The Oakland Raiders are an 0-7 team coming to CenturyLink Field, one of the toughest places to play for any visiting team. Frankly, anything less than a convincing victory by the Seattle Seahawks will be a disappointment and lead to more questions about how good this team really is.

That’s not going to happen. The Seahawks are better than the Raiders in almost every statistical category. Let us count the ways:

The Raiders have scored the fewest point in the league at 15 points per game, and Seattle is coming off a road game where it had its best defensive effort of the season, not allowing a touchdown to the Panthers.

Oakland is 26th in the league against the run, allowing 130 yards per game. The Seahawks have the No. 2 rushing offense at 148.4 yards per game.

The Raiders can't run the ball either, averaging a league worst 69.6 yards per game. The Seahawks are No. 6 against the run, allowing only 89.6 yards per game.

Seattle has allowed only three rushing TDs this season. The Raiders have only two rushing TDs all year, the fewest in the league.

And Oakland has a rookie quarterback going against Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. I could go on, but you get the picture.

Seahawks 31, Raiders 16
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The Seattle Seahawks return home this Sunday to CenturyLink Field to face a winless team in a game that should be an easy victory for the Seahawks.

The Oakland Raiders are 0-7, just trying to find a way to get on the right track. The Seahawks are 4-3 after a victory in Carolina they hope ends some of the doubts surrounding the team the past two weeks.

ESPN.com Raiders reporter Bill Williamson and Seahawks reporter Terry Blount preview the game and take a candid look at where both teams are headed.

Blount: Bill, the Raiders now are the only winless team in the NFL. I’m sure there are many reasons for it, but what would you say is the biggest reason, and is it possible they could go 0-16?

Williamson: The biggest problem is, unless something crazy happens, the Raiders are staring at 0-11. After playing at Seattle, the Raiders host Denver and then go to San Diego. That is tough sledding. The easy part of the schedule is over. If the Raiders get to double-digit defeats without a win, the reality of going 0-16 is going to be facing Oakland. The reason why Oakland is winless is it has not put together a complete game. The Raiders are nearly halfway through the season, and have yet to put together an effort capable of ending with a victory.

Terry, while the Seahawks have been a tad shakier than expected, what is a realistic finish for them in the second half?

Blount: I think they still could go 11-5 or 10-6, and here’s why: The Seahawks have two home games coming up they should win -- the Raiders this Sunday and the New York Giants the following weekend. Winning both games would make Seattle 6-3 heading into the defining six-game stretch of the season, and it’s brutal -- two games against the Cardinals, two against the 49ers, at Kansas City and at Philadelphia. That’s four tough road games, two against NFC West rivals. Realistically, the Seahawks should hope to split those six, or possibly go 4-2, before closing out the regular season at home against the Rams, another game they should win. So 11-5 is probably the best they can do, but whether that will be good enough to win the division is hard to say. They really need to win both games against Arizona.

Bill, talk about Derek Carr’s progress. His stats look pretty good other than his TD-to- interception ratio, but that’s to be expected for a rookie on a struggling team. Are the Raiders happy with what they’ve seen in Carr? And what does he need to work on the most to continue to progress?

Williamson: The Raiders love Carr. They love his poise, his leadership and his ability to grasp the game. I’m not sure he is going to be a superstar, but the game is not too big for him and I expect him to be a fine player for Oakland for years to come. He is a definite bright spot and a reason why the Raiders should be excited. I think the biggest thing Carr needs is a supporting cast. Once the talent around him gets better, he will be in really good shape.

As far as Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, all is good, right? All that stuff is just noise, correct?

