Wednesday, April 16, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Frustration mounts for struggling Raiders

Dennis Allen

during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. New Orleans won the game 38-17. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

ALAMEDA — Coach Dennis Allen agrees with Oakland owner Mark Davis’ assessment that the Raiders have regressed in recent weeks and he is going to do what it takes to turn the team around.

The Raiders (3-7) have lost three straight games following Sunday’s 38-17 home loss to New Orleans that led to booing and early departures by the frustrated fans. Davis met in the locker room after the game with Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie and said he was embarrassed by the team’s play and apologized to the fans.

“I’m right there with him,” Allen said Monday. “I’m frustrated. I’m disappointed. You know, you wake up this morning and your gut hurts. But, at the same time, when a man gets knocked down a man gets up and fights. And that’s exactly what we intend to do. I understand his frustration; I can appreciate that. And let me tell you, there’s nobody that’s going to work any harder to get it corrected than I will.”

After a promising October post-bye stretch that included a last-second loss at previously unbeaten Atlanta and back-to-back wins over Jacksonville and Kansas City, the Raiders have fallen apart in November.

Oakland has allowed 135 points the past three games in losses to Tampa Bay, Baltimore and New Orleans and been outscored by 66 points in that span.

“When you lose, it hurts,” Allen said. “Rips your gut out. But a win turns everything around. A win makes everybody feel a lot better. And that’s what we need to do. We need to come together as a football team and we need to all make a decision that we’re going to do whatever it takes to win football games. And that’s what we’ve got to do.”

That hasn’t happened in this recent stretch.

Carson Palmer has thrown six interceptions in that span and the offense has struggled to finish off drives in the red zone. The injury-depleted defense has struggled against both the run and pass, allowing the most points in a three-game span for the franchise since 1961.

Allen and the players believe there is enough talent to win in Oakland despite injuries and a lack of depth on the roster and that the problems have been mostly about poor execution.

“You look across the board, it isn’t the most talented teams that win in this league, it’s the teams that consistently do everything right over and over and over again,” defensive tackle Richard Seymour said. “I think we’ve been inconsistent at times, offense, defense and special teams. So any time that happens, the record speaks for itself. It’s been inconsistent play, from everybody, it isn’t just one guy, it’s everybody.”

This week’s game has added significance since it’s Palmer’s first game against the Bengals since forcing a trade out of Cincinnati last year. Palmer threatened to retire rather than keep playing for the Bengals and was eventually traded midway through the 2011 season to Oakland.

“It’s a big game,” Palmer said. “But it’s obviously a much bigger game for our team. We have to get a win. We’re going to fight, we’re going to grind this week. We have a lot of room for improvement, a lot of areas we need to improve on.”

Palmer has had an up-and-down tenure in Oakland. He came off his couch midway through last season after starter Jason Campbell broke his collarbone and led the Raiders within one win of the playoffs.

Palmer has thrown for more than 300 yards in each of the three recent losses and is on pace for a Raiders-record 4,856 yards passing this season.

He is third in the NFL in yards passing but has also thrown 11 interceptions, including two that have been returned for touchdowns.

“I think consistency has been our biggest Achilles’ heel,” he said. “We’ve put together great plays or a great quarter or a great half on every side of the ball. But consistently doing it. The teams that win consistently in this league play consistently well four quarters of the game. That’s something we haven’t done. That’s something we need to continue to work on.”

NOTES: The 135 points allowed by Oakland the last three games are the fourth most since the merger and most for any team since 2008. … Allen said he’s hopeful that RBs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson (sprained right ankles), Seymour (hamstring) and safety Tyvon Branch (neck) are healthy enough to return to practice this week.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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