The Seattle defense was dominant, keeping the Raiders from ever even threatening to put points on the board. The key: pressure on Raider QB Andrew Walter, who was sacked nine times on the night and a league-record seven times in the first half. The consistent pass rush helped the Seahawks' much-maligned secondary contain Oakland's talented receiving corps.
The game ball had to go to backup defensive tackle Craig Terrell, who recorded three sacks and was in the Oakland backfield most of the night. In fact, the entire defensive line was stellar for Seattle, recording eight of the team's nine team sacks and controlling the line of scrimmage against the run.
On offense, Seneca Wallace and Maurice Morris, subbing for Matt Hasselbeck and Shaun Alexander, were superb. Wallace controlled the game with his arm and legs—and more importantly he protected the football, allowing no turnovers. Morris had a career day, rushing 30 times 138 yards and helping to kill the clock by in the fourth quarters with a number of pivotal first downs.
Despite Tom Ashworth’s three false starts, the offensive line posted a solid performance protecting Wallace and blocking in the run game. Jerramy Stevens was one of the few Seahawks to have a bad day, picking up a personal foul on the goal line, dropping a touchdown, and taking an already-infamous knee to the groin from Oakland's Tyler Brayton.
The Raiders had a miserable night on offense, becoming the first team in NFL history to be shut out twice on Monday night in a single season. The poor line play was compounded by the inability of the Oakland backs and receivers to make key catches. The running game had its moments, but every time things started to click on the ground Oakland, inexplicably, went back to the air. This Raider offense has a chance to go down as one of the league's all-time worst—and they certainly showed as much on Monday.
The good news for the Raiders is that they seem to be able to play defense. Despite a high number of snaps and chronically bad field position, the Oakland defense was stout—especially in the red zone. Look for this young defensive unit to be the foundation of the team in the future.
All told, it was a battle of two teams headed in very different directions. The Seahawks will try use the win to propel a playoff run in the second of the season—and they need all the momentum they can get heading into this week's showdown with division rival St. Louis. The Raiders meanwhile, are a franchise in need of a fresh start. If they want to turn the ship around, they need to go back to the drawing board sooner rather than later.