Seattle Seahawks Barely Overcome Themselves, Beat Oakland Raiders


The Seattle Seahawks didn’t need a win: they needed a blowout win. Facing the winless Oakland Raiders, the ‘Hawks were entering their last game against a truly awful team. These Seahawks have been in need of a signature win ever since week one, or so goes the narrative. At the half, this was a dominant victory. Then all of a sudden it wasn’t, and people started to realize that maybe this Seahawks team just wins games a little differently than the ‘Hawks of a year ago.

Oakland scored a field goal on the opening drive, but Seattle responded with two first quarter touchdowns. The first of those came on a clasically insane Marshawn Lynch rush, in which he barrelled three yards up the middle through countless Raiders defensemen. Seemingly stopped at the line of scrimmage, Lynch didn’t leave his feet until he was inexplicably plowing into the endzone. Stay here forever, Marshawn.

Bruce Irvin, Seattle’s powerful linebacker, was the next attendee of the touchdown party, intercepting a Derek Carr toss for a 35-yard pick six. The second quarter started with a Raiders drive that ended on a Richard Sherman interception, which eventually became the Seahawks’ first field goal of the day. The Seahawks added their third touchdown of the half with just under a minute to play, again handing the ball to Lynch for a short rush up the middle. Going into the break it was 24-3.

It took 57 seconds for the second half to get ugly, as the Seahawks opened by almost going three-and-out, only to have the “out” part of that become “have Jon Ryan‘s kick blocked and returned for a touchdown.” At the time it seemed flukey, and still left the Raiders down by fourteen.

Ten minutes later it was Ryan’s short punt and some surprisingly good passing from Carr leading to a Mychal Rivera touchdown reception. Seattle added a pair of field goals early in the fourth quarter, which proved to be absolutely necessary when Carr again hit Rivera with just under two minutes to play. All of a sudden the Raiders were a touchdown away from the biggest upset of the NFL season.

Seattle held on for the win, of course, but that’s how close this was: the Seahawks needed every last bit of their enormous early lead in order to beat a team that is pretty easily the worst in the NFL. Russell Wilson was outplayed in the second half, and despite his nice day overall had no touchdowns to show for it. The defense again allowed a lot of points to an opposing offense who isn’t exactly synonymous with “a lot of points.”

Even on a day when Lynch added 143 yards and Richard Sherman had his first interception of the year, there was the sense late in the game that the ‘Hawks were barely scraping by. Indeed, they were, as this game was not a guaranteed victory within the two minute warning. But while the narrative was that the ‘Hawks needed a blowout, the reality is that they just needed a win. And they won.

With the St. Louis Rams upsetting the San Francisco 49ers, the Seahawks are now 5-3 and in sole possession of second place in the NFC West. The Arizona Cardinals won again, and are somehow an unstoppable giant at 7-1. The Seahawks are starting to right the ship, just in time for their schedule to get downright insane. Hey, it could be worse. They could be the 49ers.