The Seahawks first-team offense finally started clicking on a few more cylinders and the defense held the Raiders to three points in a game that Seattle dominated throughout. Glancing at the statistics doesn't really tell the whole story -- the time of possession was fairly close for both teams: 32:12 to 27:48 in favor of the Seahawks. The Hawks picked up 21 first downs to Oakland's 18. The Hawks had 2 turnovers to Oakland's 0. Overall, fairly balanced considering the Hawks coughed up the football twice and the Raiders didn't have a turnover.
On the offensive side, you start to see how well the Hawks played when you look at the yardage numbers -- the Seahawks gained 377 yards of offense to Oakland's 228. Seattle ran for 110 yards on the ground to the Raiders' 47. The line gave Tarvaris Jackson, Charlie Whitehurst, and Josh Portis time to throw. They opened up holes for Leon Washington, Justin Forsett, Thomas Clayton, and Vai Taua. The Hawks converted several 3rd and short situations and ran the ball into the endzone two times. This semblance of a run game was something that was extremely foreign to the Hawks in 2010 so despite the fact that it's still the preseason, I am excited to see it.
Pete Carroll has made it clear that his philosophy is one that focuses on ball control, maintaining possession, and protecting a lead once you get it. Well, the Seahawks did just that. They controlled time of possession in the first quarter and jumped to a 10-0 lead. The Raiders made it 10-3 at the half but the Seahawks ate up nearly 8 minutes of the third quarter with a 14-play drive that ended with a 4th and 1 play stuffed at the three yard line. Didn't get in the endzone, but put the Raiders in a tough spot backed up in their end. The offense consistently helped the defense stay off the field and when they did come on, they controlled the field position game.
The Seahawks did not punt the ball until the 8:34 mark in the fourth quarter.
The Hawks bend-but-don't-break defense worked to near-perfection tonight as well, keeping the Raiders out of the endzone and limiting them to one measly field goal from 34 yards by Sebastian Janikowski. They didn't appear to get significant pressure on the quarterback but their secondary did a good job of deflecting passes and keeping the offense in front of them. The Raiders ran for only 47 yards after falling behind early, and were unable to mount any kind of a comeback.
The momentum was firmly in the Seahawks hands during this whole game, great timing for the Seahawks as they look to carry that over into Week 1, September 11th at the San Francisco 49ers.
Check out the boxscore here, and head over to Field Gulls for more in-depth coverage.