Raiders 3 Seahawks 27: Seattle stroll to Wembley win as NFL returns to London

The Seattle Seahawks marked their first ever regular season game outside of North America with a comfortable win over the hapless Oakland Raiders at Wembley Stadium.

Russell Wilson threw for 222 yards and three touchdowns as the Seahawks ran out 27-3 winners in the first of three NFL International Series games to be played in the capital this season.

The organisers did their best to make it clear that this was a Raiders ‘home’ game, with cheerleaders and fireworks greeting their arrival on the field, but the London crowd were having none of it.

The Seahawks have a more established UK fan base and though technically the away side, it was clear from the moment Russell Wilson led his men out to warm up that only a Seattle win would appease the home crowd.

Wilson duly delivered with a five-yard touchdown pass to Jaron Brown on the opening drive, to give the Seahawks a lead which they never surrendered.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, struggling badly for form having thrown more interceptions than anyone else in the league through the first five games, was once again playing behind an offensive line with more holes than a golf course, and was sacked six times.

All eyes were on Marshawn Lynch – the running back who made his name winning the Super Bowl in Seattle before retiring in 2016, and then coming out of retirement to sign for his hometown Raiders a year later – but ‘Beast Mode’, as he is known, never really got going.

The Seahawks began the second quarter in similar fashion, as Wilson somehow turned a poor snap into a 19-yard touchdown for David Moore.

It was on the defensive side of the ball Jarran Reed and Frank Clark were particularly imperious as Lynch and Carr continued to be denied any sniff of red zone action.

Seattle kicker Sebastian Janikowski, playing against a franchise where he spent 17 years, having been drafted by the Raiders in the first round in 2000, added field goals either side of half-time in a flawless performance to extend the lead to 20 unanswered points.

This was not exactly a classic, but Wilson had Seattle back in the red zone with a 42-yard completion to Doug Baldwin, who had six receptions for 91 yards, only to be picked off at the one-yard line by Daryl Worley.

Wilson killed any hope of a Raiders fightback at the start of the third quarter, with his third touchdown pass of the night, this time a ten-yarder to Tyler Lockett.

As another of the ‘home’ benefits for the Raiders, Wembley had prepared fire cannons fitted in each corner to greet any Oakland points, and they were finally put to use when Dwayne Harris slotted a 42-yard field goal after Carr had been sacked twice in two plays.

Jon Gruden’s Raiders now move to 1-5 through six weeks of the regular season, while the Seahawks will be targeting a wildcard run that looked unlikely a few weeks ago after levelling their record at 3-3.

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