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Seahawks vs Raiders preview: Highlighting 4 key matchups

Las Vegas Raiders v Denver Broncos Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

The Seahawks are coming off of a much-needed bye week. In their last game they faced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Germany and despite the score line reading 21-16 Bucs, Seattle was severely outplayed throughout the game. Pete Carroll’s team hopes to prevent their second losing streak of the season as the 3-7 Las Vegas Raiders visit Lumen Field. Based on record and team production thus far it would be rather surprising to see the Raiders leave Seattle with a win and DraftKings Sportsbook agrees, as they have the Seahawks favored by 3.5-points. Vegas has one of the worst rosters in the league and if Seattle can neutralize their stars it should result in an easy win for the NFC West leaders.


Davante Adams vs Tariq Woolen

Devante Adams is one of the most gifted receivers in the league. He has arguably the best release off of the line in addition to being one of the NFL’s best route runners. We see his route running ability as well as the creativity in which he is used in the first video. On the first play he runs a simple dig route and finds a massive soft spot in the zone, although it was run to set up the second play. On that play he starts it by running a dig and then snaps it off in the stem turning it into a bit of a corner route. There are not many receivers who can sell one route and then seamlessly snap it into another one. The former Green Bay Packer was certainly aided by Surtain’s aggressiveness, but it is difficult to envision Tariq Woolen, a very young and inexperienced corner, maintaining discipline on routes such as that one.

The second tweet shows off a really nice release where he gives a quick jab step to help set up the go ball. There is nothing special about the route itself, but he shows off his football savvy by flashing his hands late to prevent Patrick Surtain from getting his arms up to break it up at the catch point. Adams plucks it out of the air making a catch a lot of receivers would struggle to.

The edge - Davante Adams

Adams will be the biggest test Woolen has faced yet. He has posted three straight games with 126 or more receiving yards and has 6 100 plus receiving yard games on the season. Even though Woolen has held DeAndre Hopkins and Mike Evans in check in his last two games, Adams is simply too good for the rookie corner to have the edge. I think Adams is going to win somewhat routinely at the stem on Sunday and will come close to the century mark.

Josh Jacobs vs the front 7

Josh Jacobs is an extremely underrated three-down running back. This season he is 8th amongst all running backs with 251 receiving yards and 9th in receptions and targets with 34 and 41 respectively. They are not eye-popping numbers, but he is ahead or tied with Saquon Barkley, who’s considered a great pass catching back, in all three categories. The first video displays one of the routes that is in Jacobs route tree. Mack Hollins sets a pick on Jacobs man in coverage with the former first rounder running a variation of a wheel route on the play. With Denver playing a cover 1 robber and the single high safety shading the boundary side of the field it puts Jacobs in a 1 on 1 situation with the defender having no help over the top. He makes hands catch in stride and picks up a massive chunk after the catch. The majority of his production in the passing game does come right around the line of scrimmage, but these are plays that he is capable of making.

The second video shows where Jacobs is at his best which is right around the goal line. Since entering the league in 2019, Jacobs is fourth in rushing touchdowns with 35 trailing only Derrick Henry, Dalvin Cook and Nick Chubb. There is nothing special about this run as it is a simple duo block run to the left A gap, but it is something we can expect to see come Sunday if the Raiders get anywhere near the goal line.

The edge - Josh Jacobs

Despite Adams being one of the best all-around players in the NFL, Jacobs is the lifeblood of the Raiders' offense. The former Alabama Crimson Tide back has received 20 or more touches in 7 of his last 8 games registering 25 or more touches 4 times in that stretch. I think he will sit around 25 touches in this game and register over 100 total yards giving him the edge against a front 7 that just gave up 163 total yards to Rachaad White and Leonard Fournette.


Seahawks secondary vs Derek Carr

The Seahawks secondary was shaky against Tom Brady 2 weeks ago. He only threw for 258 yards against the Seahawks, but he was efficient as a passer completing 22 passes and 29 attempts. Time and time again when they needed a play, they targeted rookie cornerback Coby Bryant who is going to be the focus of this section. On the first video Seattle is playing a cover 1 robber, meaning Bryant is left on an island against Mike Evans. He is playing with heavy outside leverage as he should have some help to the inside, although that never comes. Ryan Neal gets caught flat footed and Quandre Diggs winds up 30 yards down the field at the time of the throw. Bryant gets underneath Evans due to Diggs’ help over the top, but he panics on the play getting his hands up a bit before Evans shows his. If Bryant waited half a second longer it likely results in a pass breakup instead of a long completion.

