The eighth game on the schedule for the Oakland Raiders was a trip up to Seattle to face the Seahawks. The Raiders were coming off a 23-13 loss to the Cleveland Browns and the Seahawks were coming off a tough 13-9 win over the Carolina Panthers. The Seahawks won the toss and deferred to the second half. Kicker Steven Hauschka sent the opening kick deep into the end zone for a touch-back and the Raiders started at their 20. Like usual, they started out running the ball up the middle. Running back Darren McFadden carried the ball twice for a gain of one yard. But completions from quarterback Derek Carr to wide receiver Andre Holmes and tight end Mychal Rivera got the Raiders going in the right direction. On third and eight from the Seattle 37, Carr completed a pass good for 16 yards to Rivera. He was hit by cornerback Richard Sherman and the ball came loose. Luckily for the Raiders, it rolled out of bounds. They would get as far as the 30 and the drive stalled there as Carr’s pass to Rivera on third and three fell incomplete. Kicker Sebastian Janikowski made an appearance and his 48-yard field goal attempt was good. The Raiders led 3-0 with 9:10 to go in the first quarter.
The Seahawks took over at their 28 and three carries by running Marshawn Lynch quickly moved them to the 40. A short scramble by quarterback Russell Wilson and completions to wide receiver Doug Baldwin and Lynch put the Seahawks in Oakland territory. On second and four from the 42, Wilson threw deep up the right side for wide receiver Jermaine Kearse. The pass was incomplete, but a flag appeared and the call was defensive pass interference on cornerback DJ Hayden. Really? THAT was interference?!?! I thought both players had a right to the ball. I found that to be highly sickening. That gave the Seahawks a first down at the six. On first down, Lynch ran up the middle and was greeted rudely by defensive tackle Justin “Jelly” Ellis and thrown for a loss of three yards. But while Ellis was in the process of throwing Lynch to the ground, he also had a handful of facemask. That brought out another flag and moved the ball to the three. Lynch got the call again and took it up the middle. It looked like his forward progress was stopped, but he kept pushing and eventually found the end zone. Hauschka made the point after and the Seahawks led 7-3 with 4:07 to go in the first quarter.
Each team punted on their next possession and with two minutes remaining in the quarter, the Raiders took over at their 15. McFadden ran up the middle again and guess how many yards he got? That’s right! No gain. Got to love the imaginative play calling by offensive coordinator Greg Olson. He’s truly an amazing kind of guy with a future as bright as a dark room. On second and ten, Carr found wide receiver Brice Butler for a gain of 12. Then the impending disaster happened. Carr looked for wide receiver James Jones on the right side and the pass was picked off by linebacker Bruce Irvin and returned 35 yards for a touchdown. Hauschka made the point after and the Seahawks were now up 14-3 at the end of the first quarter.
What’s one of the rules you should follow when you play the Seahawks? Don’t throw on Richard Sherman. Well, on third and five from his own 25, Carr did just that. I don’t know what he was thinking. The pass was up the right sideline intended for Holmes. First, Holmes was not open. Second, he wasn’t even looking for the ball. Sherman picked it off and ran it back to the Oakland 18. But the Raider defense only allowed them to go two yards on three plays. Hauschka came into the game and his 34-yard field goal was good. The Seahawks were now up 17-3 with 12:15 to go in the second quarter.
Neither team did much with the ball until the 3:50 mark of the second quarter. The Seahawks were backed up at their 12-yard line. A nine-yard run by Lynch and a three-yard completion to Lynch netted a first down at the 24. That was followed by a 16-yard pass to tight end Luke Willson. A holding penalty on the Seahawks moved them back ten yards. But a taunting penalty on Hayden gave the Seahawks a first down at the Oakland 34. What the hell are you taunting for? You’re on a winless team and you’re down 17-3. It was a nice tackle, but there’s no reason to stand over a player and taunt him. I’m not sure what he said, but it was within earshot of a zebra and he promptly threw the flag. Completions to Baldwin, running back Robert Turbin and some scrambling by Wilson moved the ball to the five. From there, Lynch took it the rest of the way for another Seahawk touchdown. Hauschka made the point after and the Seahawks led 24-3 at halftime.
The Seahawks started the second half at their 34-yard line. Three plays gained three yards and punter Jon Ryan was brought into the game. The punt was blocked by defensive end Denico Autry. The ball bounced backward and was recovered by Butler in the end zone for a Raider touchdown. That was a nice start to the second half for the Raiders. Janikowski made the point after and the Seahawks lead was cut to 24-10 with 13:52 to go in the third quarter.