Blount: Much ado about nothing. Once the Percy Harvin trade went down, the rumor-mill ran wild. But I can tell you for a fact there is no budding mutiny against Wilson. It’s absolutely preposterous. This man just led these guys to a Super Bowl victory. He never says an unkind word about any teammate. In fact, he even went to bat for Harvin to try to get the Seahawks to give Harvin another chance. He gives everything he has to this team and his teammates. To think there would be a revolt of some sort against him is beyond ridiculous. Could someone have said something negative about him, possibly someone who no longer is here, out of jealousy? Maybe. But truthfully, it saddens me that race could enter this equation, insinuating whether he’s "black enough." As Wilson said, "I don't even know what that means." Shouldn't we be beyond such characterizations by now? If anything, these accusations just made the team stronger and closer.

Bill, I asked the same question to Rams reporter Nick Wagoner a couple of weeks ago. It’s only a matter of time, probably the near future, until a team moves to Los Angeles. Is this a race between the Rams and the Raiders to see which team can get there first?

Williamson: Raiders owner Mark Davis has made it clear everything is on the table, but he wants to stay in Oakland. But he needs a new stadium. The Raiders’ lease at the Oakland Coliseum runs out after this season. So, Los Angeles is a possibility. But I think the key is that all we hear is talk. He needs to see action regarding Los Angeles before any team can go there. If it gets to that point, yes, I think the Raiders could be in play. But it’s all fluid. Again, the bottom line is the Raiders want to stay in Oakland.

In conclusion, Terry, do you think the Seahawks have any worry about the old letdown game against a winless, hapless road team?

Blount: If Seattle had entered this game on a roll, maybe so, but there’s no way that happens for a team that’s a disappointing 4-3 and already has a home loss. The Seahawks know they can’t afford any slip-ups now against a weaker opponent.

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RENTON, Wash. -- Cornerback Richard Sherman (back), defensive end Michael Bennett (toe), backup center Stephen Schilling (knee) and cornerback Tharold Simon (knee) were new additions Thursday to the list of players who did not practice for the Seattle Seahawks.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll does not talk to reporters on Thursdays, so we won’t know the status of these players until after practice Friday.

It would be a big surprise if either Sherman or Bennett had injuries that would keep them from playing Sunday against the Oakland Raiders.

Simon is a concern for a couple of reasons. He returned from knee surgery two games ago and is starting for Byron Maxwell, who has been out for two games with a calf strain. Maxwell did not practice again Thursday.

Schilling has started the last three games for center Max Unger, who has returned to practice this week on a limited basis after suffering a foot injury Oct. 6 against the Washington Redskins.

Also not practicing Thursday were linebacker Malcolm Smith (groin), defensive tackle Jordan Hill (ankle) and backup safety Jeron Johnson (concussion).

Guard James Carpenter was a full participant in practice after being limited Wednesday with back spasms. Running back Marshawn Lynch also returned to practice after his usual off day Wednesday.

Wilson, Bumgarner ex-mates

October, 30, 2014
Oct 30
6:58
PM ET

RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson had a former teammate to root for in Game 7 of the World Series on Wednesday night -- San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner, who was named Series MVP after his team's win over the Royals.

"We were roommates at the [2007] East-West Showcase coming out of high school for the top 100 [baseball] players [in the nation],'' Wilson said Thursday. "I've gotten to know him over the past few years, but not been in touch with him lately. But we played on the same team and I think we won it all that showcase.''

Wilson hit .467 as a shortstop his senior year at Collegiate High School in Richmond, Virginia. Bumgarner was 11-2 with a 1.05 ERA and 143 strikeouts in 86 innings his senior year at South Caldwell High School in Hudson, North Carolina, leading his team to the 4A state championship.

"He's a big guy and can really throw it," Wilson said of Bumgarner. "I'm excited for him. I used to play against [Giants catcher] Buster Posey too, so to watch those two guys [win the World Series] was pretty special."

Posey, who is from Leesburg, Georgia, played at Florida State in 2008 when Wilson was playing baseball and football at North Carolina State.

Bumgarner had committed to play college baseball at the University of North Carolina, but decided to sign with the Giants with they made him the 10th pick of the first round in 2007.


