LAS VEGAS—The Seahawks opened the preseason with their first game at Allegiant stadium, the home of the recently-relocated Raiders, and with most of their top starters getting the night off, the Seahawks fell 20- to a Las Vegas squad that was also down some of its top talent.
While you can't read too much into a game that saw both teams resting so many key players, here are six rapid reactions to Seattle's preseason loss:
1. Don't read too much into the offense's struggles.
In its first preseason action under new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron, Seattle's offense managed only three first downs and 44 yards in the first half as the Raiders built a 13-0 halftime lead.
But if you were watching that first half and worrying about what you were seeing, hopefully you took a deep breath and considered who wasn't on the field. The Seahawks rested many of their top players on both sides of the ball for Saturday's game, and on offense that meant playing without starting quarterback Russell Wilson, receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, running backs Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny, tight ends Gerald Everett and Will Dissly, as well as the entire starting line—or four of five starters if Kyle Fuller, who started Saturday, ends up winning that competition with Ethan Pocic.
So no, it wasn't fun watching the Seahawks struggle to move the ball until the third quarter, but it also wasn't really anything to worry about considering how much firepower Seattle had on the sideline.
2. DeeJay Dallas looks explosive.
The Seahawks like their one-two combo of Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny at running back, but after those two, the competition at that position is wide open. On Saturday, second-year back DeeJay Dallas stated his case for having a role in the offense. After the Seahawks went very pass-heavy in the first half, Dallas helped get the running game going in the third quarter, then he gave the Seahawks their first score of the game when he took a short pass from Alex McGough in the flat, made one man miss while tiptoeing down the sideline, then took off for a 43-yard touchdown.
Dallas was also first up on kick return duty and had two returns for 55 yards, so he could be a factor there as well.
3. The defensive end depth showed up.
Three of Seattle's top defensive ends, Carlos Dunlap II, Benson Mayowa and Kerry Hyder Jr. all got the night off, but the Seahawks showed their depth at defensive end playing without that trio. In particular, Rasheem Green and Alton Robinson kept showing up making plays in the backfield. Green recorded a sack and several more pressures, while Robinson had five tackles while also generating a lot of pressure, most notably a pass-rush that saw him hit Raiders quarterback Nathan Peterman in the arm as he was attempting a pass, causing the ball to float in the air and allowing Ryan Neal to record an easy interception.
4. Cody Barton showed off some pass-rush skills.
Third-year linebacker Cody Barton got significant playing time with Bobby Wagner getting the night off and with Jordyn Brooks leaving the game early, and as one might expect he was around the ball a lot and recorded nine tackles. Maybe less expected and an encouraging development is that Barton showed off his skills as a blitzer, getting home for a sack on consecutive Raiders punts, leading to Las Vegas' first two punts of the evening.
Also taking advantage of a lot of playing time at linebacker was Ben Burr-Kirven, who started at middle linebacker for Wagner, and who led the team with 12 tackles.
5. Return game notes.
The Seahawks have open competition going on at both return spots, so it will be interesting to watch who handles those duties throughout the preseason and how they return.
On Saturday, DeeJay Dallas got the first three kick returns, returning two for 55 yards. Next up was Tre Brown, who looked fast and decisive on a 38-yard return to open the second half, but who mishandled a fourth-quarter kickoff, forcing him to take a knee for a touchback.
John Ursua was back for both punt returns but didn't get to return either. He was hit before the ball arrived on one attempt, drawing a penalty flag, then he let a ball bounce rather than catch it on his next attempt, a decision that cost Seattle some field position.
6. Carlos Santana can still play the heck out of a guitar.
An item on the halftime show? Why not, it's the preseason after all. With this being the first Raiders game at Allegiant Stadium with fans in the building, the Raiders pulled out all the stops to make it a big event, and that included having rock icon Carlos Santana perform at halftime. During his brief set, the 74-year-old Santana showed off the guitar skills that made him a legend while playing from a stage above the north end zone.