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Seahawks Dispatch Raiders - Quick Reactions

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"You straight PUNKED Hugh Millen, Golden. Winning."
"You straight PUNKED Hugh Millen, Golden. Winning."

The Seahawks offense showed up at long last, actually moved the football, and the defense held the Raiders to three points. I can live with both of these things. Here are some quick-hitting reactions for the post-game euphoria and then I'll try and get down to the nuts and bolts a little bit better in the next few days. 

Offense: in general, I thought the offense looked a lot better overall. The protection looked normal; that is to say it wasn't atrocious and that's an improvement. The rushing attack, though very slow at the beginning, picked up and looked decent as the game went on. The Hawks went 7/13 on third down and 2/2 in Goal to Go situations. I'd say that's alright. They were able to punch the ball into the endzone on the ground twice and on a few occasions they picked up key first downs in 3rd and short situations running the ball. There were two unfortunate fourth-down attempts that got stuffed but at least we weren't throwing 20 yard fade patterns to Golden Tate right?

Speaking of Golden Tate -- hell of a game. 5 catches for 79 yards, a 34 yard kickoff return and a 43 yard punt return. This last week, in separate incidents, Mike Salk said there was an 80% chance that Golden Tate will get cut and Hugh Millen said if he were in charge he would have cut Tate that day. I wrote a piece bemoaning this attitude and possibility and ended it with "I'm just really hoping he'll put on a show and put this nonsense to rest." 

I believe he did put on a show and I believe he has put this nonsense to rest. For now, anyway. 

The defense looked decent. They didn't get a lot of pressure on the QB in general, but the defensive backs showed up to play. Richard Sherman had a couple of nice pass breakups and one weak ass pass interference call where he got his mitts on a pass and knocked it out of the receivers' hands. I liked that. It was fun to see. Walter Thurmond got picked on a little but aside from the time he tackled his mark to avoid a big play touchdown, he didn't really get burned. He's still trying to get up to speed after missing a few weeks of the preseason so we'll let it slide. 

The Hawks gave up 47 yards rushing to last year's rushing champs. That's a good thing, right? I know the Raiders were resting their starters mostly, but I'll take what I can get. 

In general -- the Hawks controlled the football. This win is pretty prototypical of what you can expect Pete to go for down the line. Get a quick early lead. Crew up the clock. Grind. Run the ball. Maintain possession. The Hawks jumped out to a 10-0 lead, were up 10-3 at half, then took nearly eight minutes off the clock on a 14-play drive that resulted in a failed fourth and one from the three yard line in the third quarter. Didn't matter - they used up over half of the frame keeping their defense rested up and wearing down the Raiders.

They kept grinding and the defense bent-but-didn't-break. They didn't let the Raiders get into the endzone and kept Sebastian Janikowski off the field for the most part. 

Both teams went back and forth for all of the third quarter and most of the fourth and no one scored. Mid fourth quarter, the Hawks went up 13-3. They tacked on a touchdown with 5:12 to go. The game was over long before that though.

It's the preseason, the outcome doesn't matter, but the momentum the Hawks picked up in this game has to matter a little bit. It was a feel-good game. The young guys played well. The offensive line, a scapegoat (with good reason) for the team's struggles the first three games, looked sharper. Danny O'Neil pointed out that James Carpenter has lost 15 pounds since camp started. Things are looking up. Anyway, it was a fun night to be a Seahawks fan but the real thing is about to start. Tomorrow the team gets down to 53. Then they prepare for San Francisco next Sunday. It's gonna be fun!

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