It’s time for real football – and that might be exactly what the Raiders need.
Here’s thoughts on the last minute Seahawks 17-13 win over the Silver and Black:
Ominous Start: From the get-go the Raiders muffed the opening kickoff, and fumbled on their first offensive possession. Not the way you want to start the game but also dangerous if you’re trying to make an already stocked roster. George Atkinson III did atone for his initial error with nine carries for 6o yards in the loss. John Crockett coughed up the ball early, which resulted in a field goal for Seattle but he also recovered and finished the night with 17 carries for 62 yards on the night.
Manuel Labored: EJ Manuel is perplexing. He started the preseason on fire and that was a good sign for the Raiders who go as Derek Carr goes. Yet after the first tilt, he looked often uneasy and did not throw the ball particularly well. He also seemed unwilling to test defenses deep. He had a terrible start but did eventually lead the Raiders on their only touchdown drive connecting with Keon Hatcher for the score. Both he and Connor Cook have not given Raider Nation any reason to breathe easy if Carr is ever unable to play. Still, NFL coaches love veteran quarterbacks and Jack Del Rio said in the post-game press conference that Manuel is still is backup to Carr.
Shalom Means You’re Staying: Luani again played his tail off and I cannot imagine any scenario where he doesn’t make this roster. We’re excited to see his progression and just how good he can become.
Defense Progressed: With almost every single starter (and even some backups) sitting out this game, it was nice to see the defense impress early on. A key stop after the fumble to start the game seemed to get the team focused and together. Now, it wasn’t all good. Still too many gaps and way too many passing yards yielding 263 yards in the air to the SeaChickens.
Welcome to The Show?: A couple of players on the bubble or on the outside looking in, may have saved themselves. WR Keon Hatcher (4 catches, 68 yds, TD), CB Breon Borders (a sure cut in our view) impressed, and LB Latroy Lewis, all will make Reggie McKenzie’s roster cuts that much more difficult. DT Darius Latham played a ton of snaps – which is a good sign and a bad sign. He caused disruption on the line all night finishing with two tackles but looking like he was playing for his NFL life.
Now it’s on to Nashville and the Titans and the games that count.