After that, both defenses were playing very well. The Raiders forced the Seahawks to punt on their next two possessions. The Seahawks looked good too. But they had it much easier because they knew half the plays were going to be runs up the middle by McFadden. With a little under five minutes to go in the third quarter, rookie return man TJ Carrie fielded a punt at the Oakland 43 and returned it back to the Seattle 30-yard line. This was a golden opportunity for the Raiders to put some more points on the board. Carr completed a screen to McFadden and he took it up the right side for a gain of 23 and a first down at the seven. Then came the obligatory McFadden run that gained two yards. That was followed by an incomplete pass to forgotten wide receiver Denarius Moore. On third down, Carr found Jones for a gain of four. He was brought down just short of the goal line. With the ball so close to the end zone, head coach Tony Sparano opted to go for it. Carr took the snap and was immediately flushed out of the pocket. He regained his composure long enough to loft a pass to the right side of the end zone and Rivera was able to haul it in for a touchdown. Janikowksi made the point after and the Seahawks now led 24-17 with three minutes to go in the third quarter.
The Seahawks started at their 20 and on second and ten, Wilson completed a 19-yard pass to wide receiver Kevin Norwood. Two runs by Lynch and a defensive holding penalty on the Raiders gave the Seahawks a first down at the Oakland 49-yard line. From the 49, Wilson tossed a short pass to the left that was caught by Lynch. He turned on the speed and took it up the left sideline for a gain of 39 yards. They wouldn’t get any farther than that and Hauschka came on for another field goal attempt. The kick was good and the Seahawks led 27-17 with 14:50 to go in the game.
The Raiders needed to get moving and they went nowhere. Three plays netted six yards and punter Marquette King got off a nice 59-yard punt that was fielded at the Seattle 15 by Baldwin. He proceeded to take it straight up the middle for a gain of 38 yards. From the Oakland 47, Wilson scrambled up the middle for a gain of 19. They got as far as the 22 and it was time for another field goal attempt. Hauschka made his 40-yard attempt and the Seahawks went up 30-17 with 9:19 to go in the game.
The Raiders managed to get a first down on their next possession, but that was it. King punted again and seven plays later, the Seahawks punted right back to the Raiders. With 4:14 to go in the game, the Raiders needed a quick score. On first down, Carr was sacked for a loss of seven by defensive end Michael Bennett. But Bennett was flagged for a facemask penalty and that gave the Raiders a first down at the Seattle 49. Passes to Rivera, Holmes, Butler and running back Maurice Jones-Drew quickly moved the Raiders down to the seven-yard line. Three plays later, Carr rolled to his left and it looked like he was going to run it in. Instead, he tossed the ball to the back of the end zone where Rivera hauled it in for his second touchdown of the game. Janikowski made the point after and the Seahawks now led 30-24 with 52 seconds to go in the game.
We all knew what was next. It was time for an onside kick. With the rain coming down, I thought maybe a slippery ball would give the Raiders an advantage. The kick was a good one and it looked like the Raiders may come up with it. Teams that have no wins don’t get that kind of break. The ball was recovered by Kearse at the 50-yard line. And that was that. Final score: Seahawks 30 Raiders 24. The loss dropped the Raiders to 0-8 and the win improved Seattle’s record to 5-3.
For the Raiders, Derek Carr completed 24 of 41 for 194 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Mychal Rivera led the team in receptions with eight and two touchdowns. Darren McFadden had the most receiving yards with 47. The ground game continued to be anemic as the Raiders rushed for a grand total of 37 yards on 18 carries. Ten of those yards came on one play. I find that to be truly pathetic. Defensively, linebacker Sio Moore led the team in solo tackles with eight. He was the only Raider with a quarterback sack.
For the Seahawks, Russell Wilson completed 17 of 35 for 179 yards. Marshawn Lynch and Doug Baldwin led the team in receptions with five and Lynch had the most receiving yards with 76. On the ground, Lynch led the way with 67 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns. Defensively, linebacker K. J. Wright led the team in solo tackles with ten.
Despite trailing 24-3, I liked the fight the Raiders showed in this game. They didn’t give up. I firmly believe that if Dennis Allen were still the coach, the Seahawks would have won 51-10. Sparano has his players playing hard. Unfortunately, Greg Olson is still the offensive coordinator. If he continues with his predictable and unimaginative play calling, the team will continue to suffer. Up next on the schedule is a visit from the Denver Broncos. They’ll be looking for a win after getting thrashed by the Patriots. It could get pretty ugly if the defense is unable to stop Peyton Manning and his weapons. Until then, take it easy.
The Frustrated Raider Guy