Manuel tosses 3 TDs as Raiders topple Seahawks 30-19
By TIM BOOTH, AP Sports Writer
SEATTLE (AP) — E.J. Manuel made a strong bid to stick around in Oakland. Austin Davis did the same to find himself a home likely somewhere other than Seattle.
Manuel threw for 255 yards and three touchdowns in the competition to be Oakland’s backup QB, and the Raiders closed out the preseason with a 30-19 win over the Seahawks on Thursday night.
Manuel completed 18 of 22 passes in the competition with Connor Cook to be Derek Carr’s backup. He hit Keon Hatcher on both of his touchdowns in the first half and added a 45-yard TD to Saeed Blacknall in the third quarter. Hatcher caught a 45-yard TD in the first quarter when he spun off Seattle’s Justin Coleman as he was being tackled to the ground, never touched the turf and completed the catch-and-run score that was upheld on review.
Manuel found Hatcher again on a 19-yard TD strike late in the second quarter.
“During the week, practicing for this game, the starters were on a whole other field. I felt like I was the older quarterback of the group,” Manuel said. “I felt that it was kind of upon me to get guys in the right mindset and make sure we’re still ready to play. Even though this was the fourth preseason game, you can either go one of two ways: You cannot care about it or you can actually take advantage of it and try to put a cap on it, how hard you’ve worked in training camp.”
Raiders coach Jon Gruden was unhappy with the performance of both Manuel and Cook after last week’s game and both played well in their last chances to make an impression on the new coach.
Cook came on late in the third quarter and threw a 22-yard TD to Hatcher in the fourth quarter. Hatcher had eight catches for 128 yards.
“I was really pleased with the way E.J. came in here tonight. He was a captain and I thought he asserted himself, threw the ball well and moved the team,” Gruden said.
Oakland finished the preseason 3-1, while Seattle went 0-4, its first winless preseason in franchise history. The teams will meet in Week 6 in London.
Davis made a strong audition for other teams. The Seahawks acquired Brett Hundley in a trade with Green Bay on Wednesday likely marking the end of Davis’ time in Seattle. But he was still tasked with playing the entire first half against Oakland.
Davis was solid even if one of his completions was a deflected pass that was caught by right tackle Willie Beavers. Davis finished 13 of 20 for 194 yards and an 81-yard touchdown strike to Damore’ea Stringfellow. Davis also led a two-minute drive at the end of the first half that culminated in Mike Davis’ 1-yard TD run. Seattle coach Pete Carroll said he was also pleased with the performance of rookie Alex McGough.
“Both those guys with the news that comes in going into Thursday, they both competed really beautifully and showed well,” Carroll said.
Seattle rookie linebacker Shaquem Griffin had a team-high seven tackles in the first half and found his way into the action all over the field. Griffin, whose left hand was amputated as a child, could be in line to start the opener after starter K.J. Wright had arthroscopic knee surgery earlier this week. Seattle also used veteran safety Maurice Alexander at linebacker in the second half. Alexander said coaches presented him with the idea earlier this week.
“I’m well prepared for it. K.J. and Bobby (Wagner) are always in my circle,” Griffin said. “Even during the time that K.J. was gone, he was helping me. He called me every day. He made sure I was in my playbook. He made sure that I was studying. So even when he’s not around me he’s still helping make sure I get better.”
Carroll said right tackle Germain Ifedi twisted his ankle in the first quarter. Carroll didn’t believe it to be serious, but said he didn’t have details.
Both teams used only a few starters and for very short stints. For Seattle, offensive linemen Ethan Pocic and Ifedi were in on the first drive and starting running back Chris Carson got two carries for 5 yards. Barkevious Mingo also got time on defense.
The only Raiders starter of note was defensive end Tank Carradine filling the role normally held by holdout Khalil Mack. Carradine had the Raiders only sack in the first half.
Marshawn Lynch made the rounds saying hello to former Seattle teammates and staff during pregame warmups. Lynch was out early before the game and jokingly put a wrestling move on Seattle general manager John Schneider. He had a long conversation with linebacker K.J. Wright that included another former Seahawks player and current Raiders linebacker Bruce Irvin.
His conversation with Seattle coach Pete Carroll was far shorter. After several minutes of awkward standing around, the pair spoke for about a minute before moving on to other conversations.
Even though he wasn’t in uniform Lynch continued to sit during the playing of the national anthem. Seattle’s trio of Duane Brown, Branden Jackson and Quinton Jefferson went into the Seattle locker room during the performance of the anthem and returned to the field immediately after the conclusion.
Raiders: Oakland will open the regular season on Monday, Sept. 10 hosting the Los Angeles Rams.
Seahawks: Seattle will be at Denver on Sept. 9 in Week 1.
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