Programming note: Watch Raiders Press Conference Live today at 2:00 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California, or streaming live right here.
SEATTLE – The winless Raiders lost their eighth straight game on Sunday afternoon, and interim head coach Tony Sparano emphasized after the 30-24 loss that coming close is no consolation.
He mined some positives to build on in coming days. We’ll offer three unsolicited suggestions of our own below:
1. Special teams spark: No Raider was more upset with TJ Carrie’s second quarter fumble than TJ Carrie. The rookie cornerback/return man took no solace in a subsequent defensive effort than didn’t allow a turnover to translate into points.
He knows it shouldn’t have happened at all.
“That was bad on my part,” Carrie said. “I didn’t secure the ball well enough and it came out. That’s something I have to work on. Possession is precious, and you can’t ever give it up like I did today.”
Carrie made up for his mistake with a 27-yard punt return that set up a Raiders touchdown.
That was the second part of a special teams two-step that got the Raiders back in the game. The first was a punt blocked by Denico Autry and recovered by Brice Butler in the end zone.
Those big plays brought the Raiders back to life and did what the defense has failed to do despite golden opportunities – change momentum with the big play.
2. Containing Russell Wilson: Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson can give opponents fits with his arm and fleet feet. He didn’t contribute much to the Seahawks victory because the Raiders played well in pass defense and rarely let him escape the pocket.
Wilson had just 103 passing yards to receivers not named Marshawn Lynch, and he struggled particularly in the second half.
Wilson was 7-for-17 for 94 yards in that stretch and threw a pair of could-be interceptions to DJ Hayden that the second-year man couldn’t secure.
“It was hard to get in rhythm, and he never really felt it through the course of the game,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said. “Fortunately, everybody did their job around us, and he didn’t have to be the focal point. He wasn’t as sharp as he’s been.”
3. Raiders resilience: The Raiders may not be very good, but they never quit. Even down 24-3 at halftime against the Super Bowl champs, the Raiders came out swinging in the second half.
The Raiders are 0-8, a time when a slight breeze typically topples a house of cards. These players continue to fight for a victory, though they haven’t yet won a bout.
“They came back out and played a good second half of the football game,” Sparano said. “They got themselves back in the game and gave themselves a chance at the end. … We are playing better and better as this thing goes on. We just have to get all phases to play better, so we can get the feel of what it’s like to be in a winning locker room.”