friday. Unless Gradkowski makes major strides in the next 24 hours, he will likely miss his third straight start and be replaced by Jason Campbell.
In addition to the quarterback situation, the Raiders will likely be starting a rookie at wide receiver. With Louis Murphy still doubtful after suffering a lung bruise, the Raiders will turn to Jacoby Ford — a rookie out of Clemson. Chaz Shilens has been slow to recover from a knee/foot injury, leaving the Raiders thin at wide receiver.
With Campbell under center and a depleted receiver corps, running backs Michael Bush and Darren McFadden should see plenty of touches this weekend. McFadden returned from an injury of his own last weekend, exploding for 165 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.
Rolling blackouts are affecting many teams in the NFL and the Oakland Raiders have been no exception this year. Per NFL rules, if the home team fails to sell out that week’s game, it will not be broadcast locally. For the fourth time this year, and the 11th straight time overall, the Raiders didn’t sell out the Oakland Coliseum, leaving Bay Area fans high and dry.
The Contra-Costa Times reported on the ticket sales and included a plea from head coach Tom Cable for fans to step their game up.
“Raider Nation, hear me,” Cable said after Sunday’s 59-14 victory over the Denver Broncos. “I hope you get this. We need you in those stands supporting us. We need to have a great 12th man from here on in, because we’re doing our part and it’s coming together.”
The Raiders are known for some of the craziest fans in the NFL. The Black Hole at Oakland Coliseum is filled with a plethora of fans dressed in enough Raider garb to scare the life out of opposing teams and fans. Unfortunately, the dedication of those die-hard fans hasn’t been carrying over to the rest of the fanbase in the area.
The good news for fans in Seattle is the blackout has no effect on broadcasts outside of the Oakland area. The Seahawks and Raiders face off on Fox in the Seattle area at 1:15 p.m. on Sunday.
Six games into the NFL season, the Seattle Seahawks sit atop the NFC West with a record for 4-2. While they're on top and in the driver's seat, they haven't exactly won pretty, leading many to wonder if this team is for real. After all, there were no preseason expectations and, on paper, the Seahawks didn't look the least beat formidable.
Heading into the Oakland game, Seattle has found a winning formula, according to Jeff Nusser. Through stout run defense and superb special teams, the Seahawks are finding a way to win, despite the struggles of Matt Hasselbeck in the offense. Nusser is confident in the Seahawks's ability to beat teams with defense and special teams, especially when facing a mediocre opponent.
The point is that the NFL is littered with mediocre quarterbacks right now, including the one the Seahawks will be facing on Sunday. Yes, Darren McFadden and Michael Bush have proven they can run the ball, but it's only the 10th rated rushing offense by DVOA. If the Seahawks can bottle them up and make the Raiders one-dimensional this weekend, there stands a significant chance that Campbell can't beat them with his arm -- just like most of those other quarterbacks the Seahawks will face the rest of the way. Add in the fact that he'll likely constantly be starting deep in his own territory thanks to Mare and Ryan, and the job just gets that much more difficult.
For more on the Seahawks winning formula, check out his feature here at SB Nation Seattle.
John Carlson has been noticeably missing from the Seahawks offense this year, catching only 17 passes for 187 yards and one touchdown. The touchdown numbers, or should I say number this year, is surprisingly low for Carlson, who had become a favorite red zone target in 2009. What’s causing the drop in production? Field Gulls John Morgan has an idea and doesn’t think it has anything to do with the tight end.
Carlson is receiving for a quarterback that, and I confront this idea every so often, might be among the very worst starters in the NFL. Matt Hasselbeck might be so bad, not just weak armed but hesitant, sometimes wild, incapable of completing a roll out, and, yes, incapable of challenging safeties deep, that it’s borderline impossible to evaluate any skill position player independent of him.
Lets break this out in case anyone suffers paragraph fatigue: 15 of John Carlson’s 39 targets were intercepted or fell incomplete because of Matt Hasselbeck, 38% of all targets.
The good news, according to Morgan, is that Carlson is probably just fine. The bad news, however, is that his quarterback may not be. Seahawks fans have been wondering if Matt Hasselbeck is declining and a look at Carlson’s numbers, along with the eye test, appears to confirm those suspicions.
The Seattle Seahawks are dealing with a multitude of injuries this week ahead of Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders. Seven players sat out of today’s practice at the VMAC, including Kelly Jennings and his replacement, Walter Thurmond. The Seahawks are light at corner and the concussion Thurmond suffered on Sunday plunges the cornerback depth to extremely low levels.
