Keys to the Game: Week 8

The Seahawks are on a roll after winning two in a row, but lets not fool ourselves, we aren’t “there” yet. At 4-2, the Seahawks offense has had little to do with most of these wins and plenty to do with the losses. Our offense ranks #25 in Football Outsiders’ DVOA (though, the Raiders are #26). Mind you, our defense is #11 (Oakland is, again, #26), but while “Defense wins championships,” offense puts you in position to be near the playoffs.

So, what do the Seahawks need to do today?


  • Ride the Bay Area Backfield for all it’s worth. Marshawn Lynch, Justin Forsett, and Quinton Ganther are all having homecoming of sorts, and it’s just about time for them to have a breakout performance. I’m looking for big things from Lynch today. For some reason, I’ve had 25 carries for 140 yards and two touchdowns in my head.
  • Contain the screen. I think the Hawks can contain 95% of rushing attempts with the personnel on our defensive line and linebacking corps, but they have had trouble stopping screen passes (as we all know). The Raiders have insane speed all over their offense, especially with DHB and McFadden. If we can prevent their screen game from getting started, we have a decent shot at keeping their offense in check.
  • Exploit Un-Asomugha. The Raiders have Nnamdi Asomugha moving around a lot more this year. He’s playing some leftside CB, some rightside CB, some slot, some safety… Wherever he ain’t, be. Williams can get some catches, Butler can get some catches, hell, maybe even Tate can be involved in some manner.
  • Convert turnovers into points. The defense is winning our games right now, but we’d be blowing teams out of the water if we could actually put the ball in the endzone once we’re in the Redzone.

Players to watch this week:


  1. Matt Hasselbeck: just make the throws you need to make and throw the ball away rather than taking the sack. That’s all we’re asking for, Matt.
  2. Aaron Curry: huge role in this game against the run. Must shed blocks. He was getting eaten alive by Deuce Lutui last week. That’s not a typo.
  3. Walter Thurmond/Roy Lewis: who starts today? Will Jennings be active? Thurmond is my favorite of the bunch, as I think most of us can agree on…