And just like that, the preseason is officially behind us, and the next time the Oakland Raiders take the field, it'll be for real, as they put an exclamation point on their preseason Thursday night, beating the Seattle Seahawks 30-19.
Unsurprisingly, Thursday night's game at CenturyLink Field was defined more by the players who didn't dress, then those who actually suited up, but regardless, the Silver and Black put together a quality outing in Seattle, improving their preseason record to 3-1 in the process.
With Derek Carr, Bruce Irvin, and really every starter on either side of the ball save Rashaan Melvin and Tank Carradine getting the night off, the remaining players got one, final shot to show the Raiders coaching staff what they bring to the table.
Once again – as has been the case for much of the preseason – offensively, the focus was on the fourth chapter of the battle between EJ Manuel and Connor Cook for the right to backup Carr, and to be fair, Manuel certainly made his case to be the second quarterback listed on the Raiders depth chart.
Manuel got the first crack on the field Thursday night, and he delivered a quality outing – his best of the preseason – completing 13 of 15 passes for 155 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the first half alone.
He actually ended up playing deep into the third quarter, and when all was said and done, he completed 18 of 22 passes for 255 yards and a trio of touchdowns.
Will Thursday's effort be enough to earn the backup quarterback role? We'll likely know in a few days, but Manuel definitely gave a convincing pitch to Head Coach Jon Gruden.
Connor Cook finished the game out after Manuel headed to the sideline, but as good as Manuel looked, your offensive MVP has to be Keon Hatcher, who – if "podium games" were a thing in the NFL – would certainly be deserving of one after his performance in Seattle.
Let's just take a look at the former Arkansas Razorback's first half stat line: five catches for 93 yards, and two touchdowns, both from Manuel. In fact, his first touchdown, a 45-yard connection in the first quarter, was arguably the play of the preseason for the Silver and Black.
With most of the Raiders wideouts in street clothes, Hatcher played through the second half, finishing his evening with three very impressive trips to the end zone.
Defensively, even without the full battery of pass rushers, defensive coordinator Paul Guenther's group found a way to make Austin Davis and Alex McGough uncomfortable all evening.
Defensive end Tank Carradine took down Davis in the first quarter for the Raiders 12th sack of the preseason, and while that was the only sack of the night for the Silver and Black, the pass rush once again looked dynamic.
While the Seahawks quarterbacks did manage to find the end zone, Paul Guenther's defense buckled down when it mattered most, and did just enough to help the Raiders secure their third win of the preseason.
Also, I'd be remiss to not mention the play of kicker Mike Nugent, who converted on a 51-yard field goal, the team's longest of the preseason.
So, what's next for the Silver and Black?
Well, the team will fly back to Oakland Thursday night, and with roster reduction day on Saturday, General Manager Reggie McKenzie, Jon Gruden and their respective staffs will certainly have a lot to think about during the flight.
Photos of the game action during the Raiders' Preseason Week 4 matchup with the Seattle Seahawks.