By Steve Corkran
Friday, August 31st, 2012 at 12:29 am in Oakland Raiders.
For the record, Raiders coach Dennis Allen called Thursday night’s 21-3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks “significant” because it came in the final tune-up before the regular-season opener. Deep down, though, Allen knows this game won’t be remembered by many, if any, 10 days from now.
That is, if the Raiders starters take the field against the San Diego Chargers on Sept. 10 at the Oakland Coliseum and play as well as Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie think they’re going to play.
After all, at least 22 of the players who played Thursday night won’t be around for the game, possibly more if McKenzie is able to find better options among the more than 1,000 players cut Monday and Friday.
– Allen made good on his promise to use his starters, for the most part, though many other teams didn’t take any chances with some or all of their projected starters.
Not all of the starters played — defensive tackles Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly, wide receivers Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford, center Stefen Wisniewski and running back Darren McFadden were among those who didn’t play because of injury or added rest.
Even so, the starters didn’t get a whole lot of playing time. Quarterback Carson Palmer, for instance, lasted only six plays, and he handed off the ball all six of those plays.
– Recent acquisition Roscoe Parrish couldn’t have had much worse of a debut than the one he put forth Thursday night.
He fumbled away the ball at the end of his first punt return for strike one. On the second one, he struggled getting his helmet squared away — how does that happen, by the way? — sprinted toward the right sideline for the ball, dived at the last second and muffed it. Fortunately for Parrish, the Seahawks defender who recovered the ball was out of bounds at the time.
Even so, damage done. Parrish was handed a golden opportunity to be the Raiders punt returner to start the season, and he all but fumbled it away.
Allen diplomatically said afterward that Parrish isn’t defined by what happened in the game. Maybe not, but Bryan McCann handled punt return duties the rest of the game.
Actions speak louder than words, it says here. And Parrish just went from being a lock to a potential casualty when the Raiders trim their roster to 53 on Friday.
If Parrish goes, McCann jumps to the head of the line, perhaps on kick and punt returns, at least as long as Ford and Moore aren’t healthy enough to handle those roles, respectively.
– Rookie Christo Bilukidi started at defensive tackle and played almost the entire game. Sure, Kelly and Seymour weren’t playing, but this spoke more to the Raiders seeing how Bilukidi would hold up against the Seahawks starters, as well as through extensive playing time.
Bilukidi didn’t disappoint, though he struggled on a few plays. He likely sewed up a roster spot with his performance.
– Rookie linebacker Nathan Stupar recorded 11 tackles in his best showing through four games. That might be enough to vault him from practice-squad candidate to a member of the 53-man roster.
– Second-year quarterback Terrelle Pryor was unable to build upon his breakout game last Saturday night.
It wasn’t for lack of effort on Pryor’s part. He completed 6 of 9 passes for 55 yards and a respectable 83.1 passer rating. However, he was under fire almost every play, with the backup linemen powerless against the Seahawks defensive surge.
– The Raiders fared pretty well in terms of penalties once again. This time, they committed six for 50 yards, which are figures Allen can live with when compared to the league-leading figures from last season’s team.
– Wide receiver Eddie McGee caught three passes for 36 yards. Not eye-opening figures, but in light of Parrish’s abysmal showing, it might be enough to warrant the Raiders keeping McGee ahead of Parrish.
McGee was fresh from a game in which he slipped twice on passes thrown his way and had a third pass knocked out of his hands and turned into an interception.
It might be too little, too late for McGee, but he at least has to feel better about his chances now than he did five nights ago.
– Allen praised rookie Rod Streater for his hustle in chasing down a Cardinals defender at the end of an interception Aug. 17. Allen said he hoped others were watching and would follow suit.
Well, perhaps fellow rookie Brandon Carswell missed that play, for he just stood there when a Seahawks defender intercepted a pass thrown for him Thursday night.
Fortunately for Carswell, the review of the play revealed that Carswell touched the defender as he was falling to the ground after making the interception. Still, Allen no doubt isn’t going to be pleased with Carswell not switching from a receiver to a defender in a second’s notice.