Oakland Raiders fans haven't had a lot to cheer about over the last two years, so it's not every day they see their team upend the reigning Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks by 10 points. The Raiders were victorious, 41-31, at home on Thursday night.
So what if it's only the preseason?
After Russell Wilson hooked up with Luke Willson for a 25-yard touchdown pass to put the Seahawks up 7-0, the Raiders offense came alive in the first quarter.
Latavius Murray tied the game with a five-yard touchdown run a little less than eight minutes into the game. The play finished off a great drive for Oakland. The Raiders went 68 yards in 12 plays, eating six minutes and 10 seconds off the clock.
On the ensuing kickoff, Bryan Walters fumbled the return, and Oakland recovered at the Seahawks' 36-yard line.
Derek Carr wasted little time, hitting Denarius Moore for a 36-yard touchdown grab, giving the Raiders a 14-7 lead with 6:50 to play in the first quarter. The most impressive aspect of the quickfire double for Oakland was that it came against many of the Seahawks' defensive starters, per NFL on ESPN:
After a three-and-out, Seattle gave the ball right back to the Raiders' scintillating offense. Oakland was working with a very short field after T.J. Carrie ran a Jon Ryan punt 45 yards down to the Seahawks' 20-yard line.
And once again, Carr needed one play to find the end zone, connecting with tight end Mychal Rivera for the touchdown, which put the Raiders up 14 points, 21-7, with 4:43 to go in the first. Rivera reacted well after the pass was deflected, adjusting his body and snatching the ball out of the air.
Despite it being just the preseason, nothing was stopping Oakland Tribune's Jerry McDonald from having a ton of fun watching the Raiders, which isn't something to take for granted these days:
Oakland's lead swelled to 28-7 just over a minute into the second quarter after Carr threw his third touchdown of the day and second to Moore. The two linked up from 11 yards out.
That play was the last for Carr, who finished 11-of-13 for 143 yards and three touchdowns. Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated thought Carr should've won some kind of preseason award:
NFL Network's Dan Hellie wonders if the former Fresno State star is playing himself into the first team. Matt Schaub might be on shaky ground:
Yahoo Sports' Marc J. Spears figures that the Raiders won't be hurt all that much by throwing Carr into the fray from Day 1:
Larry Beil of ABC 7 in San Francisco thinks that plans are already underway to have Carr's greatness immortalized forever:
Matt McGloin took over from that point and almost immediately covered himself in ignominy. On his second drive of the game, he was intercepted by DeShawn Shead, who took it 54 yards to the house for the pick-six and Seattle's second touchdown of the game.
McGloin made up for that mistake on the very next drive, boosting Oakland's lead back to 21 points, 35-14, after a 15-yard touchdown pass to Brice Butler.
With eight seconds left in the half, Terrelle Pryor cut the Raiders' advantage to 14, 35-21, finding Phil Bates for a 33-yard touchdown pass.
Seeing both Pryor and McGloin in mop-up duty had to be a bit entertaining in a tragicomic way for Raiders fans:
The teams exchanged field goals in the second half before a touchdown pass from B.J. Daniels to Walters made it a one-score game, 38-31, with 4:30 to play.
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll didn't treat this like a preseason game, immediately trying for an onside kick following the touchdown. The Raiders recovered, however, which set them up for a 47-yard Giorgio Tavecchio field goal to make it a 10-point game, 41-31, with 1:55 left in the game. That all but wrapped up the win.
Carroll won't be too worried about this result. His players might have a few extra sprints to run in practice, but as long as nobody got hurt, the Seahawks were gonna be fine win or lose. Seattle kicks off the regular season at home with the Green Bay Packers next Thursday night.
The Raiders should be heartened by the result. It may only be preseason, but Oakland should take whatever positives it can from the victory. It starts Week 1 on the road against the New York Jets next Sunday.