Raiders see progress despite another losing season
Stumbling to the finish of a losing season has become an
all-too-familiar feeling around the Oakland Raiders.
With 11 straight years without a winning record or playoff berth
and an NFL-worst 120 losses since the start of the 2003 season, the
Raiders have had to search for any small positives they can
Despite coming off a 37-27 loss to a struggling New York Jets
team held to six points the two previous weeks, the Raiders (4-9)
see signs of progress in being competitive most weeks and being
done in by a few small mistakes rather than being completely
overmatched like they were a year ago.
”You have to appreciate where you came from, where we were last
year and this year,” receiver Rod Streater said. ”Our record
might not be different, but as a team we’re right there. We just
have to get that one thing to help us get that win at the
That has eluded the Raiders so far as they have lost six games
they held leads in or were tied in the second half. That was not
the case against the Jets as Oakland fell into a 20-3 first-half
hole after Matt McGloin threw an interception deep in his own
territory and Marquette King had a punt blocked for a
The Raiders played better in the second half, scoring 17 points
on their first three drives, but were unable to come up with key
stops and lost their third straight game.
They have three shots left to surpass last season’s win total,
starting Sunday at home against Kansas City (10-3) followed by a
visit to San Diego (6-7) and the season finale at home against
”I think we’re a lot closer,” coach Dennis Allen said.
”Obviously the record doesn’t say so. We all recognize that at the
end of the day this is a production business. We understand that
you are what your record says you are. But I also know there’s a
lot of areas where this football team has improved.”
Whether the improvement is enough to bring Allen back for a
third season may not be determined until after the final three
games. Allen said he and general manager Reggie McKenzie remain in
lockstep in their vision for the franchise and said he is worried
about beating Kansas City on Sunday, not his own status.
Allen has lost more games in his first two seasons than any
coach in Raiders history. The only coach the team has brought back
after losing records in the first two seasons was Tom Cable, who
went 9-19 his first two years after replacing the fired Lane Kiffin
after four games in 2008.
Cable went 8-8 in his final season in Oakland before being fired
after the 2010 season. Hue Jackson then went 8-8 in his only season
as Raiders coach before McKenzie brought in Allen to help lead a
Allen still has strong support in the locker room, where the
players have bought into his approach even if they haven’t always
been able to turn that into wins.
”He’s a true leader,” running back Rahsad Jennings said. ”He
has a high expectation. That’s exactly what you want from a leader.
He’s been putting us in good situation to win every single game.
That’s all you can ask for from a coach. It always comes down to
the players executing. There’s a lot of accountability in this
locker room. He’s definitely the man for the job, and we follow his
NOTES: Matt McGloin will make his fifth straight start at QB but
Terrelle Pryor could be mixed in as well after playing one series
against the Jets, Allen said. … Jennings said he has been cleared
to play after sitting out Sunday’s game with a concussion. … DL
Vance Walker and TE Nick Kasa both had concussions in the game,
with Walker’s appearing to be more of a concern, Allen said. … LB
Sio Moore will be evaluated during the week with a neck injury.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org