The Raiders fell to the San Diego Chargers on the road Sunday in a tale that is becoming a broken record.
Fans bore witness to an anemic offense and tired defense during the 26-13 loss, which might have been closer had it not been for several penalties.
Officials threw yellow nylon in the direction of a Raiders’ player 12 times, a statistic that sealed their fate. Penalties mixed with a pair of turnovers and an inability to capitalize on Chargers mistakes led to Oakland’s 11th loss of the season.
Head coach Dennis Allen summed it up:
“We’ve got to play smarter. … We had too many penalties. A lot of our penalties, specifically defensively, came on third down, which allowed them to extend some drives.”
Third down conversions came easy to the Chargers, like taking advantage of a rookie. So easy, that San Diego quarterback Phillip Rivers sent out a few zingers after the game:
“It shouldn’t have been close, but they don’t give you any extra points for winning by a bigger margin.”
Many could have taken the statement as an insult, though Raiders safety Charles Woodson didn’t necessarily disagree:
“We had a bunch of offsides, and just things you can’t do. We kind of shot ourselves in the foot, all game long.”
The continuous tide of losses, now five straight, is all the Raiders have. Playing for pride, the Raiders scored one touchdown during their second drive, a five-yard-run by Darren McFadden.
What’s worse, the team may be over-achieving, ranking 27th in the league after national pundits predicted a last place finish. Moreover, they have scored more points than the Baltimore Ravens, who are in playoff contention.
Owner Mark Davis has voiced patience in recent days, though there remains a chance that Dennis Allen may not be back next year.
Coaching a team that began the season with a 72 rating in Madden 25 has not been easy. The roster was pieced together with whomever was available for a low price. Now the roster is banged up and demoralized, mirroring the same Raiders roster of the 2012 season.
Allen’s contract extends through the 2014 season, though defensive coordinator Jason Tarver is one of a handful of coaches with expiring contracts. It’s looking like those coaches may not return, as ownership gains nothing at this point by waiting until after the season to renew them.
So much for patience.