General view of the Space Needle and the downtown Seattle skyline before the NFL game between the Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks
The Raiders are in Seattle for their final warm-up for the 2012 season. But more importantly, it's the final chance a lot of Raider hopefuls will see the field. The game is tonight and the cuts are tomorrow. At least 12 of the players in this game will be unemployed tomorrow. Some of them will make the practice squad and some will be out of the NFL.
The fourth preseason game has long been the final proving ground for the backups and bubble players on each NFL team. Even for those who make the team, this is the most extensive time they will have on the field all season. This is where they show that they are deserving of more playing time and perhaps deserving of having a few plays called for them.
Pay close attention to the special teams in this game. It has been hard to watch through the first three games and new special teams coach Steve Hoffman must get his group playing well soon or heads will roll. The team brought in return specialist Roscoe Parrish to try and improve things. He will be returning punts at very least. They also brought in Coye Francies who could see time as a returner as well.
Many of these players' NFL hopes will be made or broken by their special teams play so look for some bodies flying around tonight.
Many of the starters aren't expected to play tonight. Among them are Denarius Moore, Stefen Wisniewski, Aaron Curry, and Richard Seymour. All of whom are recovering from injuries. I also don't expect to see Darren McFadden in this game.
The other starters could only be out for as little as one series. Then again, Dennis Allen could decide they need more reps and bring them out for a couple series. I kind of depends on how the first series goes down.
So, get ready you diehards. If you are invested in seeing what kind of reserves this team will have waiting in the wings, you shouldn't have any trouble getting up for this one.