2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Seattle set for season, Raiders have QB question

By TIM BOOTH - AP Sports Writer
    2013-08-30 03:17

SEATTLE (AP) - Nothing that happened during the preseason damaged the notion that the Seattle Seahawks are Super Bowl contenders.

And nothing the Oakland Raiders did persuaded anyone into thinking they won't finish near the bottom of the league.

The Seahawks wrapped up a perfect preseason Thursday night with a 22-6 victory over Oakland, where Seattle's starters made a brief cameo appearance and then relaxed on the sidelines and let the backups get their chance.

Meanwhile, the Raiders still have questions at the most important position on the field, quarterback, with the season about to begin.

The Raiders (1-3) will open the season at Indianapolis, while the Seahawks (4-0) travel to Carolina for their opener.

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Here are five things we know about the Raiders from the preseason:

PRYOR'S PROGRESS: Terrelle Pryor capped an impressive preseason of growth where he turned the quarterback situation into a true competition. Pryor got better with each appearance before struggling in the finale against Seattle. It's still up in the air who will be the starter for the opener, but if Pryor is bypassed, coach Dennis Allen knows he could turn to him later on for an athletic spark.

FLYNN'D AGAIN? Matt Flynn was supposed to be the starter in Seattle, only to see Russell Wilson race past him. He was supposed to get a fresh start in Oakland and be the starter for the Raiders. Now he's left wondering what decision Allen will make and if he'll get overtaken again, this time by Pryor.

RUN DEFENSE: If there was an area for the Raiders to be pleased about, it was their run defense. They limited Seattle to 1.7 yards per carry on Thursday and limited opponents to 3.2 yards for the entire preseason. If the Raiders can carry that into the regular season, it'll give them a chance to stay in games.

HAYDEN'S DEBUT: D.J. Hayden has a chance to be a very good cornerback for the Raiders. He just needs more time on the field, like he got Thursday night in his second preseason game. Remember Hayden had follow-up surgery in May after a near fatal practice injury cut short his college career. The rust will eventually evaporate, but the Raiders will need to be patient.

LEAKY LINE: The Raiders are still scrambling to solidify their offensive line. They're scrambling at left tackle with Jared Veldheer out due to surgery. They are set at center with Stefen Wisniewski, but questions remain about both guards and whether Khalif Barnes can be a serviceable right tackle.

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And five things we know about the Seahawks:

RUSSELL'S READY: A year ago, Russell Wilson was fighting to prove he should be the starting quarterback. He closed out this preseason the unquestioned leader and face of the franchise. Wilson was smooth and steady in his four appearances. He also has a solid backup in Tarvaris Jackson who would not call for a drastic offensive change if the Seahawks needed to use him.

BEAST MODE: Marshawn Lynch carried just five times for 9 yards in the preseason. The Seahawks averaged 1.7 yards per carry in the finale against Oakland. The Seahawks' run schemes were very basic in the preseason, but the numbers were not on par with what they would like, averaging 4 yards per carry. Seattle did get plenty of work for rookie Christine Michael, who showed speed getting through the line and shiftiness in the open field. But the run game will be worth watching in the opener to make sure the preseason wasn't a sign of things to come.

DEEP AND DEEPER: The amount of depth the Seahawks have built is impressive. Their backups easily outmatched San Diego, Denver and Oakland and were the equal to Green Bay. No position is more impressive than the secondary where Seattle's backups would almost be certain starters for other teams.

DEFENSIVE LINE BREAKDOWN: The defensive line is the biggest concern heading into the regular season. Before camp started, the question was whether Seattle could improve its pass rush. They leave the preseason just concerned about having enough healthy bodies. Defensive tackles Brandon Mebane, Tony McDaniel and Jordan Hill have all been slowed by injuries during camp, as has defensive end Cliff Avril. With no timetable set on when defensive end Chris Clemons returns, the depth on the line is a huge worry as Week 1 approaches.

HANDLING EXPECTATIONS: Seattle was visited by every national media outlet. They were pasted on the cover of multiple magazines and picked by many to be the NFC representative in the Super Bowl. For the most part, the Seahawks handled all the attention well. The real test will come when they face adversity during the regular season.

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Online: AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Giovani BernardOct 31 11:12a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, shoulder) is unlikely to play in Week 9.

Trent RichardsonOct 31 10:32a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) is not on the injury report for Week 9, and should be able to play Monday, Nov. 3.

Rashad JenningsOct 31 10:12a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) is aiming to return for the Week 10 game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Ronnie HillmanOct 31 09:12a

Updating previous reports, Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (shoulder) is expected to have his normal workload in Week 9, despite his limited practice repetitions.

DeAngelo HallOct 31 08:52a

Washington Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall (Achilles') tore his Achilles' again at home and had surgery to repair it Thursday, Oct. 30.