(Read full post)


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The NFL Live crew make their picks for Oakland at Seattle.
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ESPN NFL Insider Mike Sando delivers stats to help you make a pick for Oakland at Seattle.
RENTON, Wash. -- The Oakland Raiders come to Seattle this weekend as a 15-point underdog with a 0-7 record. That would tend to be a downer for a lot of teams, but rookie quarterback Derek Carr said it’s not the case for their players.

Carr
"I can assure you no one is turning their back on anybody in this building," Carr said Wednesday on a conference call with Seattle Seahawks reporters. "If you were to walk in here right now, you wouldn’t believe that we are 0-7. It’s not where we want to be, but we know the only way to get to where we want to be is by staying together."

Tony Sparano, who took over as the head coach in Oakland when Dennis Allen was fired at the end of September, said no one is hanging his head.

"The mood of my team is outstanding, and I’m not just saying that," Sparano said. "They’re in good spirits. The frustration of the team is we work hard and see ourselves getting better over the last three weeks, but we don’t have the validation of how [hard we] work by getting a win.

"But they are as upbeat as they can be looking forward. We have good veterans here that have been through a lot of wars. Just because it doesn’t go your way early doesn’t mean you can’t turn it around. Every week in this league you get to measure yourself, and this week it’s against one of the best teams in the National Football League, if not, arguably, the best."
RENTON, Wash. -- Typically, the final preseason game each summer is the most meaningless of them all, filled with a lot of guys on the field who find themselves on the cut list a few days later.

Carr
But the Seattle Seahawks remember this summer's last preseason game as the night they got torched by a rookie quarterback -- the man they will face this weekend.

Derek Carr's performance against the Seattle defense that night earned him the starting job for the Oakland Raiders. The Seahawks haven't forgotten how well he played -- 11 of 13 passing for 143 yards and three touchdowns in a 41-31 Raiders victory.

"He hit everything," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. "He tore us up and came in boldly. And they didn't just kind of dink it around. They showed that they had some belief that he could be a down-the-field guy. They certainly have gone that way.

"We saw [Carr] move, we saw him throw the deep ball, we saw him throw some timing-quick stuff underneath and he just showed a lot of poise. He's demonstrated that now and he's got good numbers.”

The Raiders are 0-7, but Carr has thrown for 1,517 yards and nine touchdowns, along with five interceptions.

"He's a gunslinger," Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said of Carr. "They've made him throw the ball a little bit more in these past couple of games. I don't know if that has something to do with the score or schematically, but they've done a good job. He's done a good job of taking care of the ball for the most part.”

Sherman was asked if it surprised him the way Carr went after him and the rest of the Seattle secondary in the preseason game.

"I wasn't really surprised at all," Sherman said. "I mean, he doesn't really know any better.”

Carr says he knows a lot more now than he did that night.

"Honestly that game was just the fourth preseason game,” Carr said. "For me, I just wanted to go out and compete against the best. That's all it was for me. They are the best at what they do and I was just excited to get the opportunity to compete against that defense.

"This is the real deal. This is the regular season against the defending Super Bowl champs. So I know it's going to be a tough task, especially going into their environment. I know how much of challenge it's going to be.”

Sherman said he expects Carr to let it fly Sunday

"Yeah, he's been slinging the ball around,” Sherman said. "I mean, I don't think he thinks about who's guarding anybody or anything like that, he just slings it. He's got nothing to lose, obviously.”
RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks starting center Max Unger returned to practice Wednesday on a limited basis, but starting cornerback Byron Maxwell and outside linebacker Malcolm Smith did not practice.

Unger
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is hopeful Unger, who's been out with a strained foot, will get through the week and be able to play Sunday against the Oakland Raiders.

He also hopes Maxwell (calf injury) can return, but it appears Smith may be out with a groin strain he suffered in the Carolina game last weekend.

Backup safety Jeron Johnson must go through the mandatory concussion protocol and did not practice Wednesday. Backup defensive tackle Jordan Hill still is not practicing because of an ankle sprain.

