Both the Raiders and Seahawks decided they would sit their starters for this game almost entirely. Only a few players normally slated to start played in this game. For the Raiders it was Samson Satele and Darrius Heyward-Bey on offense and Chris Johnson on defense. These three all played pretty much the entire first half. They all had missed some time this preseason due to injuries and, in the case of DHB, it was “fatigue.” So Cable used this final preseason game to give them some extra work in preparation for the regular season.
With the starters sitting, it was an opportunity for others to show what they had to offer this team. For some it was about getting more game practice in and for others it was about taking one last gasp at making this team.
The game started out just as the previous two preseason games had for the Raiders– with an opening touchdown drive. This time, however, the Raiders scored despite only one offensive play going for positive yardage. The drive started with an incompletion and a run for no gain. Then on 3rd down the Seahawks committed a pass interference on a long pass attempt which set the Raiders up on the Seahawks’ 36 yard line. Then after another run that was stopped at the line, Bruce Gradkowski threw a screen to fullback Manase Tonga that he took 36 yards for a touchdown. Satele, Heyward-Bey and Daniel Loper all laid key blocks on the screen play.
The Raider defense was quite stout against the Seahawks second team. They held the Seahawks to three straight 3-and-outs in their first three drives. The Seahawks would, however pick up a field goal after a big kick return put them in scoring position to begin their third possession.
The Raiders would do one better when they next punted the ball. The Seahawks return man would muff the punt where it was recovered by the Raiders’ Stevie Brown to set the Raiders up in scoring position. The Raiders converted the turnover into a touchdown. So the Seahawks take a big return and get a field goal and the Raiders take a muffed punt and score a touchdown. that seems like a good ‘turnover’ rate.
The Seahawks kicked another field goal to start the 2nd quarter after their first sustained drive of the day. That is when the momentum shifted. The Raiders next drive stalled after a nice kick return from Yamon Figurs followed by a 21 yard catch and run on 2nd down. The Seahawks would get the ball back on their own 10 yard line and drive all the way down field and score a TD. The TD itself happened due to the Raiders taking the field with just 10 men and the uncovered receiver caught a short pass and took it 22 yards for the score. The touchdown brought the Seahawks to within four point of the Raiders at 17-13.
The next drive was more of the same as the Raiders gave up the ball after a five play drive only to see the Seahawks take the ball down the field again. The big play on the drive was a 32 yard completion to Darius Butler along the right sideline with Chris Johnson in coverage. The play set the Seahawks up at the Raiders 31 yard line where they would kick another field goal to pull within one 17-16.
While the first half had the Raiders ahead on the scoreboard, the Seahawks led in every category. They had more first downs, rush yards, pass yards, third down conversions and time of possession. But they were behind in large part to another area they ‘led’ the Raiders– Penalties. That and the muffed punt in the first quarter that led to a Raider touchdown.
The 3rd quarter saw the pendulum swing back to the Raiders again… in a big way. The Raiders defense held the Seahawks to zero yards from scrimmage in the 3rd quarter. The only movement the Seahawks got was from Raider penalties. While the Raiders had two long sustained drives. The first ended in a beautiful diving touchdown grab from Nick Miller. The kind of amazing catch we have come to expect from him in his short time with the team. The second sustained drive lasted into the 4th quarter. It ended in a short field goal and withstood two holding penalties and a tackle for loss along the way.
Unfortunately for the Raiders, that nice long drive was sullied when former Raider running back Louis Rankin took the ensuing kickoff back 99 yards for a touchdown. The coverage (or lack of it) looked nearly identical to the 83 yard TD given up last weekend against the Bears. This touchdown brought the Seahawks back to within 5 at 27-22 after a successful 2 point conversion.
Then came one of the ugliest and sloppiest drives I have ever seen. The Raiders had four straight play attempts that were backed up by penalties. Holding, False Start, and Holding to put them in 2nd and 33. Then another holding that was declined. They would get bailed out by the Seahawks however, with a taunting penalty that carried with it an automatic first down. Then after being backed up again by a run for a loss, a wacky play occurred when Boller threw a low ball that was tipped up by Jacoby Ford, tipped again by a Seahawk defender and ended up in the hands of Shawn Bodiford to set up a 4th and one. The Raiders would go for it and pick up the first down on a QB sneak. Then after two short runs and a dropped pass by Ford, the Seahawks were called for a late hit out of bounds to give the Raiders another automatic first down. The drive would end when the Raiders went for it on 4th and goal at the one yard line and lose yardage. All told, the drive lasted over 9 minutes.
The Seahawks took over at their own 2 yard line. After a pass interference call on Jeremy Ware and a 17 yard scramble by JP Losman, they would end up in 4th and 10 near midfield. The attempt would fall incomplete for a turnover on downs.
The Raiders would need just one first down, which they got, at which point they kneeled the clock out to end the game.
After the Seahawks had a solid first half offensively, the Raiders would outplay them in the second half to the tune of 278 yard of offense to just 34. But the penalties and sloppy play is something that Tom Cable will be focusing on. Not to mention yet another game with a long kick return touchdown. That is unacceptable.
Final score: Raiders 27, Seahawks 24
Kyle Boller 7/13, 157 yds, 1 TD
Bruce Gradkowski 7/14, 128 yds, 2 TD
Michael Bennett 25 rushes, 92 yds
Jacoby Ford 1 catch, 62 yds
Rock Cartwright 3 catches, 45 yards
Manase Tonga 1 catch, 32 yards, 1 TD
Bruce Gradkowski 2 TD, 12 points
Swayze Waters 2/2 FG, 3/3 XP, 9 points
Jacoby Ford 2 returns, avg 32 yards
Jonnie Lee Higgins 1 return, 10 yards
Hiram Eugene 5 tackles
Ricky Brown 4 tackles, 1 assist
Quentin Groves 2 tackles, 1 assist, 1 sack
Jeremy Ware 2 tackles, 1 pass def
ALSO SEE: Raiders Ballers & Busters from this game