Sea Chickens Wings Torn Apart
Raiders 33 - Sea Chickens 3
For me, believe it or not, this destruction of the Sea Chickens somehow was more gratifying and fulfilling than the record setting Donkey beat down last week.
Why? Because it showed the team has finally turned the proverbial corner by playing solid, winning football in all 3 phases of the game for 4 full quarters IMMEDIATELY after a big win.
The D was "lights-out" from the opening snap to the very end. This was without question, the best defensive effort in a VERY long time. In particular, an aggressive and effective pass rush was the key to disrupting the Sea Chickens pass offense and QB Hasselback's rhythm. Here are some of the more revealing defensive stats which indicates total domination:
* Seattle had a meager 162 total net yards (47 rushing, 115 passing)
* 8 sacks; Seymour (2); Wimbley (2); Branch; Shaughnessy; Houston; Kelly
* The Sea Chickens converted only 1 of 16 3rd down attempts (6% conversion rate)
* The average gain per play for Seattle was a microscopic 2.7 yards
* In the 1st half, the Sea Chickens make only 2 total first downs
Although the Raiders offense started slowly, it ended up with more total net yards (545) than in the Bronco annihilation. For the second straight week, the Raiders offense was very balanced (239 yards rushing; 306 yards passing) and opportunistic. 4 players accounted for plays of 40+ yards (McFadden 49 yard run; Reece 51 yard reception; Bush 53 yard reception; DHB 69 yards TD reception). Also for the second straight week, the offense had zero turnovers. With QB Campbell managing the game well and McFadden running for another 100+ yards day (21 carries, 111 yards, 5.28 avg), the offensive unit had a solid platform to insure the game was firmly in hand.
Up Next Week:
Rebuild R Us: 2 teams in the midst of rebuilding after many years of ineptitude finally turning the corner.
Game Managers: Campbell & Cassell
Youthful Explosion: Both teams are littered with young, key starters from the past 3 years' drafts.
Run, Run, Run: The strength of both teams is clearly the rushing attack with a multi-pronged, committee approach (McFadden & Charles; Bush & Jones)
Surprise Ds: Both in top 10
I give the Chefs the edge in their WR corps/depth (Bowe over our new #1 DHB).
I give the Raiders a noticeable edge in pass rush D.
Both teams want to establish the run, play action pass off the run, stop the other team's run at all costs.
The Raiders have played inspiring football in 3 of their last 4 games and have more momentum plus the home crowd. This game has the feel of a playoff game. It is the "Who is for real?" game. Ultimately, I believe it will come down to which team's run defense is more effective and does a better job limiting the big 15+ yard carries.