Seattle Seahawks 30 Oakland Raiders 24: Seahawks D the Difference In Preventing Upset


Nov 2, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (15) recovers an onside kick against the Oakland Raiders during the second half at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

For another week the Oakland Raiders remained competitive in large stretches, but were ultimately not good enough on Sunday to earn their first win of the season as an entertaining game with the Seattle Seahawks ended with the now 0-8 Raiders falling just short of one of the biggest upsets of the 2014 NFL season. Coming back from a significant halftime deficit, the Raiders got to within six points with under 2:00 left before a Sebastian Janikowski onside kick that was up for grabs ended up in the hands of a Seahawks player to give Seattle an expected win that Oakland put in doubt for the defending Super Bowl champions on more than one occasion.

The Raiders came within a touchdown twice in the second half, nearly getting the ball back down a score before a controversial Tarell Brown defensive holding call away from the football gave the Seahawks a new set of downs as well as a field goal as Marshawn Lynch would run down the field on the next play following Brown’s five yard penalty. Lynch’s big day saw the Oakland native put up 143 total yards and two rushing touchdowns in the win over the Raiders, who at times could not contain Beast Mode on a day where they shut down Russell Wilson’s passing game in a loss where the defense allowed just 23 points on the day.

Seattle’s saving grace from an upset was in the first half when Derek Carr threw two costly interceptions in quick succession, once getting picked off for a defensive touchdown by Bruce Irvin before targeting Richard Sherman on a third and long back shoulder throw to Andre Holmes that was underthrown to allow the Seahawks to add another field goal. Carr would get the Raiders back into the game in the second half with two touchdown throws to Mychal Rivera, but his -10 point differential on turnovers was the difference between winning and losing against the Super Bowl champions in a game where without turnovers the second round sensation could have made headlines with a road win in Seattle.

Sebastian Janikowski also contributed to leaving points on the field and off the board by missing a kick at the end of the first half in what has been a recurring theme for the highly paid veteran to end the first half over the past two seasons. Kicking in wet conditions, SeaBass couldn’t find the accuracy on a 51 yarder that while not being the biggest factor in the loss was still a missed opportunity to go into halftime with extra points on the board.

Another factor in the loss was a poor interior rushing game as neither Darren McFadden, Maurice Jones-Drew or Latavius Murray could get things going down the inside of the line of scrimmage. All three backs picked up first downs in the screen passing game, but offensive coordinator Greg Olson did not utilize them often enough to counteract how poor the inside running game was on Sunday against the best defensive front in football.

Despite losing there were once again positives from the Raiders young players on Sunday, with several recent draft picks making big plays all over the field including Carr (2 TD’s), Khalil Mack, Sio Moore, TJ Carrie, Mychal Rivera, Brice Butler and at times the recently returned DJ Hayden. At 0-8 fans will always be negative, but there was once again flashes of potential in a core that the franchise needs to keep building to finish the rebuild in Oakland. A win over the defending champs would have been something to remember as well as to salvage a trying season, but it was not meant to be as Carr’s two biggest miscues of his young career playing in his hardest test to date against the NFL’s best defense was the difference between a memorable win and another moral victory in Seattle.

Things will not get easier next week as the Raiders will host the Broncos who are coming off a blowout loss to the Patriots in New England, with the season already over in terms of playoffs remaining competitive has been an accomplishment for this Raiders team. That will need to continue at home on Sunday when Peyton Manning comes to the Coliseum as if the Oakland effort does not continue things could get ugly in the AFC West rivalry game for this young Raiders unit.