Raiders Recap–Preseason 2008 Week 4

The Oakland Raiders finished their 2008 preseason against the Seattle Seahawks.

This is expected to be the last preseason game for the Walrus, aka Mike Holmgren. He and his tusks are expected to retire at the end of this year.

The preseason of the Raiders could best be represented by “The good, the bad, and the ugly.”

The good came in a solid win over the 49ers. The bad came in a loss to the Titans, although the starters played well enough to win. The ugly was a shutout loss at home against a Cardinals team that had their starter throw three interceptions, with each turnover wasted.

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JaMarcus Russell did not suit up for the game. This gave the Raiders a chance to look at who would be the backup.

Andrew Walter started, and the team went 3 and out on their first possession that began with a false start. Seattle fumbled the punt return, and Oakland running back Michael Bush recovered. The Raiders began at the Seattle 34. On first down Andrew Walter went for the jugular, but the ball was over thrown. After another false start and a completion, the Raiders faced 3rd and 2. Andrew Walter was sacked, and fumbled the ball back to the Seahawks.

One of the biggest criticisms of Andrew Walter is that he hangs on to the ball too long. Yes, he has been behind some dreadful offensive lines, but he needs to safely put the ball away.

On Seattle’s first offensive play, T.J.Duckett ran around the end of a first down. Matt Hasselbeck was also resting up for the regular season, so Seneca Wallace was starting. Wallace has more experience than many NFL starters, much less backups. He is also more mobile than Hasselbeck. It is also easy to look good when the opposing defense keeps missing tackles. From the Oakland 25, T.J. Ducket took a handoff on a draw play and scored with little resistance. Four minutes into the game, the Seahawks led 7-0.

The Raiders began with excellent field position when Johnny Lee Higgins returned the kickoff to the Seattle 49. He almost broke it. On the first play from scrimmage, Darren McFadden ran 30 yards to the 19. A completion set up first and goal at the 9. The drive bogged down at the 4. The Raiders last year had trouble finishing drives. A 21 yard field goal attempt turned into the second coming of Garo Yopremian.

The snap was fumbled by normally reliable punter and holder Shane Lechler. He tried to pick it up and throw a pass, which was intercepted and returned to the Seattle 42. Only kicker Sebastian Janikowski slowing the return man down prevented a touchdown the other way. From Coach Lame Kiffin on down, this team is a disaster.

A 36 yard completion by Wallace had the Seahawks at the Oakland 22. The drive stalled, but Olindo Mare nailed a 34 yard field goal with 4 minutes left in the first quarter for a 10-0 Seahawks lead.

I would love to describe the second and third quarters, but the only thing more pathetic than my team is my internet connection.

I wrote several paragraphs and lost them all. I will go ona bloody rampage if this happens again.

The Seahawks increased their lead to 13-0 when the Raiders finally got going and cut the gap to 13-3 in the second quarter. With 1:10 left in the half the Raiders had the ball on their own 6 yard line. They managed to get to their own 40 with 13 seconds left in the half. A perfect strike by Walter set up a 50 yard field goal that Seabass nailed for a 13-6 deficit at the half.

Seattle went nowhere on their first drive of the second half, and the Raiders took over at midfield. On 3rd and 5, Seattle jumped offsides. 3rd and inches saw a play action pass that led to Walter being sacked. Kiffin called a timeout, and rather than punt, had Seabass try a 66 yard field goal. Preseason is a good time to try this stuff. Last year in the regular season Seabass had a 64 yard field goal attempt hit the upright. It would have been an NFL record. He is the Polish Cannon. This preseason attempt, however, fell short.

Seattle drove for a field goal, and a 16-6 lead. The Raiders responded in kind, and Seabass had the Silver and Black to within 16-9.

The first half was a rather penalty free affair, with only 2 penalties on the Raiders and won on the Seahawks. In the second half Seattle had several penalties on offense. Late in the 3rd quarter the Raiders had back to back defensive pass interference calls. As the 3rd quarter ended, the Seahawks had the ball on the Raiders 23. A 3rd pass interference call in the end zone placed the ball at the one yard line. On the next play, Wallace rolled out, and tried to make something happen. He fumbled, and the Raiders recovered.

They were unable to move the ball, and after a punt, Seattle started at the Oakland 43. Wallace remained in the game, and moved Seattle again. Again they were knocking on the door at the one yard line. This time Duckett crashed through, and the 23-9 Seattle lead with 9:35 left effectively put the game out of reach.

Tuiasasopo came in and led the Raiders inside the Seattle 5, but no points came out of it. A garbage touchdown with 1:51 left followed by a failed onsides kick ended the game.

The Raiders finished the preseason 1-3, and they are a team with many deficiencies.

I am boarding a flight for Minneapolis tonight, and the redeye will be a good time for me to sleep off this awful game. If I am unable to sleep on the plane, it is because I am having nightmares of an 0-16 season.

We will not go 0-16, but 8-8 seems so far away.

On Thursday, September 4th, the regular season begins. On Monday, September 8th, the Raiders host the hated Denver Broncos in Oakland on Monday Night Football.

Better days are ahead, but not tonight. Preseason is over.

Seahawks 23, Raiders16


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