Three sure things: death, taxes and the Raiders losing.
NFL oddsmakers had made the Raiders 16½-point underdogs Sunday, the largest projected spread in the NFL this weekend.
Finally, the Raiders found something they could beat: the spread.
For a while, too, the Raiders gave the Seahawks a scare.
The Raiders scored first on a Sebastian Janikowski field goal, but then the Seahawks reeled off 24 straight points to take a 24-3 lead at the half.
Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, the former Cal standout, bulled over on two short touchdown runs, with Bruce Irvin also returning a Derek Carr interception 35 yards for a touchdown.
But in the third quarter, the Raiders came roaring back into the game. First, Brice Butler recovered a punt blocked by Denico Autry in the end zone for a touchdown.
Then, near the end of the quarter, T.J. Carrie’s 27-yard punt return set Oakland up on the Seattle 30-yard line. On the first play of the possession, Carr hit Darren McFadden for a 23-yard gain to the 7. Three plays later, Carr connected with tight end Mychal Rivera on a 1-yard touchdown pass to cut the Seattle margin to 24-17.
But in the final period, the Seahawks drove for two field goals to raise their lead to 30-17.
Still, the winless Raiders weren’t giving up. With 4:14 remaining, Carr drove the Raiders from their own 36 in nine plays to the Seattle 1. From there Carr connected with Rivera for another score to get Oakland within 30-24 with 1:52 remaining.
But Seattle recovered the onside kick, and that was that.
Though the Raiders are winless, they’ve now scared three teams with winning records – the Seahawks, Chargers and Patriots.
The Oakland defense was stout Sunday, holding Russell Wilson to 179 yards passing on 17-of-35 throws, and gang tackling Lynch, who gained 67 yards on 21 carries – just 3.1 yards per attempt. The Raiders special teams, too, played a big role in the comeback.
Carr, meanwhile, is making the Raiders offense dangerous. He completed 24-of-41 passes for 194 yards and two TDs – but was picked off twice.
In the end, the Raiders had just dug themselves too big a hole to climb out of, leaving them with a familiar result: another defeat.
Next week won’t be easy, either: Oakland host Peyton Manning and the Broncos.