Familiar faces abound when Seahawks clash with Raiders in London
Seattle will look to contain Lynch’s Beast Mode Sunday
Marshawn Lynch and Bruce Irvin helped win a Super Bowl in Seattle before becoming stalwarts in Oakland.
Sebastian Janikowski rewrote the record book for the Raiders before booming long kicks for the Seahawks.
Seattle defensive co-ordinator Ken Norton Jr. and Oakland offensive line coach Tom Cable spent the past few seasons doing the same job with the other team.
When the Seahawks and Raiders kick off in London on Sunday, it will be a reunion of sorts — even though the game will be played several thousand miles from home.
“I’ve always enjoyed the most playing against the people I like the most. There’s guys on the club, coaches and all kinds of connections,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “There’s just connections across the board. It just makes it fun.
“If you’re competitive, you like competing against the best and your friends. I do. I just look forward to it.”
Both teams have more pressing issues than seeing old friends. The Seahawks (2-3) are already three games back in the NFC West and the Raiders (1-4) have struggled all season in the first year in Jon Gruden’s second stint as coach.
“I don’t like to lose,” Gruden said. “I think we have work to do. There’s not enough time in the day to do it. I’m depressed. I’m tired. I want to win. I want to do better.”
The Seahawks will finally get a chance to tackle Lynch, who starred for the team from 2010-15 and helped Seattle win a Super Bowl. Lynch was mostly off-limits at practice, although linebacker Bobby Wagner recalls getting scolded by Lynch for hitting him as a rookie and dislocating Lynch’s finger while trying to punch the ball out. There will be no limits on contact Sunday. “Never got a chance to tackle Marshawn,” Wagner said. “Talked a lot of trash. We finally get to go against each other. So it’s going to be fun.”
The Seahawks have seen a running back rush for 100 yards in three straight games for the first time since the 2012 season when Lynch beasted for four straight of 100-plus.