SEATTLE (AP) – The Oakland Raiders made the Seattle Seahawks look much better than they’ve been lately.
Oakland’s latest Monday night debacle resulted in another shutout, nine more sacks allowed and defensive end Tyler Brayton kneeing Seattle’s Jerramy Stevens in the groin late in Seattle’s 16-0 victory through rain and wind.
Craig Terrill had three of the sacks against Raiders quarterback Andrew Walter and Maurice Morris ran 30 times for a career-high 138 yards to help Seattle (5-3) – playing without injured league MVP Shaun Alexander and Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Hasselbeck – get a needed win after losing three of its previous four games.
Oakland (2-6), coming off two straight victories, became the first team in NFL history to be shut out twice on Monday night in the same season. The Raiders lost 27-0 at home to San Diego in the opening week – and allowed nine sacks in that game, too.
However, this night may be remembered most for Brayton’s knee to the inside and upper half of Stevens’ thigh at the end of a running play with 1:54 remaining.
Brayton and Stevens were pushing and grabbing at each other’s shoulders away from a 4-yard run by Mack Strong with 1:54 remaining in the hot-tempered game that Seattle was leading 13-0. Brayton abruptly ended the clench by raising his right knee into Stevens as an official watched just yards away.
“I made a mistake,” said Brayton, who is often quiet off the field but fiery on it. “I let my emotions get the best of me – and that’s not a good thing when you do that.”
Brayton got a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct and was ejected. The four-year veteran walked directly off the field into the locker room while the Qwest Field crowd chanted derisively.
“He’ll be disciplined by the league, for sure,” said Raiders coach Art Shell, a league vice president for football operations before returning to coaching this season.
Stevens said Brayton was frustrated after getting blocked repeatedly on running plays as the Seahawks ground out the final minutes.
“I threw him on the ground four plays in a row,” Stevens said.
Before the game, Seattle coach Mike Holmgren challenged his defense to step up more during the absences of Alexander and Hasselbeck. The response was Seattle’s first shutout since a 42-0 win in its previous Monday night appearance, last Dec. 5.
“They took it to heart,” Holmgren said. “Our defense had a few things to prove.”
Defensive coordinator John Marshall helped, changing the game plan by adding more blitzes after Kansas City rolled up 499 yards against the Seahawks last week. That effectively shielded a pass defense that had repeatedly been out of place on opponents’ big gains this season.
Terrill had two sacks on three successive plays in the second quarter, after having two in his first 25 NFL games. Grant Wistrom had his first two sacks of the season.
Every time the Raiders even looked like they wanted to throw deep, Walter began moving in self-preservation.
“It seemed like when we dropped back to pass, something bad happens,” Shell said.
Because he had no time, Walter tried to throw deep just once to Randy Moss against Seattle’s suspect secondary. Safety Ken Hamlin broke up that pass at the Seahawks 40 late in the third quarter.
“We blitzed a lot more. And the quarterback held onto the ball a little bit,” Wistrom said. “Obviously, that helped us out.”
Walter was 16-for-35 with 166 yards.
Meanwhile, Seneca Wallace threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Deion Branch in his first win as an NFL starter. However, the offense relied mostly on Morris one week after the Seahawks totaled just 47 yards rushing on a season-low 18 attempts.
Against the Raiders, Seattle had 39 carries for 207 yards.
Alexander was scheduled to have an MRI on his broken left foot Tuesday. If it’s completely healed, he’ll play Sunday when the Seahawks host the Rams (4-4).