LONDON—The Seahawks’ long trip overseas proved to be a very successful one, with Seattle looking sharp from the get-go despite the eight-hour time difference on their way to a 27-3 victory over the Oakland Raiders.
The game was played in front of 84,922 fans at Wembley Stadium, a record for the NFL’s London series games, and from the sound of things, a healthy percentage of them were Seahawks fans.
Here are six rapid reactions to a win that leaves the Seahawks with a 3-3 record heading into their bye:
1. That felt like a home game.
Throughout the week in London, Seahawks gear was everywhere, and that enthusiasm carried over to gameday, with Seahawks fans easily outnumbering Raiders fans despite it technically being a Raiders home game.
From the moment the Seahawks took the field before the game to the “Sea-Hawks!” chants that continued into the fourth quarter of a lopsided game, Seahawks fans made themselves heard.
2. The offense started fast, and yes, it had been a while.
The Seahawks set the tone for an eventual dominant victory with a 14-play, 75-yard scoring drive that was capped by a Russell Wilson touchdown pass to Jaron Brown.
It was a quick start for what was an overall strong day for the offense, but what made that touchdown drive particularly noteworthy was the fact that it ended a somewhat dubious streak for the Seahawks, who had gone 34 consecutive regular season games without a touchdown on their opening possession, a streak dating back to early in the 2016 season (Seattle did score a touchdown on their first drive in a playoff game that season).
The offense as a whole played well beyond just that first drive, building off of a strong showing in last week’s loss to the Rams.
The running game was effective again, with the Seahawks gaining 155 yards on the ground, the Seahawks were good on third down, going 8 for 12, and Wilson and his weapons had another big game, with the quarterback completing 17 of 23 passes for 222 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, giving him a 125.4 passer rating.
3. The defense played well all game long.
In Ken Norton Jr.’s first game against the team for which he served as defensive coordinator for three seasons, the Seahawks defense made their coach look very good, nearly pitching a shutout.
While the Raiders did manage a field goal late when the game was well in hand, the Seahawks kept Oakland off the scoreboard for three-plus quarters, and held the Raiders to 185 yards and an average of just 3.3 yards per play.
Seattle’s defense also forced two more turnovers that led to 10 points, and had a fourth-down stop as well to give the offense a short field, leading to a field goal at the end of the first half.
The Seahawks held their old friend Marshawn Lynch in check, limiting the Oakland running back to 45 yards on 13 carries.
4. Frank Clark and the pass rush were very good.
One of the keys to Seattle’s defensive success was a pass rush that looked as good as it has all season. Especially impressive was Frank Clark, who had 2.5 sacks and forced two fumbles, turnovers that led to a touchdown and a field goal for the Seahawks.
Jarran Reed also had a sack and two quarterback hits, Quinton Jefferson had half a sack and two quarterback hits, and Shamar Stephen and Branden Jackson also had sacks. Rookie Jacob Martin didn’t have a sack, but got good pressure off the edge, contributing to one sack when Derek Carr climbed the pocket and ran into Jackson.
5. The receivers balled out.
Doug Baldwin had just one catch in last week’s game, hardly an ideal result for Seattle’s offense, but on Sunday he was back to being Wilson’s favorite target, catching six passes for 91 yards, with 83 yards coming in the second half.
David Moore had just two catches, but both were very impressive grabs, gaining a total of 47 yards. Moore also had a touchdown catch, his third in the past two games.
And while Tyler Lockett only had gained 13 yards on three catches, one of those was for a touchdown, his team-leading fifth this season.
6. Pete Carroll stands alone as the winningest coach in franchise history.
Sunday’s win didn’t just get the Seahawks to 3-3 on the season, it was also a significant milestone for Pete Carroll, who won his 91st game, postseason included, as Seattle’s head coach. That’s one more than Mike Holmgren had during his tenure in Seattle, though Holmgren does still have the most regular-season wins at 86, four more than Carroll.
The Seahawks welcomed 12s from everywhere to London's Barrowboy & Banker pub for a Blue Friday rally on October 12, 2018 ahead of the team's Sunday matchup against the Oakland Raiders at Wembley Stadium.