The Seattle PI’s Greg Johns had his report from practice, noting the trouble in the secondary and the full injury list.
Brandon Mebane also sat out, still dealing with a calf injury that’s hampered him for weeks. We’ll know more about the availability of all seven after Friday’s practice, but things aren’t looking good on the injury front for the Seahawks right now.
Believe it or not, Mike Williams spent some time in Oakland before falling out of the league. Williams, who was unceremoniously dropped by the Raiders after doing the same to a fourth down pass, spent less than a year in the Bay Area in 2007. Today Williams is back in action, looking better than ever catching passes in a Seahawks uniform.
The Seattle Times’ Danny O’Neil caught up with Cable and asked about Williams’ Oakland stint and his impression of the receiver now.
Cable: I’m not ever really surprised when a guy has proven it at a high level in college, I think it’s always there for him. How they get sidetracked or lose focus or whatever, that’s their business, but I think the thing that you’ve got to admire is he’s able to turn his career around. That tells you he’s got great character, and he’s kind of looked in the mirror: ‘If I want to do this, I’ve got to straighten up.’ Or whatever that is, and he’s done those things. So you’ve got to take your hat off to him.
Williams continues to impress people along the way during his rise this season. He’s emerged as a favorite target of quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and has been dependable in the clutch.
Next stop for the Mike Williams reclamation tour: Oakland this Sunday at 1:15 p.m.
The last thing the Seahawks defensive backfield needed was another injury this week. With Kelly Jennings still recovering from a hamstring injury, his replacement, rookie Walter Thurmond III, missed Wednesday’s practice with a head injury, according to the Tacoma News Tribune’s Eric Williams.
There was a little surprise when today’s injury report came out, with rookie cornerback Walter Thurmond listed with a head injury. We did not see him practice today, but I assumed it was more of a preventative measure coming off of major knee surgery over a year ago with as many reps he played against Arizona.
The Seahawks didn’t specify what kind of head injury Thurmond was suffering from, but if it’s a concussion his status for Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders would certainly be in doubt. With any concussion, a player has to pass baseline test in order to receive medical clearance.
We’ll keep you updated on Thurmond’s status as more becomes available.
“My head was my weapon of choice” said former Seattle Seahawk Dave Wyman in a guest commentary for the Seattle Times. He wasn’t talking about using his brain to outsmart opponents, however. As an NFL player, Wyman’s head, and the helmet encasing it, was used as a weapon meant to batter and bruise the opponent lining up across from him, routinely slamming helmet-first into ball-carriers and linemen.
With the recent NFL crackdown on helmet-to-helmet hits drawing national attention, players are having to change their habits and aiming points on the field. Hitting an opponent in the helmet, whether accidental or intentional, now draws a swift reponse — and a suspension for first-time offenders. Will it work? Wyman doesn’t think so and wonders how the new rules will be enforced.
These new edicts are even worse because they could be called on every play. There is far too much gray area involved. The fact is, helmet-to-helmet contact occurs on every play. It’s subjective, based solely on the referees’ opinion. The real sticking point comes down to intent vs. accident.
He’s right. Helmet-to-helmet hits happen on every play in one form or another. While the devastating blows — the NFL’s words, not mine — draw all the attention, there are much smaller — perhaps much worse when factoring in the cumulative effect — hits happening every time the ball is snapped.
Will fines and suspensions deter players from targeting the helmet of a ball-carrier? It remains to be seen and, through one week of enforcement, we haven’t yet had a case of a hit to warrant such a punishment. Concussions are a serious business and I’m all for attempts to limit the chances of a major brain injury, but with high-speed collisions happening all the time during the course of a game, Wyman argues punishing players for what amounts to accidental blows to the head is too subjective.
If nothing else, the backlash in response to the NFL’s emphasis on blows to the head, both for and against the heavier punishments, has brought more attention to concussions and just how severe they can be.
Seattle Seahawks kicker Olindo Mare will be rewarded tomorrow for his efforts against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday with the NFL Special Teams Player of the Week award. With an offense that frequently stalled in Cardinals territory, Mare endured a pounding rain to kick five field goals, making the difference in a 22-10 Seahawks victory. At one point, Mare hit three in row, the first two of which were nullified by holding penalties. Between penalties, both on the Seahawks and Cardinals during kickers, Mare kicked 10 field goals on Sunday, making the five that mattered most.
The Seahawks website broke the news earlier tonight and included some quotes from head coach Pete Carroll praising his kicker.
