A Russell Wilson-inspired Seattle Seahawks embarrassed the Oakland Raiders with a comprehensive 27-3 victory on a heavy Wembley pitch.
The Seattle quarterback showed regular flashes of brilliance, throwing for 222 yards and three touchdowns, but Oakland counterpart Derek Carr was sacked six times on a miserable night.
It was billed as a battle between two Super Bowl-winning head coaches with intriguing storylines galore, but aside from Wilson’s virtuoso display and a dominant performance from Seattle defensive end Frank Clark, this will not live long in the memory.
Russell Wilson was in imperious form for the Seattle Seahawks as they beat Oakland Raiders
Wilson threw for three touchdowns and proved elusive for the Raiders defence in London
The NFL returned to Wembley once again for the first of three matches in the UK this season
Despite another record crowd, this time 84,922, the past five games in England have been decided by an average of 26.2 points. Not a contest in sight.
But that didn’t matter to Seattle head coach Pete Carroll, who became the winningest coach in Seahawks history with 91st victory, passing Mike Holmgren.
The effusive 67-year-old purred at the London experience, saying it felt like a game at CenturyLink Field, such was the support for Seattle in what was nominally a Raiders home game.
‘Russell had a couple of magical plays moving for touchdown passes. We were really good on third down again today, and again, running the ball for 150 and just one sack, that’s a big day for us on that side.
‘So there’s stuff everywhere. Frank Clark had a great game. He got sick in the second half. He couldn’t get back out there, he’d have gotten more. He was really playing.
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll punches the air after one of his side’s three touchdowns
Wide receiver David Moore was careful to land in the end zone after latching on to a Wilson pas
He was bundled head first into the cameramen around the side of the pitch after scoring
‘So really pleased with the whole day and the whole event of this week, being here. It felt like a home game. So we’ll come back again. I’m looking forward to it.’
The Raiders, who only arrived in England on Friday afternoon, were not at the races. The same could be said for Seattle as Wilson easily lobbed to Jaron Brown from five yards to end a streak of 34 games without a touchdown on the opening drive.
On Seattle’s following possession, which followed Carr’s first of two fumbles, Wilson showed brilliant improvisation to recover a low snap before tossing to David Moore for a 19 yard touchdown.
In the fourth quarter, Wilson threw his third touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett from 10 yards.
Former Raider Sebastian Janikowski enjoyed success against his old team by kicking two field goals, but the same could not be said for Marshawn Lynch, who ran for 10 yards on 28 carries.
Mike Davies shields the ball as he gets an arm out to stop a tackle from Raiders’ Reggie Nelson
It was a night to forget for Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, who struggled in the conditions
The pitch was heavily criticised for its appearance during Tottenham’s Champions League defeat by Barcelona on October 4. After heavy overnight rain, it still shows scars from Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight title fight with Alexander Povetkin three weeks ago.
But, as his team rushed for a total 155 yards, Carroll was not complaining.
‘Playing at Wembley was great. Anybody that says anything different, I don’t think they know. The turf was really taken care of, and there’s been a lot of issues talked about that, and the turf was great, even with some rain today, it held up fine.’
And as his side head into the bye on 3-3, there is encouragement with Seattle showing familiar signs of recovery after a slow start to the season.
That means at the end after Gruden’s quote which concludes ‘We know we have a ways to go here.’ it goes…
This encounter, which was supposed to be the first NFL game at Tottenham’s new stadium, is the first of three regular season games at Wembley on successive Sundays. Groundstaff then have little more than 24 hours to convert the home of football back into a Premier League ground for Manchester City’s rearranged visit Spurs on October 29.
Bradley McDougald salutes the crowd as the Seahawks head off at half-time in the lead
There is no way past cornerback Tre Flowers for Raiders’ wide receiver Amari Cooper
Ryler Lockett keeps his hands on the ball as he brings in a catch for a Seahawks touchdown
But as Carroll’s side head into the bye on 3-3, there is encouragement with Seattle showing familiar signs of recovery after a slow start to the season.
Their offensive line protected Wilson, they ran hard and often and they converted nine of 13 third downs. On defense, Clark was electric with two-and-a-half sacks and two forced fumbles.
He terrorised Raiders first-round pick Kolton Miller all afternoon. But the Raiders are 1-5 and appear to be heading one way.
Carr left the field in the fourth quarter with an arm injury and was replaced by AJ McCarron, while wide receiver Amari Cooper was ruled out with concussion after a helmet-to-helmet collision with Seattle safety Bradley McDougald.
Head coach Jon Gruden, who signed a ten-year deal with Oakland despite being a TV pundit since 2008, said: ‘I have no problem with the effort. No problem at all with the effort.
‘Even to the very last play. You know, I’m pleased with the effort. Very proud and pleased at that.
Jess Glynne sang at the national stadium in front of the crowd during the half-time show
The singer was wheeled out on to the middle of the pitch to perform inside Wembley
Fireworks and cheerleaders accompanied the singer as she wowed the capacity crowd
Cheerleaders dance in front of Glynne as she performs on Sunday evening
‘We are going to continue to build the team. I’ve only been here for six or seven months. We’ve got some players hurt. Karl Joseph, hopefully K.O. can come back after the bye.
‘We lost some men today and hopefully they can heal up and play as well. I’m not going to say anything other than that. We know we have a ways to go here.’
The pitch was heavily criticised for its appearance during Tottenham’s Champions League defeat by Barcelona on October 4.
After heavy overnight rain, it still shows scars from Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight title fight with Alexander Povetkin three weeks ago.
This encounter, which was supposed to be the first NFL game at Tottenham’s new stadium, is the first of three regular season games at Wembley on successive Sundays.
Groundstaff then have little more than 24 hours to convert the home of football back into a Premier League ground for Manchester City’s rearranged visit Spurs on October 29.