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12 plays that stood out from Seahawks vs. Raiders

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

My condolences to anyone who hoped to see “meaningful” football when the Seahawks took on the Raiders on Saturday night.

Mookie had his usual game summary right after the final horn sounded. Wilson Conn pushed out a “Highlights, lowlights” piece shortly thereafter. Mookie followed that with the “Winners and Losers” column we all know and love.

I read those pieces, commented on those pieces, and watched the game a second time - which is my typical M.O. - except that I wouldn’t have watched this terrible, awful excuse for an NFL game a second time if I weren’t writing for this site because ... yeah, it was pretty yucky.

There were, however, a handful of plays (12 of them, to be exact) that stood out to me and that I wanted to draw attention to. Some of these plays are your typical “highlight” plays, some are not. Seattle only had one touchdown and it is included, but not because it was a touchdown; I’ll explain why it stood out to me when we get to it.


Play #1: The opening kickoff.

Setting: 1st quarter, 15:00 on the clock.

Reason #1 that it stood out: It has been a really, really, REALLY long offseason and I have been counting the days, hours, and seconds until we see “real” football again.

Reason #2 that it stood out: Seattle had outstanding special teams last year and I was hoping to see that exceptional play continue.

Result of the play: The ball was fielded at the 4 and returned to the 17. Will Sunderland on the stop.

For the game, the Raiders averaged 17 yards on kick returns and 7.7 yards on punt returns. With only minor exceptions, the special teams looked good.


Play #2: The Raiders first offensive play.

Setting: Q1, 14:50, 1st and 10 on the Raiders 16.

Reason #1: Rasheem Green is arguably “on the bubble” this year, but he jumped off the screen to start the game and continued to make his presence felt throughout the game (including a chase-down 2nd quarter sack).

Reason #2: Most consider Bryan Mone a “lock” to make the team and he showed why on this play.

Result: Green beat his guy off the edge and flushed QB Nathan Peterman from the pocket ... right into Mone’s waiting arms.


Play #3: Tre Flowers, the CliffsNotes version.

Setting: Q1, 12:31, 3rd and 8 on the Raiders 31.

Reason #1: Every time I start to think that maybe, just maybe, Tre Flowers isn’t a bad cornerback, something like THIS happens and dashes those dreams.

Reason #2: It remains possible that Tre Flowers isn’t a bad corner, but the league certainly knows how to exploit his weaknesses.

Result: Flowers had excellent coverage, stride for stride with WR Zay Jones on the left sideline but (a) never turned his head, and (b) never really made much of a play on the ball. 28-yard reception; first down, Las Vegas.

Video link (courtesy of NFL.com)


Play #4: Zay Jones strikes again.

Setting: Q1, 10:07, 2nd and 7 on the Seattle 35.

Reason #1: I don’t know where Zay Jones is on the Raiders depth chart, but he put on a good show against us in the first quarter, landing back-to-back plays on this list.

Reason #2: Defensive End Alton Robinson was in coverage on the play.

Yes, I buried the lead on that one. Alton Robinson was in coverage on a wide receiver. Not a tight end. Not a running back. A wide receiver.

Want to really twist your brain in a knot?

During an in-game interview, Carlos Dunlap said that wasn’t a mistake. And then Pete Carroll confirmed Dunlap’s statement after the game. That was the defensive call: DE vs. WR. 100% intentional.

Result: Unsurprisingly, the wide receiver won; 21 yards, first-and-goal on the 4.


Play #5: Seattle’s first goal-line stand.

Setting: Q1, 8:10, 3rd and goal from the 1-foot line.

Reason #1: A quarterback sneak from 12 inches out with the QB jumping and pushing the ball across the plane of the goal line is a pretty high-percentage play. But nothing is ever 100%.

Reason #2: Seattle linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven is smarter than Las Vegas quarterback Nathan Peterman ... at least on this play.

Result: Peterman leapt and BBK met him in front of the goal line. Not only that, BBK wrapped his entire body around the ball and almost pried it loose before the 2 men landed on the ground. Incredible play!

Unfortunately, the Raiders went for it on 4th and goal and put the ball in the end zone.


Play #6: Seattle’s first offensive snap.

Setting: Q1, 7:33, 1st and 10 on the Seattle 25.

Reason #1: Seattle’s offensive line, from left to right, was Stone Forsythe (2021 R6), Jordan Simmons, Kyle Fuller, Jared Hocker (2021 UDFA), and Jake Curhan (2021 UDFA).

Reason #2: The only player that was on the field who has any chance of being a Week 1 starter was WR Freddie Swain. Most of the comments during / after the game were that Seattle sat 10 of their 11 starters, but I think it was 11 of 11 as I would personally put Swain’s chances of starting Week 1 at about 15%.

Note: I think D’Wayne Eskridge is the front-runner at about 2:1 odds (67%) and I think Penny Hart is slightly ahead of Swain at this point based on training camp reports (say 18%).