“But Olindo kept banging them home. He’s such a stud, come-through guy. I’m just so proud of him. That’s as difficult as you can get. That never happens in a game, to have that many chances and re-kicks. And he just kept banging them home. So that was a fantastic for him, and for us.”
Be careful, Oakland. If worst comes to worst, the Seahawks will field goal you to death on Sunday.
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll sounded optimistic about Russell Okung’s ankle injury, noting it was not as serious as the injury he suffered in the preseason. While Carroll did not rule Okung out for this weekend, he made it sound as if Okung was a long-shot to play against the Oakland Raiders (via The Seattle Times’ Danny O’Neil).
“It’s not nearly like the other one,” coach Pete Carroll said of Okung’s injury. “We don’t know what that means yet.”
Carroll, however, did not rule Okung out for this week’s game.
“We’ll just wait and see,” he said. “I think it will be a challenge for him to get back, but we’ve got to wait.”
Without Okung, there was a noticeable drop in the production of the Seahawks run game and the offense overall. Tyler Polumbus filled in at left tackle, but couldn’t match the productivity of Okung against the Arizona Cardinals. It’s clear that Okung makes a huge impact on the offensive line and losing him, again, for a significant amount of time will impact the ability of the Seahawks offfense to move the ball.
The Seattle Seahawks find themselves alone atop the NFC West today, after downing the Arizona Cardinals in a sloppy game at Qwest Field. Behind outstanding defense and special teams, the Seahawks did enough to come away with the win, thanks in large part to Olindo Mare's five field goals.
The Mike Williams reclamation tour continued against the Cardinals on Saturday. Williams, out of the NFL before head coach Pete Carroll swooped in and added him to the roster this offseason, has become a go-to target of Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck this season. The Seattle Times' Danny O'Neil added some perspective to Williams' performances over the last two weeks.
Williams caught 11 passes Sunday for 87 yards and scored the Seahawks' only touchdown. Seattle didn't have a single receiver catch 10 or more passes in any game the past two seasons. Williams has done it each of the past two games.
Williams was a bright spot for a Seahawk offense that couldn't get anything going, despite playing with excellent field position for most of the day. The Hawks lone touchdown of the day came after Michael Robinson stripped Arizona Rookie Andre Roberts after a muffed punt, setting Seattle up at the two yard line.
Seahawks rookie left tackle Russell Okung went down with another injury early in the game, this time spraining his left ankle. The No. 6 pick in the 2010 NFL draft has been plagued by injuries from the start, missing the first four games with a left ankle sprain. Field Gulls' John Morgan says not to worry, we've seen this before with a legendary Seahawk left tackle; Walter Jones.
That's right, Walter Jones, megastud and everything and more we hope for Russell Okung to become, suffered two separate sprained ankles his rookie season and missed four games. Jones missed time with both a right ankle sprain and a left ankle sprain and his left ankle was "so sore that Jones [couldn't] put any weight on it." Neither injury was classified as a high ankle sprain, but that might just point to the evolving nature of jargon.
On the first drive, with Okung in the game, the Seahawk offense was moving well, amassing 55 yards on the ground as they marched the length of the field. O'Neil looked at three questions that were answered during Sundays game, one of which had to do with the left tackle.
It wasn't a coincidence that when he left the game, the Seahawks stopped running the ball successfully. With Okung in the game, Seattle gained 55 yards on six carries. After he left, the Seahawks gained 91 yards on 30 carries. Is it too simple to say the Seahawks offense started skidding once Okung left with an ankle injury? "I don't know that," Carroll said. "I think it is (too simple to stay that). We might have lost our thought that we could stay with it because he wasn't in there more than that."
We don't, however, know if Okung is injury prone or just suffering a run of bad luck.
The Seahawks played a physical ballgame, highlighted by Williams' catches in traffic and Marshawn "Beast Mode" Lynch's hard-nosed runs. Lynch was pleased with the effort of the team, telling reporters the whole team was "beast-moding" after the game. Hasselbeck again praised Lynch, noting the difference in the offense with the power back in the fold (via The Seattle PI's Greg Johns)
"Marshawn is physical. There's no doubt about that," quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. "He added a dimension we didn't have necessarily, just in terms of a big, power back.
The Seahawks turn their attention to the Oakland Raiders this week, traveling to the Bay Area to take on the newly revitalized Raiders on Sunday. Oakland make a huge impression last Sunday, blowing out the Denver Broncos, 59-14. Darren McFadden made his return in a big way, rushing for 159 yards and three touchdowns.
The Seahawks take on the Raiders this Sunday at 1:15 p.m. on Fox.