A recap of the Seahawks’ 31-21 victory over the Oakland Raiders at Qwest Field on Saturday night:
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Aaron Curry. A lot of players made a lot of plays, but the team’s first-round draft choice was one of the few players who saw extensive action against the Raiders who will be on the field extensively when the Seahawks open the regular season Sept. 13 against the St. Louis Rams.
The rookie linebacker forced a fumble with a sack to set up a field. Curry also ended another series when he stopped running back Michael Bush for a 4-yard gain on a third-and-11 play. And it also was Curry who dropped fullback Luke Lawton for a 1-yard loss after he caught a third-down pass.
Before Curry called it night, he had four solo tackles (two for losses), a sack and a forced fumble.
PLAYS OF THE GAME
Offense: Again, there were many to chose from – including a 45-yard TD run by former University of Washington running back Louis Rankin for the Raiders’ first touchdown and a heady catch-and-run by Seahawks wide receiver Logan Payne for a 44-yard TD. But the nod goes to Ben Obomanu’s nice grab at the goal line of a pass from rookie QB Mike Teel. It was especially significant because Obomanu’s season ended last year when he broke his collarbone while driving to try and catch a pass – also against the Raiders in the preseason finale; also at the goal line in the south end zone.
Defense: Nick Reed’s sack in the second quarter. For starters, it gave him 4½ this preseason. But it also came on third down, and forced a fumble that was recovered by fellow rookie defensive lineman Michael Bennett. The clincher, however, was that Obomanu made his impressive catch for a touchdown on the very next play – a play that put the Seahawks ahead to stay, 14-7.
Special teams: This one is a two-fer, and both plays also involved Obomanu. In the fourth quarter, he got downfield to drop Raiders punter returner Nick Miller for a 1-yard loss. Four plays later, Obomanu returned a punt 10 yards. Nifty stuff, and needed stuff, for a player who is battling for one of the final roster spots at his position – a decision that will be influenced by the player’s ability to contribute on special teams.
The Seahawks were penalized 12 times for 144 wrong-way yards. Some of it was to be expected, considering how many young players saw extensive action. Some of it, however, did not sit well with coach Jim Mora.
“The penalties that bother me are the non-aggressive penalties – the false starts, the encroachments, those type of things,” he said. “The aggressive penalties, that you can live with as long as they’re within the realm of reason.
“We need to be a team that plays with discipline … and penalties certainly hurt that.”
Offensive tackle Andre Ramsey was taken off the field on a cart after suffering what appeared to be an injury to his right knee in the third quarter.
Other injuries: Wide receiver Jordan Kent (sprained left ankle), defensive lineman Derek Walker (hamstring), wide receiver Courtney Taylor (eye) and safety Courtney Green (knee).
YOU DON’T SAY
“I was feeding off the fans. A crowd like that can keep any linebacker going. They really kept me feeling like there’s another play to be made.” – Curry, after playing in front of the 12th Man crowd at Qwest for the first time
The Raiders had an oh-thank-heavens-for-7:11 moment midway through the final quarter of the final preseason game. That’s when Gary Russell scored on a 6-yard run — with 7 minutes, 11 seconds to play.
The 86-yard drive was assisted by two defensive penalties against the Seahawks, including a 28-yard pass interference call against cornerback Marquis Floyd that gave the Raiders a first down at the Seahawks 9. Earlier in the series, Nick Reed upped his sack total to 4½ when he got to former Seahawks QB Charlie Frye for a 7-yard loss.
But the next series turned into another good one for some of the Seahawks’ young defenders. Reed pulled Russell down for no gain on first down and defensive end Baraka Atkins pressured Frye into an incompletion on third down.
That capped the Seahawks’ first undefeated preseason.
Seahawks 31, Raiders 21
- G.Russell 6 yd. run (R.Schmitt kick is good) Drive: 7 plays, 86 yards in 3:42
The half began ominously, as Gradkowski passed 25 yards to Todd Watkins on the opening play. But that’s when the Seahawks’ defense got busy. Middle linebacker David Hawthorne stopped Louis Rankin for a 3-yard gain, cornerback Kevin Hobbs tackled Rankin after a 4-yard gain and defensive lineman Derek Walker tipped the third-down pass incomplete.
Then, Devin Moore took over. He scored on a 1-yard run to run the Seahawks lead to 24-7. And it was fitting, since the rookie back from Wyoming had runs of 11, 12 and 15 yards during the 13-play, 92-yard drive that was aided by a pair of personal fouls against the Raiders.
On their next possession, Jeff Rowe replaced Mike Teel at QB and needed only five plays – and two big passes to Logan Payne – to get the Seahawks on the board again. Rowe and Payne hooked up for a 19-yarder on third-and-8 and then Payne made a sliding grab of a Rowe pass at the Raiders’ 10 before getting up and running into the end zone.
The quarter ended on a painful note, as tackle Andre Ramsey was taken to the locker room on a cart after he apparently injured his right knee.
