NFL 2017 Preseason: Week 4 Raiders Recap

NFL 2017 Preseason: Week 4 Raiders Recap

The Oakland Raiders hosted the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth and final preseason game for both teams. While the Raiders have yet to win a preseason game, the starting offense looks ready to go. The secondary is a major concern. The third preseason game resembles regular season football. The fourth one is strictly for backups trying to survive. Derek Carr and the starting offense took the night off. So did his counterpart Russell Wilson.

EJ Manuel got the start and disaster immediately struck. The Raiders fumbled the ensuing kickoff, retaining possession at their own 11 yard line. On the second play from scrimmage on 2nd and 1, a fumble this time was recovered by the Seahawks. Trevor Boykin got to start the game for Seattle at the Oakland 9 yard line. With Khalil Mack and the starting defense also taking the night off, the backup defense somehow held the Seahawks to a field goal for a 3-0 Seahawks lead.

Later in the first quarter, the Raiders fumbled for the third time but again retained possession long enough to punt. The Seahawks took over at their own 14. Boykin went deep to Williams for 21 yards, to Lawler for 24 more, and on 3rd and 3 from the Oakland 34 went deep to Smith for the touchdown. The Seahawks led 10-0 after the first quarter. The Raiders have no depth, and had better hope their starters stay healthy in the regular season. Connor Cook briefly came in for Manuel, with no success.

Late in the first quarter on 3rd and 7 from the Seattle 45, Boykin went deep and was intercepted. The Raiders began the second quarter with 3rd and 4 at the Seattle 43. A false start and a completed pass for a 4 yard loss meant another Raiders punt. The Seahawks moved from their 14 to a 2nd and 8 at the Oakland 21. Boykin was intercepted at the 6 yard line, preventing a blowout.

Manuel has not looked good at all this preseason, but against backups he finally showed something that may keep him on the roster. A 14 play, 8 minute, 94 yard drive culminated in an 18 yard touchdown pass to Hatcher. Just past the 2 minute warning, the Raiders had gotten within 10-7. The Seahawks moved from their own 9 to a 1st and 10 at the Oakland 36 with 18 seconds left in the half. A pair of incompletions left 6 seconds. The Hail Mary never happened as Boykin was sacked for an 11 yard loss to end the half.

Boykin was done as Austin Davis started the second half for the Seahawks. On 2nd and 20 from the Seattle 15, Davis found Williams for a 36 yard gain. Yet on 3rd and 1 from the Oakland 29, a run lost 2 yards and Blair Walsh missed a 49 yard field goal.

Cook came back in at quarterback at the Oakland 39. A pair of defensive penalties for unnecessary roughness gave the Raiders 30 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the Seattle 16, Cook threw incomplete. With Sebastian Janikowski not playing, backup kicker Georgio Tavecchio hit the 34 yard field goal for a 10-10 game midway through the third quarter. The Seahawks moved from their 25 to a 3rd and 5 at the Oakland 42, but Davis threw incomplete. The Raiders moved from their own 11 to the Seattle 13. George Atkinson ran for the touchdown, but offensive holding nullified it. Tavecchio then missed a 36 yard field goal  to end the third quarter in this ugly game.

In the fourth quarter the Seahawks moved from their 31 to a 3rd and 7 at the Oakland 44. Davis was sacked for an 8 yard loss. The Raiders moved from their own 16 to a 3rd and 1 at the Seattle 9. Crockett got the critical carry and lost a yard. Tavecchio made the 28 yard field goal to cap the 10 play, 74 yard, 6 minute drive. The Raiders were 3:45 away from a preseason win. A week earlier the backup defense collapsed in the final minute. Guys desperate to make the roster had a chance to get it done.

Seattle took over at their 25. Davis hit Swoopes for 6 yards and then went deep to Rogers for a 25 yard gain. At the 2 minute warning, the Seahawks faced 3rd and 11 at the Oakland 45. Davis found swooped for just enough. On 2nd and 7 at the Oakland 31, Davis threw incomplete. However, defensive pass interference meant 1st and 10 at the Oakland 16 with 1:15 to play. Davis went to Lawler for the touchdown. Once again, the Oakland defense collapsed. The Raiders got it back at their own 11 but Cook never had a chance. With 10 seconds left, On 3rd and 12 from the Oakland 23, Cook was intercepted.

The Seahawks finished the preseason 4-0 and the Raiders winless at 0-4. Yes, both teams are now 0-0 like everybody else when the preseason ends. Jack Del Rio can put a happy face on things and remind everyone that preseason games do not matter. The truth is that the Raiders went 12-4 last year because Carr carried the team. He led several comebacks, but the Raiders could not mask their deficiencies on defense. Once he went down, the team was finished. Carr looked fine in the preseason, and backup defenses losing in the final moments do not matter once the starters take over.

However, Carr has to get some help. The preseason showed that the Raiders have zero depth. They lost all 4 preseason games by a combined 21 points, losing the final 3 games by a total of 11 points. The Raiders have 10 days to get ready for the first game that actually counts. They will be at the Tennessee Titans, a much improved team from years past. In preseason, how a team looks matters more than the score. In the regular season, ugly wins are gorgeous. We will soon know if the Raiders are ready to take the next step forward or a giant step backward.


Comments are closed.