Left guard James Carpenter was limited in practice because of back spasms. Punt returner Bryan Walters returned to full participation at practice after missing the Carolina game with a concussion.

Running back Marshawn Lynch had his usual day of rest Wednesday, but is not injured.
RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said Tuesday was a day he won't soon forget. Receiver Doug Baldwin said it made him think about the importance of family.

The Seahawks organization hosted the Marysville-Pilchuck High School football team Tuesday, welcoming the players to their facility four days after a tragic school shooting left three students dead.

"It was incredibly unique," Sherman said about spending some time with the kids. "You can never picture yourself in that position. You can sympathize with them to a degree, but you've never been in their shoes.

"You want to do anything you can to help them forget about that moment, to help them experience a little joy. It's whatever you can do to help them feel a little bit of joy and just zone out for a minute. When you have a tragedy like that, you want to do anything to get your mind off of it."

Tuesday usually is a day off each week for the Seahawks players, but some of them took time to meet and greet the high-school team.

"For me, I've got a 12-year-old brother [Devon]," Baldwin said. "What I thought about a lot is you can't take for granted the amount of time you spend with them and talk to them. You have to appreciate the people around you, loved ones, family and friends, because anything can happen. It makes you appreciate more the people you care about."

The Seahawks players signed autographs and took pictures with the players, along with just taking the time to talk to them about football.

"Well, they were kind of shocked to see us a little bit," Sherman said. "But they seemed like some excited kids. They seemed like for a moment in time, they forgot about everything that happened and everything that was going on and were able to enjoy the moment and take pictures and smile and laugh and have a good time.

"Obviously, the reality of the situation is what it is and it's going to be a tough road getting back to normality for them, but I'm glad we could take a little stress off them."

Sherman said he got as much out of the day as the high school kids did.

"It brought me joy," Sherman said. "It brings you joy just to change someone's day like that. To bring a smile to someone's day who has obviously been frowning and crying and having a lot of sadness, just to change the momentum and make them happy for a moment."
RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. confirmed Wednesday that rookie Brock Coyle will get is first NFL start at middle linebacker on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders.

"It's his position to lose, but he can mess it up," Norton said with a chuckle. "If he has a bad week [at practice] we could change our mind. But we know exactly what we're getting and we're very pleased with what we have. He's a guy we have a lot of faith in. That's why he's here."

Starting middle linebacker Bobby Wagner is out indefinitely with a turf toe injury. K.J. Wright moved from his outside linebacker spot to middle linebacker the last two games, but starting Coyle enables Wright to move back outside.

Malcolm Smith moved into Wright's spot, but Smith suffered a groin strain Sunday at Carolina.

"Now Malcolm's out," Norton said. "We had the Super Bowl MVP to step right in, but now we have to make other adjustments. That's why Brock's work in the summer time was so important. He tough, reliable, smart, fast and he fits in well with K.J. Brock, K.J. and Bruce [Irvin] work really well together."

Coyle (6-foot-1, 245 pounds) played college football at Montana and was signed as an undrafted free agent. He was the biggest surprise of training camp in making the 53-man roster.

Norton also is pleased with his other rookie linebacker -- fourth-round draft pick Kevin Pierre-Louis, who had his best game against the Panthers. The Seahawks could have opted to leave Wright in the middle and start Pierre-Louis outside.

"They're both very good football players and it's a very tough decision," Norton said of Coyle and Pierre-Louis. "But Brock had more summer practice with us because Kevin was hurt a lot in the summer. We know Brock is going to pay attention to all the details and will set himself up for a really good performance this week."
RENTON, Wash. -- The Seattle Seahawks signed former San Francisco 49ers defensive end Will Tukuafu Wednesday to play fullback. They also called up L.J. Fort from the practice squad to play linebacker after Fort spent last week working at fullback.

