The Seattle Seahawks close out their 2016 preseason schedule on Thursday night when they visit the Oakland Raiders. Here is our game preview.
Seahawks vs. Raiders Preseason Preview
Keys to the Game
The fourth and final preseason game is generally the polar opposite of the dress rehearsal. While Week 3 is all about getting starters tuned up for the regular season, Week 4 is about letting the last roster battles play themselves out.
More than ever, the scoreboard doesn’t count. What matters is fine-tuning the team’s depth at key positions in the last game before rosters are set for the season.
That being said, we’d like to see the Seahawks do a better job of stopping the rush. Dallas’ offensive line dominated Seattle’s last week and in general the team’s run defense has been lacking this month. Frank Clark is a great pass rusher but he needs to work on this area. The same goes for the rest of the Seahawks’ backup front seven.
On offense, more consistency from Trevone Boykin would be ideal. He’s shown that he’s clutch and athletic but also erratic. Since he appears to be who Pete Carroll has settled on at QB2, giving him as much game experience as possible is a good idea. Most of all Boykin has to learn to step into his throws and not panic when pressured.
Seahawks: Podcast: Stephen Cohen and David Stobbe
Seahawks: Chancellor says put down your phone
Seahawks: Interior offensive line looks stacked
Hard Knocks: Episode four recap: Hard Truths
Who to watch for the Seahawks
Right tackle J’Marcus Webb
Four out of five offensive line positions have been settled.
The only one left is at right tackle between last year’s starter Garry Gilliam and incoming free agent J’Marcus Webb. Gilliam has probably been the most disappointing player on offense this offseason, so he’s in danger of being sent to the bench. A strong game from Webb could seal the deal and earn him the title of RT1.
Cornerback Tharold Simon
For three years we have been hearing and reading about Tharold Simon’s untapped potential. “He’s going to break out this
week, month, year, just watch.”
Simon has had some moments but more often than not he’s been the weak link in Seattle’s secondary. Getting beat by third-string Cowboys receivers last week was another low point. This game against the Raiders may be Simon’s last stand. If he doesn’t have the game of his life he may be cut on Saturday when the roster is trimmed to 53.
Who to watch for the Raiders
Wide receiver Seth Roberts
Roberts went undrafted last year but proved to be a pleasant surprise for Oakland. He caught 32 passes for 480 yards (that’s 15.0 per reception) and five touchdowns.
This year the Raiders brought him back for just $525,000, which makes him a big value at wideout. At 6’2″ and 195 pounds, he’s exactly the tall and lanky kind of receiver that Pete Carroll loves to sign but never actually play. It will be interesting to see how he matches up against the Legion of Boom.
Strong safety Karl Joseph
Oakland used their first-round pick this year on a heavy-hitting safety out of West Virginia. So far Joseph has been getting rave reviews for his play in the preseason. Some analysts have even talked him up as a possible defensive rookie of the year candidate.
No rookie is immune to rookie mistakes, though and Joseph has made a few. Look for Alex Collins and the red-hot Christine Michael to put Joseph’s tackling to the test.