A recap of the Seahawks’ 20-3 victory over the Oakland Raiders in their preseason finale at CenturyLink Field on Friday night:
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Golden Tate. The last time the second-year receiver played at CenturyLink Field, he dropped two passes – including one that went off his hands, was intercepted and returned for a touchdown in a 20-7 loss to the Vikings.
That was two weeks ago. But Friday night was a redemptive outing for Tate. He had a 43-yard reception to set up the Seahawks’ first field goal among his five catches and 79 yards. He returned a punt 43 yards and a kickoff for 34 yards.
Was this a springboard effort for last year’s little-used second-round draft choice?
“I don’t think there’s any question that it can be,” coach Pete Carroll said. “I think that he needed to have a good game where he had a chance to get going. That’s why I think whether this could be a turning point, it could be for him. It’s not in my mind. I already know what he can do.”
In this game, Tate showed everyone else, as well.
“He just has good stuff,” Carroll said. “The open field breaks that he made in the kicking game, and he made a couple of great catches tonight and stole a bunch yards away. The returns were great. That will also show up in the catch-and-run, too.”
PLAYS OF THE GAME
Offense: Carroll called it the “immaculate reception,” and what Leon Washington as able to do with a Charlie Whitehurst pass that was batted into the air as Tate and Raiders cornerback Joe Porter were battling for the ball was, well, pretty immaculate. Washington not only picked the ball out of the air, he ran for 32 yards to the Raiders’ 15-yard line. The Seahawks eventually scored their first touchdown, but it wouldn’t have happened without Washington’s heads-up play on third down.
Defense: There were a lot to choose from, especially considering that each of the Raiders’ final three possessions ended on downs. But let’s go with the last one, as rookie safety Mark LeGree tipped a Kyle Boller pass incomplete on fourth-and-10 from the Seahawks’ 35-yard line.
Special teams: Tate’s 43-yard punt return. It happened late in the first half and gave the Seahawks a shot at kicking a 53-yard field goal on the final play of the half. Except that the Raiders’ Porter blocked that kick.
Left guard Robert Gallery and defensive lineman Jimmy Wilkerson left the game with sprained knees, and each is scheduled for a magnetic resonance imaging test on Saturday to determine the extent of the damage and how long they might be out.
The Seahawks also played without six starters: running back Marshawn Lynch (ankle), wide receivers Sidney Rice (shoulder) and Mike Williams (toe), left tackle Russell Okung (ankle), middle linebacker David Hawthorne (knee) and strong safety Kam Chancellor (foot). Carroll said Okung could have played, but it was decided to rest him for another game, and added that Rice’s injury is the only one that could be a problem for next week’s regular-season opener against the 49ers in San Francisco.
THIS ’N THAT
Former Raiders Zach Miller and Gallery were appointed captains for the game.
Rookie middle linebacker K.J. Wright, who started for Hawthorne, had a team-high five tackles to finish the leading tackler in the preseason.
Defensive lineman David Howard had 1½ sacks.
Thomas Clayton rushed for 42 yards on 11 carries to finish as the Seahawks’ leading rusher in the preseason.
The Seahawks converted 7 of 13 third-down situations, but they also had nine penalties for 105 yards.
YOU DON’T SAY
“It felt amazing, man. But honestly, that just goes to the offensive line, you know what I mean? I don’t take any credit for that. That’s the offensive line all the way.” – Clayton, on scoring his second TD of the preseason