Raiders offense sputters in preseason finale

The SportsXchange

SEATTLE -- Start with the total: 101 offensive yards.

That was all the Oakland Raiders could muster Thursday night. It took them four quarters to go three feet more than a complete trip up the field.

It added up to a 21-3 drubbing of Oakland by the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field.

The Raiders finished the preseason 1-3, and they were nearly shut out for a second time. Oakland's only points came on an Eddy Carmona 31-yard field goal in the final minute.

"We've got a lot of things we've got to get cleaned up," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. "Lots of things we've got to get shored up, and it was obvious by our execution tonight we weren't ready for primetime."

The quarterbacks certainly weren't.

Carson Palmer played the opening series and handed off six times before calling it a night. Matt Leinart was next, and he went 3-for-11 for 14 yards. He finished with a 1.7 passer rating.

Terrelle Pryor started the second half for Oakland off a dynamic performance last Saturday against Detroit, when he completed three of five passes for 137 yards, including 40- and 74-yard touchdown passes to Juron Criner. Thursday was not a repeat. Pryor was 6-for-9 for 55 yards while being chased out of the pocket repeatedly.

His first possession, Pryor handed the ball off twice before completing a swing pass to Mike Goodson for minus-5 yards.

He opened his second possession by being sacked, but on third-and-13, Pryor powered free of a sack to complete a 25-yard pass to Eddie McGee. Two plays later, Pryor was called for a delay-of-game penalty, showing the yin and yang of his abilities.

Pryor then scrambled out of bounds on third down to end the possession.

He was sacked again in the fourth quarter, pushing the Raiders back to their own 2-yard line. Goodson didn't get close to the line of scrimmage on third-and-13 since Seattle defensive lineman Jaye Howard burst through the line for a safety with 8:14 left to put the Seahawks in front 21-0.

"We were not good enough up front," Allen said. "We got overmatched up front on both sides of the ball. It wasn't to our standard up front."

Tight end Cooper Helfet scored a 4-yard touchdown with 4:29 left in the third quarter to give Seattle a commanding 19-0 lead. Raiders lineman Dominique Hamilton blocked the extra-point attempt.

Oakland ran the ball six consecutive times on the opening series, producing only a big gain of 15 yards by Taiwan Jones on third-and-12, prior to punting and ending Palmer's night.

"We have all started thinking about the San Diego Chargers," Palmer said, referring to Oakland's Sept. 10 season opener.

Leinart replaced him with a stumbling start. The backup was 1-for-5 in the first quarter, then was picked off early in the second when his high pass to Brandon Carswell was tipped and intercepted by cornerback Jeremy Lane.

The Seahawks used a five-play, 28-yard drive following the turnover to go up 6-0 when Steven Hauschka hit a 29-yard field with 9:32 remaining. Hauschka hit from 25 yards with 1:05 to go in the first quarter to open the scoring.

Backup running back Vai Taua scored from 2 yards out to vault Seattle in front 13-0 with 1:11 left in the second quarter. Taua ran for 48 yards in the first half, part of a Seahawks ground attack that the Raiders could not slow. Seattle rushed for 161 yards on 41 carries against mostly backups for Oakland.

The Raiders had 23 net yards in the first quarter without star back Darren McFadden on the field. Plus, Leinart was ineffective throughout the half. He threw high to Carswell for the interception and behind tight end Richard Gordon, narrowly avoiding another interception.

The first half was a grind thanks to numerous reviews and challenges. Raiders punt returner Roscoe Parrish muffed a punt, which the Seahawks nearly recovered. Seattle coach Pete Carroll challenged the ruling, his second of the half, but the call stood.

Parrish was lucky since he took a careening path to the punt while waving emphatically for a fair catch. He dived, and the punt clanked off his hands near the sideline. The Seahawks were just a touch late to recover it before it went out of bounds.

Parrish also fumbled a punt late in the first quarter, which Seattle recovered. The ball was ripped away from Parrish when he entered traffic on the return.

"He had two opportunities out there, turned it over one time, the ball was on the ground the other time," Allen said. "He's done a nice job in the National Football League as a returner. Don't know if one night defines who he is, but, obviously, he had a rough night tonight."

One of the few positives for Oakland was cornerback Bryan McCann. He had an 18-yard punt return, a tackle and a pass defensed down the seam. He'll be one of several Raiders waiting to hear their fate Friday when teams have to cut the roster to the league-mandated 53.

"It never weighs on you," McCann said. "It's just the reality of the situation."

While knowing it was a preseason game, the fourth at that, Allen still said the blowout showed the team needs to improve its depth.

"We definitely have to look at this tape and go back and really evaluate where we are and who we have," Allen said. "Then we'll make those decisions accordingly."
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