The Seahawks won’t fall for it this time, right?

It's a trap

That’s probably what Admiral Ackbar would say about a game that featured the defending Super Bowl champs at home against a winless, rudderless team that already had fired its coach.

But if ever there was a team that should know not to overlook an 0-7 opponent, it’s these Seahawks. As you might recall, they did that last year at exactly this time, falling into a 21-0 hole against the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home in Week 9.

Now, here they are again — facing another 0-7 team in Week 9 as the Oakland Raiders come to Seattle.

But these are not the same Seahawks as that overconfident 7-1 bunch last year that had to rally to beat Tampa in overtime.

At 4-3, these Hawks are still looking to find their stride and are not about to overlook anyone, especially when they have a chance to get to 6-3 over the next two home games (they play the Giants in Week 10) before a tough final seven games that will decide their season.

“The lesson we learned from the Tampa Bay game last year is that it’s the National Football League: Everybody is good,” quarterback Russell Wilson said. “It’s just one of those things that you have to get ready to go. We know that it’s going to be a battle (vs. the Raiders). They’ve lost some close games and they played the Chargers really well, they played so many other teams really well, they played the Patriots well. It’s going to be a good game.”

The Raiders have been blown out in just two games, a 30-14 loss to Houston in Week 2 and a 38-14 demolition by Miami in Week 4 that put them at 0-4 and cost coach Dennis Allen his job (he was 8-28 in two-plus years).

Led by rookie QB Derek Carr, the Raiders have pretty much been in the rest of their games, losing 16-9 at New England, 31-28 at home to San Diego, 24-13 to Arizona and 23-13 in Cleveland.

They haven’t won yet because they have the league’s worst rushing attack (69.6 yards per game), score just 15 points per game, give up 130 rushing yards and are minus-6 in turnover ratio.

“Any time you play a team that’s been struggling, you can look at them and say, ‘OK, they’re not playing good ball,'” coach Pete Carroll said. “The film doesn’t show that. They’ve had turnover problems that have caused their issues, for the most part, but they’ve played really tough on defense. They’re only allowing (3.8) a rush. It’s a tough, stout front. Teams have tried to rush the ball at them, so they’ve done a good job there.”

Carr has been most of their offense and has not done poorly. He has a better passer rating (82) than Cam Newton, Nick Foles and fellow rookies Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles. Carr has completed 61 percent of his passes, with nine TD throws and just five interceptions. And he has been sacked just seven times — tied for the fewest for any QB with at least 200 pass attempts this season.

“They show a real explosive, dynamic throwing game right now,” Carroll said, “and we have to be ready for that.

“However,” the coach said, “that doesn’t really have anything to do with it. It’s really us getting ready. We have to take each week as a championship week and we have to prepare like that. … If we do that right, then we’ll be ready to play this game.”

Carroll said the Tampa Bay game last year was a lesson, but it doesn’t apply this year because they had been struggling to rediscover their playing style and think they finally did in the 13-9 win at Carolina on Sunday.

“We thought we woke up in terms of fundamental football and doing the basics … better than we had prior to (Carolina),” he said. “That was a big wakeup call for us and we’ve utilized that (in practice this week). It’s been kind of a topical conversation for us to stay with the fundamentals and … not lose our game.

“It was about this time last year that we struggled in that game (vs. Tampa Bay) — that’s the only similarity,” Carroll said. “We’ve got to continue to find our fundamentals regardless of where it is and who it is. Hopefully we can do that.”

Basically what he’s saying is: As the Hawks go up against Darth Raider’s team this week, there’s a pretty slim chance we’ll be hearing Admiral Ackbar’s gravelly voice belatedly calling out, “It’s a trap!”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s