Sebastian Janikowski (Photo Courtesy: US Presswire)
If a 21-3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks proved anything, it's that the Raiders can ill afford injuries when the regular season begins on Sept. 10 against the San Diego Chargers.
The loss, which dropped the Raiders to 1-3, didn't make them an also-ran in the AFC West any more than it solidified the Seahawks, 4-0, as a team to be reckoned with in the NFC West.
Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer and the starting offense played one series. He handed the ball off six straight times - even on third-and-12 and third-and-4 - then took the rest of the night off.
Darren McFadden sat it out, as did Richard Seymour.
The first-team defense held Seattle without points on its first series - Steven Hauschka missed a 53-yard field-goal attempt - and then rested for the rest of the evening on the sideline.
The rest of the game, manned by players who were fighting for spots as reserves or the practice squad, was dominated by Seattle.
And therin lies the problem.
The Seahawks outgained the Raiders 336 to 101, had 24 first downs to five for the Raiders and basically imposed their will on players coach Dennis Allen will need when attrition does its work in the regular season.
"It tells you where you are with your team from a depth standpoint," Allen said. "We've got to develop some more depth on this football team. We hold everyone accountable to the same standards. And we all have a job to do. So we all have to do a better job."
Allen declined to dismiss a preseason loss as "insignificant."
"We didn't play good, so I see that as significant," Allen said. "It's the last preseason game and they count for real now. We have a lot of things to get cleaned up. It was obvious by our execution tonight we were not ready for prime time."
The problem in the wake of the loss wasn't so much cutting to the final 53 from 75 players, but in finding that many players to keep. There were no surprises in the initial 22 cuts.
Allen promised the Raiders would be checking the waiver wire, and true to his word, three players initially on the final 53 were pushed aside for new players.
Oakland quickly added Willie Smith, formerly of the Washington Redskins, Keenan Clayton, who played 21 games with the Philadelphia Eagles, and Phillip Adams, who played last season with the San Francisco 49ers and returned three kickoffs for 66 yards for Seattle against the Raiders.
To make room, cornerback Chimdi Chekwa and return specialist/safety Brian McCann were cut, and defensive tackle Jamie Cumbie was played on injured reserve.
More changes appear to be on the way.