In his first regular-season game against his former team, Marshawn Lynch rushed for a quiet 45 yards on 13 carries. What does he think about it? Impossible to know ... but he's hoping to get to Spain soon.
LONDON — One of the major pregame storylines didn’t turn into much by the time the night was over — Marshawn Lynch’s first game against his former team.
Seattle eventually won 27-3, and Lynch had just 45 yards on 13 carries — with 28 coming after Seattle already led 20-0.
Not that Oakland didn’t try early. On Oakland’s first possession, the Raiders handed the ball to Lynch three straight times. The result was just one yard and then a punt.
“We got the ball, we wanted to run three consecutive times, we wanted to get Marshawn going,’’ Oakland coach Jon Gruden said. “We ran three different types of runs and all three of them were rejected. We wanted to get him in the game. We wanted to get him established. That was the beginning of the game, and then after that, we were trying to make a first down and survive. It wasn’t pretty.’’
Indeed, Lynch had just 10 carries the rest of the game as the Raiders couldn’t get anything going against the Seattle defense.
The Raiders were hamstrung by a makeshift offensive line that includes two rookies at tackle and had Oakland going with a third-string guard after an early injury to Jon Feliciano.
Stopping Lynch “was a point of emphasis,’’ said Seahawks defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson.
Dominating up front turned out to be the key to stopping Lynch, he said.
“They were beat up and young and we know we had to take advantage of that,’’ Jefferson said. “There are not too many weeks you get to play against a young offensive line like that, so we knew we had to pin our ears back and be a big factor in it.’’
Said Seahawks safety Bradley McDougald: “Marshawn is one of the best to do it and he’s still dangerous. He can get loose at any moment. You’ve really got to play him the whole way down to the ground. There were a couple of times today, (there were) four, five or six guys jumping on him, all around his legs and he’s not going down. So you’ve really got to finish him off. To hold him to 45 yards is just a credit to the entire defense, all 11 guys.’’
What Lynch thinks about it is unknown. Lynch didn’t talk to the media at-large afterward but did give a brief interview to a radio reporter from Spain in which he said he hopes to get to Spain soon and maybe meet some of the women there.
Norton Jr. topples former team, Seahawks’ D beats up O-line led by Cable
Ken Norton Jr. served as the Oakland Raiders’ defensive coordinator from 2015 to 2017.
On Sunday, he helped conquer a familiar foe.
Norton’s Seahawks defense limited Oakland to 185 total yards and a measly 3.3 yards per play. Quarterback Derek Carr threw for just 142 yards, was sacked six times and coughed up a pair of fumbles. Running back Marshawn Lynch was held to just 45 rushing yards on 13 carries.
It was a dominant effort, and Seattle’s first-year defensive coordinator had something to do with that.
“He’s bringing the excitement back into this game,” said cornerback Shaquill Griffin, who contributed three tackles in the win. “It’s awesome. You can feel the energy from him. As a coach, he makes it seem like he’s playing out there – like he’s actually there with you.
“It feels good to have a coach like that, with the energy and the vibe. He brings so much to this team.”
Maybe not as much as Norton would like, however.
“You can see how he used to be when he played,” Griffin said of Norton, who played linebacker for 12 seasons in the NFL. “I remember he told me at practice one day, ‘You know what, Shaq? I’ve always got one more play. If they need me – if they call my number or my name – I’ve got one more play in me.’
“You can see he’s so passionate about it and it only makes you want to play harder for a guy like that.”
It’s also worth mentioning that Norton’s defense managed six sacks against a Raiders offensive line coached by former Seahawks assistant Tom Cable.
Seahawks appear to escape unscathed
The Seahawks didn’t appear to suffer any new injuries.
Cornerback Tre Flowers left in the second half with cramps and was replaced by Neiko Thorpe but otherwise it would appear that the Seahawks left London relatively unscathed.