LOS ANGELES, August 30, 2013—The Oakland Raiders entered their final preseason game looking like one of the worst teams in football. They have fallen behind 23-0 and 27-0 in their last two contests, only to rally when the backups were playing. The Raiders have truly hit rock bottom. For the first time in years, a Raiders preseason game was not even on television in the Los Angeles area. CBS went with the Chargers against the 49ers while Fox and other local channels opted for episodes of Family Guy and Dr. Phil.
The Raiders were at the Seattle Seahawks, and the game began as expected. On the second play of the game, Russell Wilson threw a 50-yard bomb to set the Seahawks up. On 2nd and 12 from the Oakland 34, Wilson scrambled for 11 yards and completed a 20-yard pass to set up a three yard touchdown run. The Seahawks needed only three minutes and six plays to move 80 yards and take a 7-0 lead.
The remaining 57 minutes did not matter. Seattle has a shot at the Super Bowl and the Raiders have a shot at the top pick in the 2014 NFL Draft next April.
Terrell Pryor started in place of former Seahawks quarterback Matt Flynn, who has been awful the entire preseason. Pryor showed flashes in mop-up work, and this was his chance to start. On 3rd and 3 from the Oakland 27, Pryor threw incomplete, the Raiders went three and out and punted, and the remaining 55 1/2 minutes were a formality.
The third preseason game is the closest thing to the regular season. Starters play as much as three quarters of football. The fourth preseason game sees the starters play maybe one series if at all. The only goal is getting the game over and keeping injuries to a minimum. Wilson was already done for the night, and Tarvaris Jackson came at quarterback. Jackson made it look as easy as Wilson until the Seahawks faced a 3rd and 6 at the Oakland 23. Jackson was called for intentional grounding, but Steve Hauschka nailed a 56-yard field goal to make it 10-0 Seahawks and anything remotely resembling suspense.
Oakland took over at their own 21 and Pryor hit Rod Streater for a pair of 14 yard gains. On 3rd and 7 from the Seattle 45, Pryor scrambled for 25 yards. Yet from the 20, Pryor threw incomplete twice and was sacked. A backup kicker hit a 45-yarder to get the Raiders within 10-3.
Seattle took over at their own 20 and Jackson moved the Seahawks down the field easily. On 4th and 1 from the Oakland 28, Seattle coach Pete Carroll made the easy decision to go for it against the listless Oakland defense. Jackson gained three yards, and on 3rd and 4 from the 19 Jackson ran for nine more. The drive stalled, but another field goal made it 13-3 Seahawks. The Raiders took over at their 25, and Pryor needed only one play to go bombs away and get intercepted. Hauschka would tack on one more field goal in the second quarter and the Raiders added a second field goal of their own just before the half to “only” trail 16-6 at the break.
Everything one needs to know about the pathetic Oakland offense can be summed up by one simple play early in the third quarter. The Raiders faced 3rd and 4 from their 26. Third string quarterback Matt McGloin was instructed to run a West Coast Offense dink and dunk pass. He completed the pass for three yards and the Raiders punted. Dennis Allen needs to scrap the West Coast Offense and call plays where the quarterback throws past the first down marker. Even former Raiders bust, Captain Checkdown Matt Leinart, can throw a five yard pass.
Brady Quinn is Seattle’s third string quarterback, and even he led Seattle on a long drive from their 13 to the Oakland 13, as another field goal made it 19-6 Seahawks. The fourth quarter began with the Raiders facing 3rd and 7 from their 41. McGloin was sacked and fumbled, setting up a fifth Seattle field goal.
Fourth string quarterback Tyler Wilson came in and led a long drive from the Oakland 20 to a 4th and 2 at the Seattle 31. Wilson then threw incomplete as the Raiders failed to reach the end zone. Rather than have Hauschka and his tired leg kick a sixth field goal, Pete Carroll showed mercy on 4th and 10 and had Quinn throw incomplete. The 22-6 loss for the Raiders was far worse than the score indicated. On cut down day, General Manager Reggie McKenzie may wish to consider releasing the entire roster.
The Raiders are awful in every phase of the game. While they have a young team with plenty of new players, at some point there has to be something to separate pro football from what would find at a Friday night high school game. Coach Dennis Allen seems to have no answers for turning things around. The first regular season game has the Raiders traveling to play the Indianapolis Colts on September 8th. For fans of the silver and black, it will be ugly.
How ugly? With 1:45 to play in this game, and the Raiders facing 4th and 4 from their own 47, Dennis Allen had his fourth string quarterback pad the stats with a one yard completion. Dink, dunk, death.
Follow Eric on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS Eric Golub is an independent writer for the Communities.
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