Seahawks 31, Raiders 7
- D.Moore 1 yd. run (B.Coutu kick is good) Drive: 13 plays, 92 yards in 5:47
- L.Payne 44 yd. pass from J.Rowe (B.Coutu kick is good) Drive: 5 plays, 75 yards in 2:25
After almost 13 minutes of uneventful action, the Seahawks stepped it up on both sides of the ball to get two more scores.
First, defensive lineman Derek Walker forced a fumble while sacking Bruce Gradkowski, the third quarterback used by the Raiders in the half. Defensive lineman Michael Bennett recovered.
On the next play, Mike Teel hooked up with Ben Obomanu for a 38-yard TD pass. Obomanu reached up to take the pass near the same goal line where he broke his collarbone last year against the Raiders while trying to make a diving reception. Obomanu then got both feet just inside the corner of the end zone.
On the very next play, Curry came in unblocked to smack Gradkowski just as he was trying to release a pass. Defensive end Nick Reed recovered the fumble and returned it 16 yards to the Raiders 14-yard line to setup a 34-yard field goal by Olindo Mare that pushed the Seahawks lead to 17-7 with 14 seconds remaining.
Curry opened the second quarter the same way he closed the first one – with an aggressive play that resulted in a 1-yard loss on a third-down play. Bennett also rejected a third-down pass that stalled another Raiders possession.
Curry finished the half with four tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and two QB hits.
Seahawks 17, Raiders 7
- B.Obomanu 38 yd. pass from M.Teel (O.Mare kick is good) Drive: 1 plays, 38 yards in 0:07
- O.Mare 24 yd. Field Goal Drive: 4 plays, 8 yards in 1:37
And in the final preseason game, the defense rested – before the game ever started.
Coach Jim Mora decided to give his defensive starters the night off, with the exception of first-round draft pick Aaron Curry.
The No. 1 offense started the game – or at least most of it – but played only one series before the backups took over.
Rookie QB Mike Teel took advantage of his early – and extended – stint. He hooked up twice with fellow rookie Deon Butler on a four-play, 52-yard drive the produced the Seahawks’ first score. Teel went to Butler for a 23-yard gain on the first play and then the final 22 yards for the TD.
The Raider, however, came right back as former University of Washington running back popped through a hole and was gone on a 45-yard TD run to tie the score with 7:08 left in the quarter.
The quarter then turned into a mixture of penalties and close-but plays for both offenses.
Curry, however, was very active and rookie defensive end Nick Reed continues his all-out effort to win a roster spot. Curry had a tackle for loss among his two solo stops, while Reed had a QB pressure and also ran down Raiders QB after a short scramble.
Seahawks 7, Raiders 7
- D.Butler 22 yd. pass from M.Teel (O.Mare kick is good) Drive: 4 plays, 52 yards in 1:30
- L.Rankin 45 yd. run (S.Janikowski kick is good) Drive: 2 plays, 54 yards in 1:05
Greetings from Qwest Field, site of the Seahawks’ preseason finale against the Oakland Raiders.
Many of the players are on the field, doing their early stretching with strength and conditioning coach Mike Clark. Rookie QB Mike Teel is playing catch with Courtney Taylor, which is significant because the sixth-round draft choice from Rutgers is expected to take the majority of snaps tonight.
This is the game where the starters play sparingly before the game is turned over to those battling for roster spots because the Seahawks must make 22 roster moves by Saturday to reach the league-mandated 53-man limit.
“To a lot of these players in this locker room, and to us as a team, it’s very important,” coach Jim Mora said this week. “There will be some decisions that are made based upon what happens Thursday night. After a long offseason, a long (training) camp, and three preseason games, you’d think that all the decisions have been made, but they really haven’t been.
“There are just some races that are too close to call. This becomes very important. I always think it’s really an exciting preseason game to go to because in that second half, you’re seeing some guys that are just playing for their livelihood, I mean, just scratching to make the team. That passion comes out and there’s some great energy on the field.”
The Seahawks are 3-0 in this preseason, which has been a reunion tour of the old AFC West for Seattle, which moved to the NFC in the 2002 realignment. The Seahawks already have beaten the San Diego Chargers, Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs. They never have finished the preseason undefeated.
Wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh will not play tonight. He did not practice this week, either – because of what coach Jim Mora called “general soreness.”
But why should Housh play? He showed everything that was needed in last week’s win over the Chiefs in Kansas City.
Right now, he’s watching the rest of the team warm-up.
Also out tonight: tackle Walter Jones, center Chris Spencer and defensive backs Marcus Trufant, Travis Fisher and C.J. Wallace.
Also out …
Also out …
Several other Seahawks also will not play tonight, including most of the starting defense:
- QB Seneca Wallace
- RB Julius Jones
- SS Deon Grant
- FS Brian Russell
- CB Josh Wilson
- CB Ken Lucas
- MLB Lofa Tatupu
- DE Darryl Tapp
- LB Leroy Hill
- DT Colin Cole
- DT Brandon Mebane
- DE Cory Redding
- DE Patrick Kerney