When: Sunday, 1:15 p.m., Oakland Coliseum
Records: Seahawks 4-2 and first in the NFC West; Raiders 3-4 and second in the AFC West
TV: KCPQ/13, with Ron Pitts, John Lynch and Nischelle Turner
Radio: 97.3 FM and 710 ESPN, with Steve Raible, Warren Moon and Jen Mueller
The Seahawks’ No. 2 rush defense vs. Raiders RBs Darren McFadden and Michael Bush: On the one side is a defense that has limited its first six opponents to averages of 77.5 rushing yards per game and 3.3 yards per carry. On the other is a Raiders’ running game that ripped off 328 yards against the Broncos last week. McFadden contributed 165 yards, not to mention four touchdowns to the Raiders’ franchise-record 59 points. Bush had 52 yards and a score. McFadden is very good at making the first defender miss and then using his speed in getting to the second level. So this task for the Seahawks will start with plugging the running lanes and then getting as many defenders to the ball carrier as quickly as possible.
One to watch
Seahawks K Olindo Mare vs. Raiders K Sabastian Janikowski: Mare is coming off a five-field goal game and riding a club-record streak of 30 consecutive field goals. Janikowski shares the NFL lead with 63 points and also has a league-high 20 touchbacks on his kickoffs. But he’ll also be kicking off to the NFL leader in Leon Washington – 35.1-yard average, as well as scoring returns of 101 and 99 yards and field position-altering returns of 42, 41 and 38 yards. If this one comes down to a footrace, the points and field position provided by the strong legs of Mare (right) and Janikowski (left) definitely will impact the outcome.
Fun to watch
Seahawks WR Mike Williams vs. Raiders CB Nnamdi Asomugha: Is there a hotter receiver in the league right now than Williams (21 receptions for 210 yards in the past two games)? Is there a better corner in the league than Asomugha (he has allowed five catches for 87 yards in seven games)? Then there’s the big-on-big factor. Williams is using his 6-foot-5 frame to not only shield defenders, but make catches with his long arms and strong hands. Asomugha, meanwhile, uses his 6-2, 210-pound body to prevent receivers from doing all the things that are working so well for Williams. Then there’s the way the Raiders are using Asomugha this season, as he is moving around to take away receivers rather than playing solely on one side of the field.
One tough task
Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck vs. the Black Hole: That’s what they call the south end zone at the Coliseum, where fools rush in and angels fear to tread. The craziest of the crazies in Raider Nation call it home, and they relish making life miserable for opposing players who get within shouting – or striking – distance. If the Seahawks get backed up near that goal line, Hasselbeck will have to deal with anything and everything imaginable as he takes snaps in the end zone.
The Seahawks are looking to win three games in a row for the first time since their five-game winning streak in the second half of the 2007 season; and move to 5-2 for the first time since 2005. … Hasselbeck has not played against the Raiders in the regular season since the 2002 season opener because he missed the 2006 game at Qwest Field with a knee injury. … The Raiders are 17-9 against the Seahawks at home – both homes, Oakland (10-4) and Los Angeles (7-5) – as the Raiders and Seahawks were rivals in the AFC West from 1977-2001. … TE Zach Miller is the Raiders’ leading receiver (33 receptions) and needs one catch to become the fourth Raiders tight end to hit 200 for his career – joining Todd Christensen (461), Dave Casper (255) and Raymond Chester (216). Miller also has four TD catches, second among tight ends in the league this season. … SS Lawyer Milloy leads the Seahawks with 34 tackles. … FS Earl Thomas is tied for second in the league with four interceptions and needs one more to tie Michael Boulware’s club record for a rookie.