Three things we learned: Seahawks 21, Raiders 3
Here's a look at some of the lessons that really mattered from Thursday's exhibition finale against Oakland.
1) Bruce Irvin has got some kind of closing speed.
He showed it not only in the way he finished his pass rush in the third and fourth quarters, but the way he finished the exhibition season. After being held without a sack for the first three and a half games, he made a habit of getting into the lap of the Raiders' quarterback in the second half Thursday. He had a sack and a half, and very nearly had another one as he had both hands on quarterback Terrelle Pryor, but somehow failed to bring him down couldn't bring him down. With Arizona's offensive line in disarray after the injury to left tackle Levi Brown, you best believe Seattle's pass rushers are licking their chops in anticipation of the season opener.
2) The Seahawks are deeper than they've ever been under Pete Carroll.
That was evident as Seattle outscored its exhibition opponents 67-24 in the second half in August. Expect it to be demonstrated by Saturday's waiver claims, too. It would not be a surprise if five, maybe even six players Seattle let go are claimed by other teams. That's quite a change from Carroll's first season as coach when general manager John Schneider was the one sifting through other team's leftovers and adding six players to the team's roster after making the cut to 53. Last year, that number was three. That speaks to the improved depth of Seattle's roster.
3) Russell Wilson is not, in fact, perfect.
You couldn't be sure after the way he played those first three exhibition games, and a red-zone interception was about the only wart that was apparent. Well, he was 5-for-11 passing in the quarter he played against Oakland, and of the three possessions he was in the game for, only one resulted in a score, and it was a field goal at that. Not only that, but he overthrew an open Kellen Winslow. (Gasp!) Wilson missed high over the middle, which is the kind of mistake that gives a coach heartburn.