Richard Sherman must have a huge fireplace mantle at home.
The All-Pro cornerback secured his first interception of the season and 21st of his three-and-a-half-season career Sunday in the first half of the Seattle Seahawks’ 30-24 victory over the Oakland Raiders at CenturyLink Field.
He says he keeps all his interceptions in cases for display around his house.
“Finally got an opportunity,” he said of his first pick this season, while still holding the ball he intercepted at his locker 30 minutes after the game.
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Plenty of opportunities Sunday, in fact.
Just as he was Aug. 28 in Seattle’s exhibition finale at Oakland, Raiders rookie quarterback Derek Carr repeatedly targeted Sherman — on his first pass of the game and five times total in the first half.
With Seattle ahead 14-3 on the third play of the second quarter, Carr went after Sherman for the fourth time. It was a back-shoulder throw to Andre Holmes that Sherman and the Seahawks had been expecting from their film study. Holmes never turned his body for the throw. Sherman did. He intercepted the ball behind Holmes’ never-turned back along the sideline in front of the Raiders’ bench.
Sherman then went on a cross-field journey past much of Oakland’s offense, a 22-yard return on which he covered 50-plus yards before Raiders tackle Donald Penn pushed him out of bounds at the Oakland 18. That set up the first of Steven Hauschka’s three field goals and gave Seattle a 17-3 lead.
“I wanted to score. And I thought I was going to,” said Sherman, who has two career interception-returns for touchdowns. “There were a lot of linemen out there and I thought I was going to get it done.”
Sherman says his parents Beverly and Kevin Sherman have about the first half of his 21 career interceptions in their home. He’s now got about a dozen in his place, but only one for this season. Each ball is labeled with the opponent, so he knows what date he got each pick while displaying them.
He also has the ball from the blocked field goal he returned for a score against San Francisco late in the 2012 season.
“I have cases for each one,” he said. “I just stack them all around the house.”
The only one he doesn’t have is the first one of his career, from the middle of the 2011 season, months after Seattle drafted him in the fifth round with the 154th overall pick of that year’s draft.
“The only one I don’t have is from Cincinnati,” he said. “I threw that one back at the (Bengals) coach (Marvin Lewis).
“ ‘That’s what you get for not picking me.’ ”
It was reserve day for the Seahawks.
Strong safety Kam Chancellor was listed as active — but only because seven fellow injured teammates were already declared inactive: safety Jeron Johnson (concussion), starting cornerback Byron Maxwell (strained calf), starting linebackers Malcolm Smith (strained groin) and Bobby Wagner (turf toe), starting left tackle Russell Okung (strained calf), starting tight end Zach Miller (ankle surgery) and defensive tackle Jordan Hill (sprained ankle).
Chancellor didn’t really test his strained groin or his bone spurs in ankles during early pregame drills, and he didn’t dress for pregame warmups. DeShawn Shead made his first career start in his 16th career game for Chancellor at strong safety — and the Seahawks list Shead as a cornerback.
Patrick Lewis started at center because Max Unger missed his fourth consecutive game with sprained foot and Bellevue High School graduate Stephen Schilling was out with a knee injury. They dressed but again, there’s only so many injured guys the team can put as inactive. Undrafted college tight end-turned-tackle Garry Gilliam had to go in at left guard after James Carpenter sprained his ankle in the second half. Eventually, the Seahawks felt compelled to insert Schilling because Lewis and the rest of the line was getting overwhelmed.
Coach Pete Carroll said afterward that he wasn’t sure how badly injured Carpenter is, and that wide receiver Doug Baldwin “had a little groin thing” though he finished the game. Defensive tackle Greg Scruggs had a sore knee, Carroll said.
The injury situation could improve by next Sunday for the home game against the New York Giants. Jeremy Lane is eligible to come off the injured-reserve-with-designation-to-return list to make his season debut at nickel back. Carroll said Unger and Chancellor have chances to play next week.
COME ON IN
Will Tukuafu made his first career start, four days after the 285-pound former San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman signed with Seattle as Marshawn Lynch’s new plow horse and the biggest fullback Seattle’s had in a day or three. He was the lead blocker for the first of three consecutive runs by Lynch to start the game, the first time since Seattle traded for Lynch in 2010 that it began a game with three straight runs by Lynch.
This time last week, Tukuafu was home in Eugene, Oregon, with his wife and two babies under 21 months old.
“Hey, man, I was just excited to be out there,” he said. “I felt kind of good. There’s always room for improvement, just on the timing and all that.”
In the third quarter — the man Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn isn’t ruling out perhaps playing defensive end if needed — had a Russell Wilson pass go off his hands at the sideline after one of the quarterback’s constant scrambles.
“I got to make that catch, if the ball is a little wet,” Tukuafu said. “After that I had to switch out to my rain gloves.”
Yes, the Seahawks have a 285-pound former defensive lineman as a fullback who has rain gloves.
Gilliam’s snaps at guard were his first ever there, at any level. … Quinn again employed speedy rookie LB Kevin Pierre-Louis in nickel sets on passing downs, as he did last week at the Carolina Panthers. “The past two weeks were great, definitely a confidence booster,” the fourth-round pick from Boston College said. “I’ve been able to have the game slow down a little bit as I’m definitely getting more confident in my play.” He missed most of August with a hamstring injury. … One day after the team released Juanita High School grad Bryan Walters, rookie WR Paul Richardson was the kickoff returner for the second straight game and Baldwin was the punt returner for the first time this season. Richardson had two returns for 64 yards. Baldwin had three for 37, including a 38 yard run back of a punt in the fourth quarter that set up Hauschka’s third field goal for a 30-17 lead. “Yeah,” Baldwin said of dusting off his return game, “we needed every ounce of it today to pull it off.”