Takeaways from Seahawks 30-19 preseason loss to Raiders

posted by Curtis Crabtree - 

Oakland Raiders v Seattle Seahawks

SEATTLE -- For the first time in franchise history, the Seahawks have gone winless in the preseason.

The Oakland Raiders got out of Seattle on Thursday night with a 30-19 victory to wrap up the exhibition season. The regular season awaits just nine days away following a busy upcoming weekend with rosters set to be slashed from 90 players to just 53 for the regular season.

Before we get to a look of what the 53-man roster could look like come Saturday afternoon, here are the takeaways from the final preseason game of the year:

1. Shaquem Griffin seems prepared to make fill-in start in opener against Broncos.

With K.J. Wright likely to miss the season opener against the Denver Broncos, Griffin will likely get the call to start his first regular season game at weakside linebacker for Seattle.

Griffin finished the preseason with a team-leading 24 tackles and led the way with seven tackles against the Raiders on Thursday night.

“I’m more than excited to get everything started,” Griffin said after the game. “I got guys like K.J. and Bobby (Wagner) that always keep me in tune and make sure I stay in my playbook. … Having those guys as a mentor has definitely helped me out and prepared me for the games coming up.”

Pete Carroll said that the timeline still appears to be a couple of weeks for Wright as he returned from knee surgery last week. That will put Griffin on the front lines for at least next Sunday in Denver and potentially the following week against the Chicago Bears as well.

“(We’re) confident,” linebacker Bobby Wagner said of Griffin if he’s called upon against the Broncos. “Confident. He’ll be alright. Hope for K.J., but we’ll be confident.”

2. Maurice Alexander gets time at weakside linebacker.

As an apparent trickle down effect of the surgery for Wright, safety Maurice Alexander played extensively at weakside linebacker for the Seahawks on Thursday night.

If Griffin has to start, someone needs to back him up. Alexander appears to be that option based on Thursday's observations.

Alexander said he played the position in college and had fun playing it again after the team approached him earlier this week with the proposition. It also signals the likelihood that Alexander will indeed make the 53-man roster since he has roles at safety and as a potential weakside linebacker as well.

"He really seemed to take it right off the bat and he looked comfortable and made a couple hits and looked good in coverage," Carroll said. "That's a really good start. I'm going to need to see the film to really detect what there is to uncover there. But he did a good job for us. We're fired up to see that.

3. Mike Davis makes case for roster spot once again.

Though he's been lost in the discussions at times throughout the offseason, Mike Davis has had a really consistent showing throughout the preseason.

He put together another nice night against the Raiders, finishing with 45 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.

"I just think Mike Davis is good," Carroll said. "He's a good player. He plays with great intensity. He has good suddenness always. He comes through. He's tough. Helps us on (special) teams. He's a nice football player. He all think a lot of him."

Davis finished the preseason as the team's leading rusher, gaining 104 yards on 24 carries.

With Rashaad Penny just set to return from a broken finger and J.D. McKissic out for a few weeks due to a fracture in his foot, there appears to be room for Davis on the roster. Given Seattle's run of injuries at the position over the past two seasons, the idea of stocking up at the position may not be a bad idea either.

4. Alex McGough may not be ready yet, but his tools are evident.

The acquisition of Brett Hundley on Wednesday all but certainly ended Alex McGough's shot at the backup quarterback job as a rookie.

However, in four preseason games he's shown the ability that made Seattle take him in the seventh-round of this year's draft.

McGough is a terrific runner and throws the ball well on the move. His 52-yard strike to Malik Turner on the run was perhaps the best throw made by any Seattle quarterback this preseason.

McGough had never worked out of a huddle before joining the Seahawks in May. Adjusting to the NFL game has taken some time and it's clear he's starting to get more comfortable. He would stand to benefit from time developing on the team's practice squad, if he can clear waivers this weekend.

But there's no doubt there is a skill set with McGough that is intriguing if it can continue to develop.

5. Cornerback remains a total question mark.

With Shaquill Griffin and Justin Coleman are locked in as two key pieces of Seattle's secondary, the rest of the team's cornerback depth is cause for some concern.

Byron Maxwell didn't play in a single game all preseason. This is on the heels of skipping OTA's in the spring and practicing for a couple weeks to start camp before a groin injury kept him sidelined for all four games.

Dontae Johnson missed the early stages of camp before playing the final three games and starting the last two. Neiko Thorpe has been out for weeks due to a broken bone in his wrist. Tre Flowers is still getting up to speed after moving to cornerback from his college position of safety.

Akeem King, Trovon Reed, Jeremy Boykins and Elijah Battle have shown up from time to time but haven't been particularly consistent in practice or games.

Maxwell may not be healthy enough to make the roster. Thorpe has a salary at risk of being cut as a primarily special teams player. And he isn't healthy either. Seattle probably doesn't want to start Flowers from day one. Can King, Reed, Boykins or Battle really contribute if needed?

The most glaring issue is the lack of a backup slot cornerback to Coleman, which could be target on the waiver wire this weekend. As the preseason ends, it's not wholly clear who will start at right cornerback next week. Johnson is the front-runner for the job. Everything else remains up in the air.


Photo Credit: SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 30: Keon Hatcher #14 of the Oakland Raiders scores a 22 yard touchdown against Mike Tyson #24 of the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth quarter during their preseason game at CenturyLink Field on August 30, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

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