The second play was the game sealing play. Godwin is lined up off of the line of scrimmage in a trips formation meaning Bryant cannot get his hands on him at the snap. Clint Hurtt tries to give him some help as he chips Godwin with Uchenna Nwosu, but it almost looks like it throws Bryant’s timing off as he gets flatfooted and tries to jam Godwin which simply helped him inside making it an easier throw and catch. With Woolen likely to be matched up on Adams for the majority of Sunday’s game it is going to be imperative for the former Cincinnati Bearcat to limit Mack Hollins or whoever he is covering to prevent the Raiders from gaining one to two mismatches on every play.

The edge - The secondary

I do not think Carr is going to be able to punish the likes of Coby Bryant enough in this one to gain the edge. He only has three games this year in which he has exceeded 260 passing yards and I think that trend continues in this one.

Seahawks offensive line vs the Raiders defensive line

The Seahawks offensive line have not been dominant this year, but they have certainly done their job in helping Geno Smith’s resurgence as well as allowing the running game to get it going most weeks. The improvement of the line is in large part due to Seattle’s rookie tackles in Abe Lucas and first round pick Charles Cross, who we are going to focus on. Nate Tice shows us a great short breakdown of Charles Cross’ island snaps against Khalil Mack, where he more than holds his own against one of the best defenders of his generation. On the first, third and fifth plays he does a great job of getting out of his stance quickly and mirroring Mack, not giving him a lane inside or outside. On the second play Cross shows off an advanced chop which he uses to get Mack off balance leading to a pancake block.The fourth play we see Cross help a little bit to his inside by putting his hand on the interior defensive lineman right off the snap which forces him inside. He then shuffles right outside with ease to faceup Mack. The former Las Vegas Raider and Chicago Bear is able to force Cross back, but he gives Geno enough time to get the throw off.

I was not particularly high on Cross coming out of Mississippi State this spring but I have been more than impressed with him thus far.

The edge - The offensive line

Even though they have the likes of Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones the Raiders are tied for 7th worst hurry percentage at 5.5% whilst also being tied for the 5th lowest pressure rate at 18.1%. They are also about league average against the run. I do not think the Vegas defensive line as a whole is going to be able to impact this game enough to give them the edge.

Predicted score

Seahawks 28 Raiders 17

Last game recap

Tampa Bay defensive line vs the Seattle offensive line

Predicted edge - Tampa defensive line - Actual edge - Tampa defensive line

The Tampa Bay defensive line dominated this one as Kenneth Walker lll toted the rock 10 times for 17 yards. They created penetration on almost all Seattle’s designed rushes and when Geno Smith dropped back, they were able to generate pressure on him. They registered only 3 sacks, but that number could have been a lot higher giving them the edge.

Mike Evans vs Tariq Woolen

Predicted edge - Woolen - Actual edge Woolen

Evans looked primed for a big game as he caught a 29-yard pass on Tampa’s fourth offensive snap of the game. However, that made up more than half of his receiving yards on the day. Woolen once again held his own, especially in terms of physicality, against one of the best receivers in the league.

Seattle tight ends vs Tampa Bay linebackers

Predicted edge - Tampa linebackers - Actual edge - Seattle’s tight ends

Dissly and Fant combined for 5 catches and 62 receiving yards in this one. The duo did not dominate in this one but based off of the numbers and their ability to get open underneath I do have to give them the edge in this one.

Metcalf and Lockett vs Carlton Davis and Jamal Dean

Predicted edge - Metcalf and Lockett - Actual edge - Metcalf and Lockett

It took Lockett a bit to get going against Tampa as he only registered 3 catches for 42 yards and a touchdown. Metcalf grabbed 6 passes for 71 yards with a long of 16. As shown by his stats almost all of Metcalf’s production in the quicker passing game which has been a trend for him throughout the season. But despite that with the duo picking up 113 yards they get the edge here.

Predicted result

Seahawks 24 Bucs 21

Wrong winner and not too close on the score.

(All advanced stats cited provided by Pro Football Reference)