As the Oakland Raiders look forward to their showdown with the New Orleans Saints and their second ranked passing offense, the team must find answers to their defensive woes. Head coach Dennis Allen believes their inconsistency on defense is the main reason they have struggled in many games.
“Hey, listen, we’re at that point in the season and we’ve got to win football games,” Allen said. “Our issues have been, at least defensively, have been the inconsistency issues. We play good in spurts and then in other spurts we don’t play so well. We did a better job of stopping the run this past week; it was the passing game that hurt us. So we’ve got to find a way to be more consistent.”
The Raiders have shown some promise on defense in a few spots this season. However, the have yet to find a way to improve and put together good games. In losses to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Miami Dolphins, Oakland was shredded in the running game, allowing over 230 yards in each game. In losses to the Denver Broncos and last week against the Baltimore Ravens, the pass defense was the downfall. At times this season, Oakland has proven to be a capable and formidable defense. They held a potent Atlanta Falcons offense to just 286 total yards. It boils down to playing at a high level on every play. They must eliminate the inconsistency, mental errors, and miscommunications.
“We have to play at a high level on every single snap in every single game,” Allen said. “Just like anybody else in the National Football League, if you don’t play consistently, you’re going to have the ups and downs like we’ve had. So I don’t look at it as a talent issue. We have who we have and our job is to go out and win football games.”
So as the Raiders move onto their second half schedule, they must achieve that consistency. They cannot hurt themselves with penalties or blown assignments. The coaching staff needs to find the players that can be successful on this team and in this league. The players must have the pride to show their ability and play to their potential.
“We’re pros and that’s what our job is to do,” Allen said. “I don’t know how things have been done before, we’re hired here to do a job and that’s to do the best we can to try to win football games. That’s exactly what I expect throughout the remainder of the season. The only thing that we’re guaranteed right now is that we can’t be any better than 10-6. That’s the way I look at it.”
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