Result: Quick pass to Freddie Swain just behind the line of scrimmage; 5 yard gain. He ended the night with 3 catches on 4 targets for 29 yards.


Play #7: Seattle’s fifth offensive snap.

Setting: Q1, 6:29, 2nd and 10 on the Seattle 47.

Reason #1: Seattle has a rookie, 4th-string Left Tackle with a total of 4 offensive snaps under his belt and the Raiders call a freaking cornerback blitz on Seattle’s 5th preseason play.

Reason #2: In real-time, I was incensed by this play - like to the point where I would have supported Pete Carroll if he had decided to pull his guys off the field and let the Raiders have the W. Dave Wyman called it “dirty pool” and I thought he was being “overly polite”.

Result: Completely predictable - Geno Smith is lucky to be alive.

Video link (courtesy of Raiders.com)

Given the benefit of hindsight:

I have watched this play more times than I can count. And I am still miffed by it. I still think it was “dirty pool” and part of me hopes the Raiders go 0-17 this year because of it.

But ...

One. Kyle Fuller barely touched his guy and his guy hit Geno the same time the cornerback did, just from the other side - meaning that Geno was doomed either way.

Two. Stone Forsythe was engaged with a defender when the cornerback blitzed. Should he have read blitz and passed his guy off to Jordan Simmons? Maybe. I don’t really know. But I don’t think it’s fair to fault him for not doing so.

Three. Geno clearly missed something - or just didn’t react fast enough ... maybe both.

There were 5 pass-catchers on the play - WRs Aaron Fuller, Freddie Swain, and Cody Thompson, TE Cam Sutton, and RB Alex Collins (leaking out to the right flat after the snap). All 5 players run extremely short routes and all of them are looking at the QB within 2 seconds of the snap ...


Play #8: Las Vegas RB B.J. Emmons rips off the night’s longest run.

Setting: Q2, 12:33, 3rd and 4 from the Seattle 31.

Reason #1: Seattle had a rough, rough night on 3rd down - especially in the first half (the Raiders were 7 of 10 at halftime).

Reason #2: Back on June 16th, Seattle waived B.J. Emmons and signed TE Dominick Wood-Anderson. In hindsight, that’s looking like a bad move. Yes, it was a preseason game against 2nd and 3rd-string players but ...

Emmons had 9 carries for 45 yards and scored the Raiders’ second touchdown. Wood-Anderson was targeted 4 times, had more drops (2) than catches (1) and ended the night with 0 yards. He also got called for a false start.

Result: First and goal for the Raiders at the Seattle 9.

Video link (courtesy of NFL.com)


Play #9: The game’s only turnover.

Setting: Q2, 3:54, 1st and 10 on the Seattle 46.

Reason #1: Turnovers are exciting! And, statistically, Seattle almost always wins when they come out ahead in the turnover battle.

Reason #2: Alton Robinson and Ryan Neal were seemingly involved in every other play during the first half of the game - and both were involved in this one.

Result: Alton Robinson gets pushed past the quarterback but beats his guy and hits Peterman’s arm as he throws. Ryan Neal hauls in the wobbly floater.

Video link (courtesy of Seahawks.com)


Play #10: Seattle goes for it on 4th down.

Setting: Q3, 11:35, 4th and 4 from the Raiders 43.

Reason #1: It was a little hard to tell in real-time, especially with the referees needing to reset the game clock, but it looked an awful lot to me like Seattle had decided to go for it before they ran their 3rd down play.

Reason #2: Re-watching the game confirmed my initial suspicion. Seattle didn’t substitute and never huddled. The center (Brad Lundblade) had his hand on the ball as soon as it was set down at the line of scrimmage.

Result: DeeJay Dallas all alone in the right flat with Cade Johnson in front of him running interference. One Raider misses him along the sideline at the 28 and the rest is academic. Touchdown, Seahawks!!!

Video link (courtesy of Seahawks.com)


Play #11: Jason Myers from 50 yards.

Setting: Q3, 2:25, 4th and 2 from the Raiders 32.

Reason #1: Myers hit every single one of his field goals last season and is sitting on a 35-FG streak of perfection dating to November 2019.

Reason #2: Did I mention that Myers hit every single one of his field goals last season? I did? Okay, did I mention that the NFL record is 44 straight?

Result: Wide left. Thank goodness it was a preseason game and doesn’t affect his streak. No pressure.


Play #12: Cody Barton’s second sack of the game.

Setting: Q3, 0:39, 3rd and 8 from the Raiders 42.

Reason #1: I haven’t been a strong advocate for Cody Barton so seeing him have a good game on defense caught my attention.

Reason #2: Cody’s recognition on this play was something he has seemed to lack in the past.

Result: Cody appeared to have coverage responsibility for the running back on this play, but the back stayed in to block so Cody took advantage of Nathan Peterman stepping up in the pocket (to avoid Darrell Taylor) and notched his second sack of the quarter.

Video link (courtesy of Seahawks.com)


Those are the 12 plays that stood out to me.

What stood out to you?