That sounds a bit confusing, but there is a method to the madness. Outside linebacker Malcolm Smith's status for this weekend is uncertain because of a groin strain. So the Seahawks coaches felt it was best to move Fort back to his normal position at linebacker.

Fort was signed last week to the practice squad, working as a fullback. But he played linebacker for the Cleveland Browns in 2012 and was a linebacker in college at Northern Iowa except for a few goal-line plays as a fullback.

Tukuafu (6-3, 285) has spent most of his career as a defensive end with the San Francisco 49ers, but came in at times on short-yardage situations as a fullback to block for running back Frank Gore.

“We signed Tukuafu to come in and play fullback for us and see how he does,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday.

Tukuafu was originally signed by the Seahawks in 2010 as an undrafted rookie defensive end out of Oregon. He was released by the Seahawks before the start of the 2010 season and signed with the 49ers. Tukuafu was released by San Francisco before the start of this season and has been working out at the University of Oregon, his alma-mater.

Seahawks running back Robert Turbin has lined up at fullback the last two games. Starting fullback Derrick Coleman is out for the season with a broken foot.

Tukuafu is excited about the chance to block for Marshawn Lynch.

“I love his style of play,” Tukuafu said of Lynch. “I’ve been on defense against him. He’s like his nickname -- Beastmode. He’s a beast. To be able to block for a guy like that is a blessing. This is real similar to the offense we had at the 49ers. I’m ready to go.”
RENTON, Wash. -- If Brock Coyle's agent is right, the Seattle Seahawks rookie middle linebacker will get his first NFL start on Sunday.

Cameron Foster, Coyle’s agent at Foster & Easley Sports Management Group, tweeted this message:



The Seahawks coaches have not confirmed it, yet. Starting middle linebacker Bobby Wagner is out indefinitely with a turf toe injury. K.J. Wright moved from his outside linebacker spot to middle linebacker the last two games, but starting Coyle would enable Wright to move back outside.

Coyle (6-1, 245) played college football at Montana and was signed as an undrafted free agent. He was the biggest surprise of training camp in making the 53-man roster.

It’s interesting that Foster also mentioned Mayowa in his tweet, a defensive end who spent last season as a rookie with the Seahawks before being cut at the end of the preseason this year.
RENTON, Wash. -- Believe it or not, the Seattle Seahawks still are the betting favorite in the NFC to win the 2015 Super Bowl.

The Seahawks are 8-1 in the latest odds from Bovada.lv., ahead of the Green Bay Packers at 10-1. The Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers are at 14-1, and the Arizona Cardinals get no respect at 16-1.

The Denver Broncos are the clear favorites overall at 5-2. The New England Patriots, who play host to the Broncos Sunday, are 9-1 to win the Super Bowl.

In case you want to make a long shot bet, the Oakland Raiders, Seattle’s opponent Sunday at CenturyLink Field, are 5,000-1.
RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks rookie linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis could get his first NFL start this weekend against Oakland, depending on how quickly Malcolm Smith recovers from a groin strain he suffered Sunday at Carolina.

Pierre-Louis
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is confident Pierre-Louis can do the job after seeing how well he played against the Panthers. Pierre-Louis, a fourth-round draft pick from Boston College, had three tackles, including one for a loss, and was a disruptive force on several other plays.

"He did really well," Carroll said. "He had four plays that really stood out. He's really fast. He showed it in pursuit. He tackled a guy in a screen, running through on a blitz, had a couple of other plays just covering ground.

"He really looked exciting for us to see. He's comfortable with the scheme. He will get a ton better, but he did very, very well for this time. If Malcolm can't play, Kevin would have a chance to play a lot of football for us."

Pierre-Louis was a big factor in an interception Cam Newton threw Sunday that nickelback Marcus Burley picked off. Pierre-Louis blitzed up the middle and quickly got to Newton, forcing him out of the pocket. That's when defensive end Greg Scruggs got to Newton and forced him into a bad shovel pass that Burley intercepted.

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