Seattle Seahawks running back Mike Davis (27), left, escapes the clutches of Oakland Raiders linebacker Tahir Whitehead (59) during the first half of an NFL football game at Wembley stadium in London, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

Seahawks eye playoff push as Raiders seek stability

October 15, 2018 - 2:57 am
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LONDON (AP) — Lethargic losses to start the season were enough to believe the Seattle Seahawks might not compete in the NFC West, especially after they failed to reach the playoffs last season.

But after a 27-3 dismantling of the Oakland Raiders on Sunday at Wembley Stadium, quarterback Russell Wilson believes the Seahawks are back on track.

"We're fired up about what we can do and where we're going," Wilson said after throwing three touchdown passes. "It is one game. One game doesn't matter. You look at the journey. You look ahead. On a tough, tough challenge, coming all the way to London, I thought our coaches and our organization prepared us in the best way possible to be ready to roll."

Only 11 percent of teams that started the season 0-2 have made the playoffs since the NFL adopted the current divisional format in 2002. The Seahawks had not missed the playoffs with Wilson since drafting him in 2012, and they had not opened with consecutive losses under his watch, either.

The Los Angeles Rams again appear the class of the division, and the Seahawks believe they took enough lessons from their 33-31 home defeat on Oct. 7 to prepare for a challenge.

And, after evening their record at 3-3 on Sunday, they are ready to return from their bye week with success in sight.

"Our goal was to get back to .500 before the bye week and we accomplished that, so we've got a bye week coming up, a good time to rest up, and we've got to come back and get ready for the next stretch," wide receiver Jaron Brown said.

Here are other things we leaned following Seattle's victory over Oakland:

CARR INSURANCE

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was sacked six times by the Seahawks and injured his left arm when being tackled by Jarran Reed with 8:52 remaining, though coach Jon Gruden said Carr would have been able to return to the game had Seattle not run down the clock.

That doesn't change the fact that the Raiders have significant questions to address with regards to their offensive line, especially with left guard Kelechi Osemele inactive with a knee injury and his replacement, Jon Feliciano, unable to return after injuring his ribs in the second quarter.

"We're going to have to do the best we can to find five men that can collectively pass protect much better, and that's what we will do," Gruden said.

The Raiders (3-3) will also have to confront doubts about their special teams, too, after rookie kicker Matt McCrane missed a field goal for the fourth time in the last five games in the second quarter and rookie punter Johnny Townsend averaged 30.7 yards on his three punts, including one that traveled 27 yards and another that went only 28 yards.

A LASTING LEGACY

Seahawks strong safety Bradley McDougald, who was responsible for the helmet-to-helmet hit that gave Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper a concussion in the second quarter, said he wants his secondary to live up to the "Legion of Boom" days under Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas.

"The standard's been set," McDougald said. "The best thing about it is, we've been there with those guys. We're not a new group of guys who just heard about these guys before we got here and we're trying to live up to a hype that we've never seen. No. We were there with these same guys last year. We played underneath these guys. We watched how they prepared. We watched how seriously they took the game and brought their passion to the field and we're just trying to replicate that."

ONE FOR THE FUTURE

Daryl Worley and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie were the Raiders' starting cornerbacks after Rashaan Melvin and Gareon Conley held that responsibility the first five games.

Gruden was particularly impressed with Worley, who notably allowed a 42-yard reception to Doug Baldwin in the third quarter before intercepting Wilson just shy of the goal line on the next play.

"Worley is a good player," Gruden said. "Worley is going to be a starter here. He's a guy that's really established himself as a true corner for the Raiders."

QUOTABLE

Reed on the Seahawks' defense repeatedly sacking Carr: "It's like blood in the water. It's like a shark. If you're smelling blood, you've got to go get it. We're just hungry, man."

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