OAKLAND, Calif. – If there was any doubt that this wasn’t the Seahawks’ day, it was sufficiently erased late in the third quarter.
Before Sunday’s game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum turned into a 33-3 blowout for the Raiders, the Seahawks were still within striking distance – that is if their offense had been able to move the ball. Then a bad afternoon turned downright silly.
On third-and-9, Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell tried to hit Darius Heyward-Bey on a slant, only the low throw hit the receiver in the knee. But instead of bouncing to the ground, the ball flew to the middle of the field, where it was bobbled by receiver Jacoby Ford. Ford couldn’t come down with it either, but running back Michael Bush was able to run under the ball, catch it and rumble 55 yards. That led to a Raiders field goal, the first of 20 fourth-quarter points that, along with a plethora of injuries, ensured that this game went down as the worst of the season for the Seahawks.
But to blame this loss on bad bounces would be terribly misleading. The fact is, the Seahawks (4-3) were badly beaten on both sides of the ball as their two-game win streak came to an end.
The Seahawks offense was held to 162 yards, its lowest total of the season, and just 59 rushing yards. The defense, meanwhile, yielded 545 yards, a high for the season, including 239 yards on the ground.
“Well, there’s no mystery to us what happened today,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “We got nothing done. We accomplished nothing in any aspect of our ball.
“We got whipped at the line of scrimmage at both sides of the ball, and the only redeeming factor was that halfway through the third quarter we still had a chance after not playing very well at any point.”
The loss was particularly jarring to the Seahawks because, after beating Chicago on the road two weeks ago, then dominating Arizona at home last week, they felt like they were a team on the rise.
Instead the Seahawks flew home Sunday night trying to figure out how things turned so quickly.
“We feel like we just had our second bye week of the season, but the thing is that you only get one,” safety Lawyer Milloy said. “We feel like we didn’t even come down here, and that’s disappointing given where we’re at in the season and how we thought out team was progressing. … Flat out, they beat us. They beat us good.”
More than anything, the Raiders beat Seattle by beating the offensive line. Matt Hasselbeck, who didn’t finish the game – a team spokesman said he was “dinged” – was sacked twice on Seattle’s opening possession, the first of eight sacks in the game. Seattle couldn’t run the ball effectively, and couldn’t protect Hasselbeck, leading to five straight three-and-outs to start the game.
Despite almost no offense early – Seattle had just 4 yards in the first quarter – the game was still within reach well into the third quarter.
The game could have been even closer in the first half, but Marcel Reece, a former University of Washington receiver who has since converted to fullback, turned a short pass into a 30-yard touchdown on fourth-and-1 to give Oakland a 10-0 lead.
Oakland added another field goal in the third quarter, then Seattle put together a promising drive, that, like pretty much everything else on this day, ended in disappointment.
Mike Williams, who battled a knee injury throughout the day and finished with just one catch, dropped a pass on third-and-9 from the Oakland 11-yard line that likely would have been a touchdown, or at the very least, a first down inside the 2-yard line.
That was followed by a missed field goal from 27 yards out, the second miss of the game for Olindo Mare, who prior to Sunday had made 30 straight going back to Week 3 of last season.
“We’re right back in the game with a score,” Carroll said of that possession.
Following that miss, the Raiders missed a field goal of their own, then went on their fourth-quarter scoring binge.
Oak—FG Janikowski 31, 5:14.
Oak—Reece 30 pass from J.Campbell (Janikowski kick), 8:54.
Oak—FG Janikowski 36, 9:09.
Oak—FG Janikowski 22, 14:52.
Oak—Heyward-Bey 69 pass from J.Campbell (Janikowski kick), 13:26.
Sea—FG Mare 47, 8:57.
Oak—FG Janikowski 49, 7:18.
Oak—Bush 4 run (Janikowski kick), 1:56.
|Total Net Yards||162||545|
|Time of Possession||23:56||36:04|
RUSHING—Seattle, Washington 5-29, Forsett 5-11, Lynch 9-7. Oakland, D.McFadden 21-111, Bush 9-51, Reece 2-32, Heyward-Bey 1-30, Ford 1-11, J.Campbell 4-4, Satele 1-0.
PASSING—Seattle, Hasselbeck 13-32-1-160. Oakland, J.Campbell 15-27-0-310.
RECEIVING—Seattle, Carlson 3-47, Forsett 3-23, Tate 2-36, Williams 1-27, Stokley 1-13, Baker 1-5, Obomanu 1-5, Butler 1-4. Oakland, Heyward-Bey 5-105, Reece 3-90, D.McFadden 2-24, Ford 2-22, Bush 1-55, Z.Miller 1-8, Barnes 1-6.
MISSED FIELD GOALS—Seattle, Mare 51 (WR), 29 (WL). Oakland, Janikowski 45 (WL).