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Cigar Thoughts, Preseason Week 4: Raiders Drub Seahawks Early, Hang On For Win

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After a flawless opening drive against Oakland, Seattle got whacked all over the field, allowing 35 points int he first half en route to a 41-31 loss.

Been there, bro
Been there, bro
Ezra Shaw

What a gross game. There's either a lot to talk about, or not very much at all, depending on your perspective. I'm gonna try and split the difference with some quick-hitters because games like this can become a Lewis-Carrollian descent into madness if you stare at it for too long.

First of all, Russell Wilson's game was perfect again. 3-3, 77 yards, and a teeder. I don't know what else there is to say about him. His first pass was a 44-yard red-line rainbow and Jermaine Kearse's hands were the pot of gold. His third was a 25-yard arrow to Luke Willson over the top for a score. His second pass was pretty normal. Russell Wilson is the Jennifer Aniston of quarterbacks.

And if Wilson is Jen, then Terrelle Pryor is the hot chick who's Bad-Girls-Club-crazy but who also does enough freaky stuff that you just can't quit her. One moment he's diming up a deep bomb in coverage and the next he's staring down a five-yard slant and then throwing it into the second row. He runs way too much, throws like a rusty windmill, and gets jittery in the pocket but he's also a guy with Olympic speed that can put it in a saucer from 65 yards. I just don't know what you do with that. 11/17, 134 yards, 1 TD, 4 rushes, 12 yards.

Tarvaris Jackson came in, T-Jacked it up for a while, and then went back to spitting sunflower seeds and laughing at Marshawn Lynch. 2/4, 19 yards.

BJ Daniels was super exciting but ultimately inconsequential. 5/9, 71 yards, 1 TD, 2 rushes, 35 yards.

Wilson's touchdown was a nifty little up-and-over the deep linebacker to a streaking Luke Willson. I'm looking forward to big things from the Wil(l)son combo over the next few years. His acceleration is disproportionate to his size.

On the other side, Derek Carr straight carved up the Seahawks secondary, including two completions when targeting Richard Sherman. Finished with a bonkers 11/13, 143, 3 TDs, 152.1. Yeah, one of his TDs came off a Malcolm Smith tip but his other two were among the best passes I've seen all preseason. The back shoulder bullet to Denarius Moore might have been the best. I hope Dennis Allen has the stones to do what Pete did and start the clearly-better rookie over the exactly-average veteran.

The most intriguing guy tonight was Bryan Walters, who came into this game running seventh on what will quite possibly be a five-man WR depth chart. He didn't help himself when he coughed up a kickoff return in the first quarter, which led to the first of two consecutive one-play TD drives by the Raiders. But he didn't wilt. It's not about whether or not you make a mistake, it's about what you do afterward. And what Walters did was rack up 197 yards on 10 touches (3 catches, 47 yards and a TD, 2 punt returns for 13, 5 kick returns for 137), running every route and return with purpose and aggression. I thought he was a stone cold cut in the first quarter. Now I think he might have just put Ricardo Lockette and/or Phil Bates out in the cold. Even if Walters does get axed, I can't imagine him staying unemployed for long.

Paul Richardson had his best game of the preseason, getting consistently open and flashing his absurd body control with an amazing toe-tapper on a high sideline throw. Two catches, 16 yards doesn't seem like much but he is electric off the snap. It may take a year or two to click (that's normal, don't freak out), but there's no doubt that the skills are there.

It's unsettling how shallow Seattle is near the ball; their O-line and interior D-line have less depth than a Bachelor contestant. We spent half of last season watching Seahawks skill players running for their lives behind slipshod backup offensive linemen and tonight was a scary reminder of their oft-porous run defense. The starters are hit and miss, the backups are miss-and-occasionally-not-miss-as-badly. D'Anthony Smith was the worst player on the field. Just got annihilated. Jordan Hill finally got his chance and he looked the part of a second-day draft pick. Really hope he stays healthy enough to become the player they drafted him to be. Dude's got some rip-and-pull to him.

The backup defensive backs, who have struggled moderately this month, had an interesting night. Phil Adams was a couple steps too slow, and may not have the size to play outside CB in Seattle's system but he did have a couple of nice plays, including a tipped pass that led to a DeShawn Shead pick-six. Akeem Auguste plays and tackles real hard, which I love. In fact, he seems to be good at everything except covering people, which for a cornerback...

Jeron Johnson bodied a couple more folks. Really love that guy. No worries there.

The linebackers were really athletic, if not always assignment correct. Malcolm Smith has turned into a monster, so much so that I thought he was KJ Wright on a couple of plays. Bobby Wagner finally got some run. Still good. Brock Cyle tied for the team lead in tackles. Gonna have a hard time keeping him off the roster and I don't see him clearing waivers if he gets cut. Korey Toomer and Kevin Pierre-Louis also show tons of promise, although KPL left with a tweaked hamstring in the second half.

Benson Mayowa and O'Brien Schofield continued to explode off the ball. They have been among my favorite players to watch this preseason. Why is it that the Seahawks' best backups play at their deepest positions?

Demetrius Bronson (7 carries, 31 yards) and Spencer Ware (6 carries, 23 yards) ran hard but I'm not sure it means much. Bronson, whose style I really admire, was only re-signed because Christine Michael sat out but he ran through multiple arm tackles and finished with purpose. Hope he gets work somewhere. Ware may very well be the best 4th-string RB in the NFL but as long as Lynch, Robert Turbin, and Michael are in Seattle, that's where it ends with Ware.

The Seahawks penalties (12-95) were bad again, and I think they were just about all correct. Those penalties also cost the team a ton of hidden yards, calling back multiple explosive plays and one interception.

This game can worry you if you let it but doing so would be criminally unjust to the performances from the 'Hawks the rest of the preseason. This game was a clunker to be sure but its also the one with the least effect on the upcoming season. The Seahawks starters have been the best in the NFL this August and while a seeming lack of depth at certain position groups can be distressing, have excellence at the top of your depth chart is infinitely more important.

Anyhow, I'm turning down for the evening. As always, feel free to discuss anything I did or didn't cover above.