Raiders-Seahawks Preview

The Seattle Seahawks might have issues on and off the field, but whatever state they’re in is better than that of the winless Oakland Raiders.

Looking to build on a much-needed victory, the Seahawks try to hand the visiting Raiders a 14th consecutive defeat Sunday.

Still grasping the effects of the Percy Harvin trade and dealing with reports of locker room division, Seattle (4-3) avoided a third straight loss with last Sunday’s 13-9 victory at Carolina. The Seahawks managed only 310 total yards, but 23 came on Russell Wilson’s pass to tight end Luke Willson with 47 seconds left for the game’s only touchdown.

Relieved with a victory, Wilson found it easy to deny any problems after reports surfaced that teammate Marshawn Lynch remains unhappy and might not be in Seattle next season.

”There were no distractions at all,” said Wilson, who combined for 234 yards one week after becoming the first quarterback to pass for at least 300 and run for 100.

”It was people trying to find ways to knock us down, but we just keep swinging and keep believing in each other," he added. "There is no doubt that we are more together than ever before.”

As reigning Super Bowl champions, the Seahawks and coach Pete Carroll didn’t expect an easy follow-up season.

”We’ve been prepared all year that there would be stuff like this, there would be controversy, there would be storylines that would try to get in between us,” said Carroll, who addressed reports of any internal problems with the team as a whole and individually.

‘We’re fine. That isn’t the adversity.”

It’s uncertain if any problems Lynch is having with the team off the field is a reason for his modest production on it. He’s averaging 62.0 yards and has one rushing TD in six games since he ran for 110 and two scores in the 36-16 Week 1 rout of Green Bay.

The Seahawks allowed their fewest points of the season in Carolina after yielding 58 in consecutive losses to Dallas and St. Louis. Their pass rush also showed some life with three sacks after they recorded four in the previous five contests.

Seattle, trying to avoid losing two straight at home for the first time since October 2011, could get a boost on both sides of the ball if injured cornerback Byron Maxwell (calf) and center Max Unger (foot) return Sunday. Both are expected to be active even though both are listed as questionable, as are safety Kam Chancellor (groin) and left tackle Russell Okung (calf) after being held out of practice Friday.

The Seahawks’ fifth-ranked defense (316.1 yards per game) isn’t nearly as dominant as last season’s unit that led the NFL (273.6), but it appears to have enough talent to handle an Oakland offense that ranks 31st in both scoring (15.0 points per game) and total yards (297.6).

Off to their worst start since the 1962 team took the finale for their only win of that 14-game season, the Raiders (0-7) last won 28-23 at Houston on Nov. 17.

”Right now what we can’t get caught doing is letting anybody else define who we are at this point, or what our goals are at this point,” interim coach Tony Sparano said. ”We need to concern ourselves with our own goals for right now, and there should only be one and it should be Seattle at this point."

Oakland has been competitive in the three games since Sparano replaced the fired Dennis Allen.

The Raiders led late in the fourth quarter of a 31-28 loss to San Diego on Oct. 12 and were within eight points late the next week before falling 24-13 to Arizona. Oakland trailed by three in the second half last Sunday at Cleveland, but fumbles by Darren McFadden and Derek Carr helped the Browns to a 23-13 victory.

”I feel at times it’s Oakland beating Oakland at the wrong times,” receiver Andre Holmes said. "We just have to put it all together.”

The Raiders allow opponents to convert an NFL-high 48.5 percent on third down, but held Cleveland to 2 of 12. They also yielded a season-low 39 rushing yards, but the three turnovers they committed and the single TD they scored for a second straight week limited their overall progression.

”The one thing that has to stop happening for us is we can’t patch one hole up and then find another one,” Sparano said.

With 17 receptions for 298 yards and four TDs in the last four games, Holmes continues to be the Raiders’ most consistent option on an offense that’s been held to 14 or fewer points in all but one game.

McFadden ran for 111 yards and Lynch was held to seven on nine carries during Oakland’s 33-3 home victory when these teams last met in 2010.