Sunday, October 31, 2010
Rapid Reaction: Raiders 33, Seahawks 3
By Mike Sando
What it means: Seattle needs to get healthier to bounce back from this defeat in the short term. The Seahawks have fared well in patching their roster, but their depth isn't good enough to overcome this many injuries. They played all or some of their game Sunday without starting left tackle Russell Okung, second-team left tackle Tyler Polumbus, No. 1 receiver Mike Williams, starting right cornerback Kelly Jennings, second-team right corner Walter Thurmond, starting defensive tackle Brandon Mebane, starting nose tackle Colin Cole and starting defensive end Red Bryant. Starting left guard Ben Hamilton left the game after getting poked in the eye, but his replacement, Chester Pitts, might have played anyway. Pitts wound up playing left tackle after Polumbus departed.
NFC West race: The Seahawks fell to 4-3. The Arizona Cardinals were in danger of falling to 3-4 as they trailed the Tampa Bay Bucs in the final minutes. St. Louis pulled close at 4-4. Even the San Francisco 49ers (2-6) gained ground.
What I liked: Leon Washington provided a spark on punt returns. Washington's role on offense has disappeared since the team acquired Marshawn Lynch from Buffalo. Washington's big-play ability does have value, however. His 43-yard punt return put the offense in prime position in the first half. Washington also had 45- and 37-yard kickoff returns.
What I didn't like: Seattle suffered some unsightly miscues on defense, resulting in big plays for the Raiders. Free safety Earl Thomas went for the pick, helping the Raiders score one long touchdown. Strong safety Lawyer Milloy and linebacker David Hawthorne collided on another Raiders touchdown. The offense suffered too many penalties, putting Seattle in unfavorable down-and-distances. On special teams, kicker Olindo Mare missed two field goal tries after previously making 30 in a row. This defeat was a team effort.
Trending: Seattle's run defense faltered some against Arizona last week. The Raiders had their way running the ball. Darren McFadden had more than 100 yards in the first three quarters. The Raiders also burned the Seahawks with misdirection plays, including when receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey busted a 30-yard run on a reverse. Losing Bryant hurt against the run. Seattle had owned the NFL's second-ranked run defense, but that ranking will surely fall. And with the New York Giants' Ahmad Bradshaw visiting Seattle in Week 9, the trend could continue.
What's next: The Seahawks face the Giants at home in Week 9, followed by trips to Arizona and New Orleans.