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Raiders vs. Seahawks: 4 Winners, 4 Losers

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Seattle Seahawks v Oakland Raiders Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Another game, another complete disaster by the Raiders in London, who frankly should just never go to England to play again. This was just as bad as the debacle a few years ago that got Dennis Allen fired, and if Jon Gruden hadn’t taken the job just this year he should be getting fired too. This was an unacceptable performance in every aspect of the game, and the low point of a season filled with nothing but low points.

Let’s look at today’s winners and losers, keeping in mind that the Great Beyond is an honorary winner for correctly predicting the Seahawks to score 27 points, though he gave the Raiders far too much credit.

WINNERS

1) Russell Wilson

As usual, Wilson was basically Seattle’s entire offense today. He went 17/23 for 222 yards, three touchdown passes and a quarterback rating of 125.4. The Raiders tried to bring pressure, but Wilson was much too mobile and aware for that. He makes his living running for his life, and burned the Raiders for a long touchdown pass while dancing around would-be sackers in the first half. Yet another masterful performance from Seattle’s best player.

2) Arden Key

Many of the Raiders players competed with no heart today, but Key wasn’t one of them. He had Oakland’s only sack on the day and had four tackles, one for a loss, and two quarterback hits. He definitely could use some more pass rush talent around him, but Key has the look of a guy who will develop into a fine pass rusher off the edge.

3) Frank Clark

Clark had character concerns coming out of Michigan in 2015, as he’d been dismissed from the Wolverines after being arrested for domestic violence. But since then he’s been an absolute stud on the Seattle defensive line. He kept up his strong play today with 2.5 sacks and three QB hits, and was basically in Derek Carr’s face on every play. Kolton Miller was clearly ailing with a leg injury, and Clark ate him for lunch.

4) Jalen Richard

It’s clear by now that Richard isn’t going to get many carries this season. The Raiders try to force Marshawn Lynch early, and by the time it’s Richard’s turn to get some snaps, the Raiders are so far behind that they have to abandon the run. So Richard is making his living being a receiving back, and excelling at that. Today he caught seven balls for 48 yards and, sadly enough, was the Raiders’ leading receiver. With Carr under pressure all game he often went to his safety valve, and Richard did the best he could with that.

LOSERS

1) Jon Gruden

Yeah, I know they played in London and that sucks. Yeah, I know the offensive line is basically non-existent. I get all that. But this did not look like a team that was ready to compete, or play, or do anything more than go down to the Winchester and wait for this whole thing to blow over.

Jon Gruden has tried to reshape this team since taking over, but he’s done nothing but destroy it so far. The Raiders look worse than last year, and are probably the worst team in football right now. They would lose to the Bills, the Cardinals, Alabama, the UC Davis women’s volleyball team and the Racing Sausages from Milwaukee’s Miller Park.

Perhaps Gruden has some kind of coherent long-term plan. Reggie McKenzie’s first few years were painful too. But the Raiders have been doing this for over 15 years. Even if Gruden’s master plan comes to fruition, will he have any fans left by that point? How can he realistically keep his job that long at this rate?

2) Raiders offensive line

I haven’t seen people get dominated this completely since I watched 50 Shades of Grey one night on HBO. The line couldn’t get any push in the run game and gave up pressure on almost every single pass play, allowing six sacks on Derek Carr. It’s frankly a miracle Carr was able to throw for over a hundred yards given what he was dealing with. The one time Carr threw a great pass for a long gain, it was negated by a holding penalty by Jon Feliciano. This line is a MASH unit right now with Donald Penn and Kelechi Osemele out, and Kolton Miller playing through injury, but this level of play is unacceptable for an NFL offensive line.

3) The refs

The NFL wants to continue to expand its brand in Europe, and one of the best ways to make sure that doesn’t happen is by showing the people of London a penalty-ridden slogfest like what we saw today. The game had 13 total penalties, of which the Raiders were miraculously responsible for only five. But the most egregious flag was one that wasn’t thrown, on a helmet-to-helmet collision that knocked Amari Cooper from the game. In a year when the emphasis is supposed to be on limiting head injuries, one of the Raiders’ best players suffered one with no penalty assessed on the field. Way to go, NFL.

4) Raider Nation

We are a proud people, and nobody should ever feel sorry for us. We have chosen this existence, and many of us deserve it. But we were sold a bill of goods this year, thinking it would be different. It’s not. It’s more of the same, possibly even worse, and this front office is actively hamstringing this team with baffling moves seemingly every week. We sit and watch every game, because we love the team. And, like a wayward child, we will always love them even when we don’t like them. But it really, really sucks to be us right now. Until next spring when we have the first overall pick.