Ron JohnsonOct 30 08:22p

Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (back), DE Michael Bennett (toe), C Stephen Schilling (knee), CB Tharold Simon (knee), CB Byron Maxwell (calf), LB Malcolm Smith (groin), DT Jordan Hill [ More ]

Patrick WillisOct 30 07:52p

San Francisco 49res CB Tramaine Brock (toe) and LB Patrick Willis (toe) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Jimmie Ward (quadriceps) and CB Chris Culliver (hamstring) practiced in full.

Chris MatthewsOct 30 07:42p

The Seattle Seahawks re-signed WR Chris Matthews and TE Brett Brackett to their practice squad Thursday, Oct. 30.

Scott WellsOct 30 07:42p

St. Louis Rams OG Rodger Saffold (shoulder), CB Janoris Jenkins (knee), DT Aaron Donald (shoulder) and S Cody Davis (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Rodney McLeod [ More ]

Luke JoeckelOct 30 07:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars OT Luke Joeckel (concussion) has recovered nicely from the concussion he suffered in Week 8, and he could play in Week 9 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Joeckel [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 30 07:22p

New Orleans Saints RBs Khiry Robinson (forearm) and Pierre Thomas (shoulder) are both inactive in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers Thursday, Oct. 30.

Arian FosterOct 30 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (knee) was limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Johnathan JosephOct 30 07:12p

Houston Texans LBs Brian Cushing (knee), Brooks Reed (groin) and Jeff Tarpinian (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. RB Alfred Blue (ankle), LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee), CB Johnathan [ More ]

David HawthorneOct 30 07:12p

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB Austin Johnson, LB David Hawthorne, C Jonathan Goodwin, RB Khiry Robinson, WR Nick Toon, RB Pierre Thomas, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 9.

Amini SilatoluOct 30 07:12p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Amini Silatolu, CB Bene Benwikere, OT Byron Bell, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR Philly Brown, FS Thomas DeCoud, OG Trai Turner inactive for Week 9.

Justin TuckOct 30 06:42p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), WR Vincent Brown (hamstring), CB Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring), CB Keith McGill (groin), CB Carlos Rogers (knee) and WR Kenbrell Thompkins (non-injury) did not [ More ]

Anthony CollinsOct 30 06:42p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Anthony Collins (foot) and LB Brandon Magee (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. C Evan Dietrich-Smith (knee), WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring) and DE Michael Johnson (hand) were limited.

Brian RobisonOct 30 06:32p

Minnesota Vikings DT Shariff Floyd (ankle, knee), TE Chase Ford (foot), CB Jabari Price (hamstring), CB Josh Robinson (ankle) and DE Brian Robison (glute) were limited in practice Thursday, [ More ]

Louis VasquezOct 30 06:22p

Denver Broncos S Quinton Carter (hamstring) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Lamin Barrow (concussion), TE Virgil Green (calf), LB Steven Johnson (ankle) and OG Louis Vasquez (illness) [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanOct 30 06:22p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (shoulder) was limited in practice for the second straight day Thursday, Oct. 30.

Billy WinnOct 30 06:22p

Cleveland Browns WR Rodney Smith (hamstring) and DE Phil Taylor (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DE Desmond Bryant (wrist), S Jim Leonhard (ankle), LB Barkevious Mingo (shoulder), [ More ]

Jordan CameronOct 30 06:12p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Chris JohnsonOct 30 06:12p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson, who carried the ball just three times for seven yards in Week 8, said he's frustrated with his limited role in the offense. [ More ]

Tom CrabtreeOct 30 06:02p

The New Orleans Saints waived TE Tom Crabtree Thursday, Oct. 30.

Patrick PetersonOct 30 05:42p

Arizona Cardinals S Tony Jefferson (head) and TE Troy Niklas (ankle) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DE Calais Campbell (knee), LB Kenny Demens (knee), S Rashad Johnson [ More ]

Cyrus GrayOct 30 05:22p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Jamell Fleming (hamstring) and LB Josh Martin (hamstring, knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Eric Berry (ankle) and CB Christopher Owens (knee) were [ More ]

Demario DavisOct 30 05:22p

New York Jets CB Darrin Walls (calf, knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OT Oday Aboushi (shoulder), CB Phillip Adams (groin), LB Antwan Barnes (knee), OG Willie Colon [ More ]

Keenan RobinsonOct 30 05:12p

Washington Redskins S Ryan Clark (ankle, shoulder) and OT Trent Williams (knee) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Ryan Kerrigan (wrist), LB Trent Murphy (knee), CB Tracy [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 05:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) practiced in full for the second straight day Thursday, Oct. 30.

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 05:02p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) will start against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 9, barring any setbacks this week in practice, according to head coach Jay Gruden. [ More ]

Mike PounceyOct 30 05:02p

Miami Dolphins OG Daryn Colledge (illness, back) LB Chris McCain (foot) and TE Dion Sims (toe) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OG Nate Garner (neck), LB Koa Misi [ More ]

Andre BranchOct 30 04:42p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Will Blackmon (finger), DE Andre Branch (groin), DE Chris Clemons (non-injury), LB Geno Hayes (non-injury) and DT Roy Miller (non-injury) didn't practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB [ More ]

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