Here’s how the Seattle Seahawks grade out in their 27-3 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday at Wembley Stadium in London:
This was the second straight quality performance by Seattle’s offense. The Seahawks continued to run the ball often and effectively, racking up 155 yards on 37 carries. That set up the pass game, with quarterback Russell Wilson having a near-perfect outing by going 17-for-23 for 222 yards and three touchdowns. Receiver Doug Baldwin, who had not been a factor this season, got involved with six catches for 91 yards as he provided a deep threat. The only blip was Wilson trying to force the ball to Baldwin at the goal line in the third quarter, resulting in a red-zone interception.
This was a dominating performance by Seattle’s defense as the Seahawks held the Raiders to 185 yards and just three garbage-time points in the fourth quarter. Defensive end Frank Clark was a one-man destroyer, finishing with 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles as the impending free agent continued to up his price tag. Clark led a pass rush that was by far Seattle’s best of the season, finishing with six sacks. And Oakland running back Marshawn Lynch, fired up for his first appearance against his former team, was rendered a non-factor.
Just about everything went smoothly for Seattle’s special teams. Kicker Sebastian Janikowski made all his kicks, and a week after being stripped of kickoff duties he put every kickoff into the end zone, preventing any returns. Punter Michael Dickson wasn’t called upon often, but when he was, he pinned the Raiders deep in their own territory. If there were any hiccups, it was rookie Rashaad Penny looking uncomfortable when handed the kickoff-return duties — but that was largely irrelevant as Oakland rarely found itself in position to kick off.
Seattle’s coaches did what they needed to do in this one. The Seahawks established the run game right off the bat, with the game’s first seven plays being runs. Seattle recognized that Oakland was only able to dink and dunk offensively because of the Seahawks’ pass rush and a lack of weapons, and the coaches set the defense up to limit those plays. The clock was managed exquisitely at the end of each half. However, ill-advised penalties in the first half prevented the game from being a blowout by halftime.
Let’s be honest, Seattle didn’t face much in the way of resistance as Oakland was dreadful. However, a team can only play the opponent placed in front of it, and the Seahawks had the upper hand from the opening kickoff and maintained it throughout the entire game. One can nitpick here and there, but this was a comprehensive victory, and at 3-3 heading into the bye Seattle has made a nice recovery after losing its first two games of the season.
– Nick Patterson, Herald writer