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Offense sputters, defense struggles in Seahawks’ 20-7 preseason loss to Raiders

Seattle Seahawks v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Seattle Seahawks football is back!

Sort of.

A lot of the first-team regulars did not play even one snap in the team’s 2021 preseason opener against the Las Vegas Raiders. Still, it wasn’t a pretty performance to watch. The defense (which had more familiar names playing extended snaps than the offense) struggled to stop the Nathan Peterman-led Raiders offense, while the offense just never got any sustained success and indeed barely exceeded 40 total plays.

Touchdowns by Trey Ragas and BJ Emmons helped propel the Raiders to a fairly comfortable 20-7 win to send the Seahawks back to Seattle with an L.

The Raiders got the ball first and with Nathan Peterman at quarterback. Peterman had two big 3rd down conversions including a long ball to Zay Jones who beat Tre Flowers in coverage. Then Alton Robinson was covering Jones down the field for some stupid reason and set up Vegas in a goal-to-go situation. Nathan Peterman was stuffed on 3rd and goal at the 1, but running back Trey Ragas got the Raiders on the board on 4th down.

Geno Smith started for the Seahawks and almost didn’t even finish the drive. He was leveled on a blitz off the edge for a sack and fumble, but the fumble recovery was overturned as down by contact. Smith went into the blue tent for an apparent head injury and was replaced by Alex McGough for one snap, which was a bailout roughing the passer on 3rd and forever. Geno returned to the game and the drive stalled with a holding penalty on Stone Forsythe as the culprit.

With the Raiders up 10-0, the Seahawks got the game’s first takeaway with pressure by Alton Robinson leading to an easy interception for Ryan Neal. Nathan Peterman, who was largely having his way with Seattle’s defense, had his arm hit and Neal got the gift.

Alex McGough, who replaced Geno Smith after he was ruled out with a concussion, led a swift three-and-out. Peterman ripped up the Seahawks secondary some more and if not for Alton Robinson’s pass rushing skills again, would’ve led another TD drive. Instead it was 13-0 at the break and the Raiders outgained Seattle 290-44 over 30 minutes.

Seattle got on the board in the 3rd quarter with McGough throwing a 43-yard touchdown to running back Deejay Dallas, who was free on the blitz and made a man miss on his way to the end zone. How about that for a 4th and 4 playcall?

The Seahawks’ next offensive possession was promising but ended in a missed field goal from 50 yards out by Jason Myers. Cody Barton showed off some impressive pass rushing abilities in the 2nd half with a pair of sacks, including one on 3rd down with some initial help from Darrell Taylor.

BJ Emmons salted the win away for the Raiders with a 2-yard touchdown leap over the top. Sean Mannion had two series and predictably it yielded nothing.

Geno Smith finished just 4/10 for 46 yards and a sack that really should’ve been the immediate end of his night instead of getting an extra quarter. Alex McGough was 6/10 for 54 yards and a touchdown pass to Dallas, as well as 25 yards rushing. Mannion was 7/11 for 34 yards.

Las Vegas has 26 first downs to just 9 for the Seahawks and the Seahawks running backs had just 7 carries for 32 yards, as new OC Shane Waldron went pass-heavy from the start. The Raiders rushers went well over 100 yards even leaving out Peterman scrambles. Maybe the most damning stat if you want to take a preseason game seriously is Seattle was 4/13 on 3rd down while the Raiders were 11/17.

The only other notable injury aside from Geno was guard Phil Haynes, who didn’t return due to a knee issue.

Seattle’s final two preseason games will be at home against the Denver Broncos (Aug. 21) and Los Angeles Chargers (Aug. 28).