Seahawks vs. Raiders preview: The biggest matchups coming out of the bye

Finally real football is back!

After a week off, the Seattle Seahawks will host the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday. The Raiders feature a couple of players that are all too familiar to Seattle. Two of their newest stars in particular make up some of the fiercest matchups to watch for at 1pm this week.

The Seahawks open as 3.5 point favorites against the Raiders, who seem not to have impressed the other Vegas very much with their win over the Denver Broncos. With the Over/Under at 47.5, DraftKings Sportsbook actually has this as the second-highest projected point total of Week 12, behind only Bills at Lions.

Pass Rush

Chandler Jones sacked Russell Wilson 16.5 times while facing him twice a year for the Arizona Cardinals. That’s the most Jones has sacked any QB in his career.

However, Jones has been pretty quiet since arriving in Las Vegas. He’s only registered a half a sack so far, because our schooling systems are all about partial credit. Maxx Crosby has become the only player of note for opposing QBs, as he’s got 9 sacks and nobody else on the entire team has more than one. That’s a thing you used to be able to say about the Seahawks with some regularity but not this year. They’ve got eight players with multiple sacks and will look to have far more impact against Derek Carr than the Raiders do against Geno.

Pass Catch

Davante Adams was the dagger against Tre Flowers and the Seattle defense in 2019.
Now? He’s playing well, but not perhaps at the level of somebody traded for a 1st and 2nd round pick. This past game against Denver, however, he showed once again how big of a game changer he can be.

On 112 targets – 41 more than Tyler Lockett – Adams has 925 yards and 10 touchdowns. Comparatively, Lockett has 640 yards and five touchdowns of his own, while securing a far greater catch rate. Furthermore, the Raiders don’t really have much of a second option to speak of, while Geno Smith has really evened the ball out to DK Metcalf + tight ends with elite effectiveness.

Tariq Woolen will be sure to have a big day covering Adams, and will be a major factor in the success of the Vegas passing game.

Past Assumptions

At the end of the day, these two teams are both surprises of a sort, heading in the exact opposite direction at the moment. The Raiders were competitive last year, then added a couple of elite household names. Seattle was supposed to have a top-5 pick of their own after this season.

Instead, they’re 1-4 against 4-1 over the last five games, with impressive wins for the Hawks and unimpressive losses for the Raiders. This is of course the five games the Raiders played except for Sunday’s overtime win against the Broncos (which is nearly the equivalent of an NFL win these days!)

In fact, the teams are on a nearly inverse trajectory. Over the past five games, here’s where they stand (fine we’ll include Denver):

Points For = LV80 // SEA 130

Points Against = LV 112 // SEA 87

pass? Run!

The only true advantage for the Raiders may end up being Pete Carroll’s favorite activity. Running back Josh Jacobs is having himself quite the season. Tampa Bay just blew wide open any speculation that the Seattle run defense has become immovable. Jacob’s 5.2 yards per carry now ranks ahead of Kenneth Walker, who torpedoed all his stats against the Buccaneers. Presumably the Munich rush tape will be at the forefront of both coaches’ minds.

In each of the four losses this season, the Seahawks have given up over 160 yards rushing. Against Saquon Barkley and Austin Ekeler, they were incredible. Against dudes about to get cut…they give them NFC Player of the Week honors.

Seattle doesn’t need to solve everything to beat the Las Vegas, but they do need either to run the ball or to stop the run. Even a moderate improvement over last week will do the job.

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. If it’s draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.

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