This was a game that looked one-sided from the score sheet — and in truth, the final score flattered Seattle. There was only ever one team in it and only the Raiders stalling late in several drives stopped them from just running away with it early.
Seattle doesn’t seem to be able to play away from Qwest Field, and this was no exception. In a division that is very winnable, the Seahawks need to be able to find a way to contend on the road or they’ll find themselves falling out of the race.
Seahawks: Three performances of note
As you might expect, there wasn’t much to like about Seattle in this game, but despite poor performances everywhere you looked, the play of Tyler Polumbus at left tackle deserves special mention. Polumbus (-7.2) was a disaster both in pass protection and in run blocking. He was responsible for a sack, two more hits, and two more pressures, and was routinely abused as a run blocker.
At corner, Nate Ness (-2.8) was exposed in coverage, an especially bad thing when you consider that four of the six passes thrown into his coverage were thrown at Darius Heyward-Bey, not exactly a receiver who dominates. Ness allowed five completions for a massive 152 yards, though to be fair, 55 of those yards came on a bizarre fluke play that bounced off at least two players before Michael Bush ran it to daylight.
It wasn’t all bad news for the Seahawks. There were some good performances on defense, with DT Craig Terrill impressing in particular as a pass-rusher. Rushing the passer just 18 times, he was able to hit the quarterback on three occasions and record a further pressure.
Raiders: Three performances of note
Oakland’s D was pretty dominant in this game, but Kamerion Wimbley (+5.8) deserves top billing after a destructive performance rushing the passer. Wimbley recorded a pair of sacks, one hit, and another three pressures and was a large part of the reason Polumbus had such a bad day at the office. After two down years in Cleveland, he’s rediscovering his promise in silver and black.
Every time we do an Oakland game the one player who really stands out as being elite is Shane Lechler. Lechler only punted four times in this game, but he averaged 53.5 yards gross for each one, had a long of 60, and a 4.9 second maximum hangtime. Lechler is in a class all by himself, and is easily atop our punter rankings. If punters ever make the Hall of Fame, Lechler had better be the first to go.
Oakland is still struggling on the O-line, and Robert Gallery (-3.3), ordinarily a pretty good guard who busted so spectacularly at tackle, had a very bad day. Gallery was beaten in the run game, and was also responsible for a couple of penalties, one of which came late in the game as the Raiders were trying to run the clock out.
Earl Thomas had a quiet game in this one, and won’t be moving up any rookie of the year ballots just yet (although he inexplicably appears on Peter King’s midseason All-Pro team despite grading No. 25 overall with us). … Golden Tate played 35 snaps and had a mixed day, failing to come down with a ball he will feel he should have over Nnamdi Asomugha down the left sideline, but making an impressive play on a similar ball later, and injuring his ankle in the process. E.J. Wilson‘s contribution (four snaps) was insignificant enough that the official scorer missed him setting foot on the field at all. … Free safety Kam Chancellor likewise saw fewer than double-digit snaps (six in his case).
Middle linebacker Rolando McClain again had a decent day for the Raiders, performing well against the run. … Lamarr Houston (+0.8) has had better games, but he was still above average, especially against the run. … Jared Veldheer was beaten on a few occasions in the run game from his left tackle spot and Jacoby Ford was able to show his speed on an end-around from his WR spot.
When facing a team with a speedster at defensive end, Oakland should learn from this game that you need to assign somebody to cut them off. Simply running away from him won’t cut it. Chris Clemons taught the Raiders that on more than one occasion.