Peephole perspective: Points R us, as in Raiders. And quickly. The Raiders scored two touchdowns and kicked a field goal to take a 17-3 lead, and none of the drives took more than 2 minutes.
Player of the quarter: Bruce Gradkowski. He got the start because Raiders’ starting QB Jason Campbell was injured, and Gradkowski completed four of seven passes for 88 yards and two TDs to fashion a passer rating of 141.4
Play of the quarter: Let’s go with the longest one in a wild opening quarter, as Cord Park’s 51-yard kickoff return to set up the Seahawks’ only points – a field goal by Olindo Mare.
Stat of the quarter: 1.0. The Raiders’ rushing average on six carries. And they still had a 17-3 lead.
The bigger picture: In keeping with coach Pete Carroll not wanting to tip his hand on who would start, Charlie Whitehurst was the QB when the Seahawks got the ball after the opening kickoff. The wide receivers were Mike Williams and Golden Tate.
After a three-and-out, the Seahawks’ starting defense had Walter Thurmond at left cornerback, Jordan Babineaux at strong safety and a linebacking unit of Will Herring, Matt McCoy and Dexter Davis.
The Raiders struck quickly, moving 69 yards in four plays to Bruce Gradkowski’s 32-yard TD pass to Manase Tonga on a screen. Guard Daniel Loper sprung the play by burying cornerback Kelly Jennings with a block on the edge. Jennings also was called for a 38-yard pass interference penalty that gave the Raiders a first down on a third-and-11 play.
After another three-and-out by the Seahawks, the Raiders again struck quickly, using 1:56 to drive 41 yards in five plays to a 41-yard field goal by Swayze Waters. The big play was the first one, as Darrius Heyward-Bey beat Thurmond for a 34-yard pass play to the Seahawks’ 30.
Waters’ ensuing kickoff was very short and Cord Parks took it on a hop and returned it 51 yards to the Raiders’ 31. The Seahawks settled for 44-yard field goal from Olindo Mare after Julius Jones carried for 2 and 4 yards, but couldn’t handle Whitehurst’s third-down pass.
One good kickoff return apparently deserved another, as Yamon Figurs took Mare’s ensuing kickoff and returned it 34 yards to the Raiders’ 41. The Seahawks showed a line D-line, with Craig Terrill and E.J. Wilson at the ends and Quinn Pitcock and Amon Gordon, who got a second-down sack. But the Raiders got the ball right back as their punt hit Justin Forsett in the helmet on a hop and the Raiders recovered at the Seahawks’ 16. The Raiders scored three plays later, as Johnnie Lee Higgins beat Earl Thomas to take Gradkowski’s 9-yard pass in the end zone.