Deon Butler carried Seattle’s offense. Louis Rankin, the team’s special teams. However their efforts weren’t enough to overcome an early 14-point deficit in Oakland Thursday night as the Seahawks lost on the road 27-24.
Getting the start at quarterback for the Seahawks, backup Charlie Whitehurst looked for Butler early and often. The second-year wide receiver out of Penn State was the only player thrown to during the team’s opening possession, hauling in one of his two targets for 11 yards. The next time Whitehurst threw to him, Butler broke a tackle near the left hash mark and scampered 26-yards down the field for the team’s first touchdown of the game. The touchdown and an Olindo Mare extra point cut the Oakland lead to four at 17-13 with 7:43 to go in the first half.
By the time the 5-foot-10 wideout’s night ended in the third quarter, he was the game’s leader in targets (10), receptions (7) and receiving yards (101).
Less than three minutes into the fourth quarter Seattle found itself 11 points behind Oakland, but one play from Louis Rankin changed that. The third-year reserve running back took a Swayze Waters kickoff from near the goal line and bolted up the middle. Nearing the Seattle 40-yard line, Rankin had one man to beat. Getting behind the kicker, Waters, Rankin capped off his 99-yard return with a score.
Looking to get within three points, J.P. Losman successfully found Ruvell Martin for the two-point conversion.
The Seahawks (1-3, preseason) would get just one opportunity to take the lead late in the fourth quarter after the Raiders (3-1, preseason) milked over seven minutes off the game clock.
After getting the ball on their own 2-yard line, Seattle marched 41 yards downfield in two plays. That’s all the team would get on the drive though as Losman wasn’t able to connect on any of his ensuing four passes, resulting in a turnover on downs with 2:17 to go.
The Raiders got out to an early lead and never looked back thanks to backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski. Gradkowski threw two touchdowns in the game’s opening quarter, connecting with Manase Tonga and Johnnie Lee Higgins for 32- and 9-yard scores, respectively.
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