Seahawks 19, Raiders 14

SEATTLE (AP) -- Daunte Culpepper has played in almost a decade worth of ho-hum preseason games.

Thursday night was not one of them.

The recently deposed Miami Dolphins starter made a strong push to convince first-year coach Lane Kiffin he should be his starting quarterback, completing 11 of 19 passes for 108 yards and leading the Raiders offense to its only touchdown in Oakland's 19-14 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

"It was definitely different for me," Culpepper said after outplaying Josh McCown in the final rehearsal before the season opener on Sept. 9 against Detroit. "But I'm glad to be in the situation I am here."

Culpepper, signed on July 31 as a fallback plan while top overall pick JaMarcus Russell continues his contract holdout, entered for the final three minutes of the first half and played deep into the fourth quarter of a preseason game for the first time since he was a rookie in 1999 with the Minnesota Vikings.

The former Pro Bowl selection excitedly clapped his hands after completions. He emphatically slapped the hand of new teammate Justin Fargas after a 17-yard pass converted a long third down.

McCown started and completed five of 12 passes for 75 yards in four series. Oakland gained 130 yards, was 1-for-5 converting third downs and did not score on offense while he was in. His first drive ended when Tyler Fredrickson, giving Sebastian Janikowski the night off, missed a 39-yard field goal.

McCown said his preseason has been "kind of not good, not bad -- just like tonight."

Kiffin wouldn't commit to either one afterward, saying he had to study the game tape.

When asked if he would wait to announce his starter until just before the opener, to keep the Lions guessing, Kiffin said, "That's very possible."

Culpepper, who had two passes dropped, also had an interception on a forced, deep pass on his final play. The Raiders gained 123 yards on 27 plays while he was in, and was 3-for-5 converting third downs with him.

He was 7-for-8 for 86 yards on the Raiders' march to a touchdown in the third quarter, a 5-yard scoring pass to James Adkisson on which he could have easily jogged for the touchdown off a bootleg.

"I did some good things -- and some things I definitely wish I could have back," Culpepper said.

Seattle's eventual winning score came early in the fourth quarter, when backup Marquis Weeks ran 11 yards for a touchdown.

The Raiders' only points while McCown played came when Higgins zoomed for a 90-yard touchdown on a punt return. Higgins then vaulted into a cartwheel and a back flip in the end zone -- easily the most athletic feat of the night.

McCown did show some elusiveness. Seattle's defensive front pressured him on about half his throws.

He also was fortunate to not have an interception. His first throw was a lofted jump ball on a short out route that Seattle's Pete Hunter nearly ripped from the hands of Johnnie Lee Higgins before it fell incomplete.

Culpepper entered for a drive that began at his own 1, with third-string center Chris Morris. It was a novel way to force Culpepper into correcting a trend of fumbling -- he had four in his first two preseason games with Oakland.

On his second play, Darryl Tapp dumped Dominic Rhodes in the end zone for a safety and a 12-7 lead that Seattle took into halftime.

Culpepper completed two of his first four passes before he found Fargas on a screen pass for 25 yards. Culpepper converted consecutive third downs, the second a third-and-14 with a 17-yard pass on the sideline to Travis Taylor. One completion later, Culpepper found Adkisson for the touchdown.

The Seahawks' night contained far less drama. Only three of their 22 regular starters on offense and defense started Thursday. Seneca Wallace, playing into the fourth quarter while starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck sat out, was 12-for-26 for 181 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.

Nate Burleson, plagued by dropped passes and a hand injury last season, made a final push to start opposite Deion Branch at wide receiver. While D.J. Hackett had one catch for 15 yards, Burleson caught three for 54 yards -- including a 34-yard catch on which he deftly spun away from befuddled Chris Johnson. On the next play, Burleson caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from Wallace to put Seattle up 10-7 in the second quarter.

"I'm not really worried about being a starter," Burleson said. "More importantly, I want to prove to the coaches, the people, the organization that I deserve to have the ball in my hands."

Game notes
Seahawks DT Marcus Tubbs, who returned to practice this month for the first time since having microfracture surgery on his left knee last November, left the field on the back of a motorized cart with a sprained right knee. "It appeared to be rather serious," Holmgren said. ... CB Josh Wilson, Seattle's top draft choice in April, had a 31-yard kickoff return early but left in the third quarter -- also on a cart -- with a bruised left hip.


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