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From the sidelines: Seahawks vs. Raiders
Friday’s preseason game was a little more than the Seahawks’ final exhibition of 2011 — it was also the NFL’s final preseason matchup of the summer.
And as such, Coach Pete Carroll joked that his team was playing in the Super Bowl of the preseason.
“It’s on in every bar in America,” a grinning Carroll told the players in the locker room before kickoff. “Show them who we are. Let it rip. Don’t miss this chance.”
Carroll’s motivational ploy for the fourth and final preseason game sure worked, as the Seahawks went out and dominated all phases en route to a 20-3 victory over the Raiders at CenturyLink Field on Friday night.
But more important than the big-time victory — or the stellar performances by the defense, wideout Golden Tate and several other key backups — was that the Seahawks took a step forward in their preseason-long maturation and identity-finding process.
“We’re learning about ourselves,” Carroll said during Thursday night’s team meeting at a local hotel. “There is extraordinary power when you know who you are. We’re going to find out more about us on Friday. Show us something cool.”
On Friday, they got closer to knowing who they are and will be in 2011. The offense started clicking, the defense locked down the Raiders and several individuals rose up to leave their mark on the victory.
“It was so good to see you play all phases so well,” Carroll said in the locker room after the game. “That was a really good way to finish it off.”
The performance on Friday now carries the Seahawks into the 2011 season, where unlimited promise, buoyed by a strong preseason finale, lies ahead.
“We’re going to have a heck of a football season,” Carroll exclaimed, wrapping up his postgame speech. “There’s no doubt about it.”
What exactly the season looks like obviously remains to be seen, but Carroll and the Seahawks now charge forward into the regular season with confidence and a better feel for their identity — all thanks to an impressive effort in the “Preseason Super Bowl.”
“We’ve got to come back as one, all phases, together, doing it as one,” Carroll implored. “If we do that, nothing can hold us back.”