The Oakland Raiders are set to take on the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday, Aug. 29. It's the fourth and final preseason game for both teams, meaning the regular season is just around the corner. Many of the presumed starters will see very limited to no action for both teams, but the game is very important to younger guys, aging veterans and the coaching staff in shaping the final roster cuts.
Those cuts will go down on Saturday, as teams will have to trim down 22 players from 75 to 53 for the regular season limit. There should be plenty of action to pay attention to in that vein on Thursday.
Meet the Seahawks
The Seahawks made the jump from mediocre to elite in a single season, thanks to an already-great defense and the addition of a real quarterback in Russell Wilson. It's unlikely that Wilson plays much, if at all. If he plays, it would be surprising to see him get more than two series. Zach Miller was recently cleared to play and might see some time, so that will be interesting.
For the most part, there are a few guys worth watching to see if they make the roster, such as Benson Mayowa and Alan Branch. Stephen Williams and Jermaine Kearse have been making statements for playing time at the wide receiver position, and will make one final push on Thursday.
Meet the Raiders
The Raiders are in the middle of a very long rebuilding process. For the past two offseasons, the theme has been the purging of possibly good, but still overpriced talent, and their roster has all kinds of positions up for grabs as a result.
That said, the most intriguing thing going on right now for the Raiders is the battle at the quarterback position. Matt Flynn has been the presumptive starter, but Terrelle Pryor is making a play for the job. It's unclear if he has an actual shot at winning it, but there's no debate in that he looks much-improved from last year. How the playing time looks on Thursday will be one of the biggest storylines on the day.
Local Takes: Seahawks
Field Gulls blogger Danny Kelly answered some questions for Silver And Black Pride, and among them was a question about playing time for the starters. Bruce Irvin is a guy to watch, says Kelly:
Seahawks 2012 first round pick Bruce Irvin has also missed much of the preseason with an injury but is expected to get a lot of action this week, to get him acclimated to the outside linebacker role he's taking on this year. He will miss the first four games of the season on suspension, but with a move from defensive end to linebacker, he'll need as many snaps as possible so he can hit the ground running once the suspension is up.
Local Takes: Raiders
Similar to above, Levi Damien of Silver and Black Pride answered some questions for Field Gulls, and he says that Pryor could end up giving Flynn a short leash if he plays well again:
I am still uncertain who I would go with. I have said from the beginning that the coaches had Matt Flynn pegged as the starter and were willing to ride out his early struggles and give him a chance because Reggie McKenzie vouches for him from his time in Green Bay. That still sounds like the plan, but another good performance by Pryor Thursday could give Flynn a very short leash.
The Seahawks opened as 6.5-point favorites and can be had for as much as 7-point favorites, via OddsShark.