Russell Wilson finds home from home at Wembley as Seattle crush Oakland | Sean Ingle

The Seattle Seahawks quarterback, Russell Wilson, threw three touchdowns as he led his side to a comprehensive 27-3 win against the Oakland Raiders at Wembley

Nearly 4,800 miles and eight time zones separate London from Seattle. Yet for the Seahawks the murk and mizzle of this grey Wembley evening felt like a home from home as they pummelled the Oakland Raiders 27-3.

It rained, a lot, as in the Pacific north-west. And there were large packs of fans in dark blue and lime green jerseys, who shouted SEA! then HAWKS! with ever greater urgency and booed if the Raiders looked like getting something going, which was not often.

To make things even sweeter, Seattle dominated both sides of the ball, with quarterback Russell Wilson throwing three touchdowns and their defence punching holes in the Raiders offensive line at will.

It felt like we were playing at home, honestly, said the wide receiver David Moore, who scored the second Seattle touchdown. The rain, the fans, the atmosphere. It was great.

The Seattle coach, Pete Carroll, agreed. We had a great time, he said, smiling. As we got closer to the game we realised how much energy there was for the Seahawks. And the whole experience was great it made for a special week.

Fans at Wembley observed both the American national anthem and the English national anthem before kick-off. Photograph: Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports

The 84,922 crowd was a record for an NFL game at Wembley but this was not a game to attract converts, largely because the Raiders, who arrived from Oakland only on Friday, were so off the pace they appeared lodged in a different time zone. Their only points came deep in the fourth quarter when the game was gone and the damp had long seeped into their bones and souls.

They also endured injury, with the wide receiver Amari Cooper sustaining a concussion after a sickening helmet-to-helmet contact with Bradley McDougald. Another wide out, Seth Roberts, also needed treatment. At least their quarterback Derek Carr, who was sacked five times, looked to be OK after leaving the pitch clutching his left shoulder.

One of the keys for Seattle was to establish their running game against a defence ranked 30 out of the NFLs 32 teams. And that is precisely what they did, running the ball on their first seven plays before Wilson threw a playaction screen to Rashaad Penny for 24 yards. That put them deep into Raiders territory and soon afterwards Wilson capped a 14-play, 82-yard drive with a five-yard pass to Jaron Brown.

Russell Wilson (3) throws a 10-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Tyler Lockett during the fourth quarter. Photograph: Steven Flynn/USA Today Sports

When the Raiders got the ball they tried to copy Seattles running blueprint but with rather less success: after running three times in a row they were forced to punt. The rest of the quarter did not get any better as Carr fumbled the ball under pressure from Frank Clark and it was recovered by Jarran Reed for Seattle.

Soon Seattle were 14-0 up with another Wilson touchdown. Initially he was unable to retrieve a bad snap yet he still had all the time in the world to pick up the ball, look up and make a touch pass to Moore for a touchdown.

Sign up to The Recap, our weekly email of editors picks.

At the end of the first half the Raiders finally got the ball moving. Yet despite having two drives totalling 26 plays, they came away with no points. Seattle took advantage with Sebastian Janikowski adding a 44-yard field goal to put them 17-0 up at half-time.

The Raiders knew they needed to cut out the penalties and find a way to protect Carr. They could do neither. On their first drive Carr was sacked. Then, on the next play, Clark smashed into him and he fumbled the ball again.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/oct/14/russell-wilson-wembley-new-home-seattle-crush-oakland

Related posts