Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen cleared the air and took the high road Monday, when discussing quarterback Matt Flynn's performance in the loss to the Washington Redskins Sunday. Flynn struggled mightily in the loss and the Raiders blew a 14 point lead, losing 24-14, in a game they had every opportunity to win.
“First of all, I want to make one thing perfectly clear,” Allen said. “This game of football is not about one person. It’s about eleven guys on each side of the ball. It’s about offense. It’s about defense. It’s about special teams. At no point was this ever made about one guy. I want to make sure that’s perfectly clear. We had a football game to go out and play yesterday. We went out as a team. We didn’t get it done. That’s the end of the story. We’ve got to get better.”
Allen was addressing the amount of heat and blame Flynn took after the loss. Although football is a team game, Flynn clearly hurt the Raiders. He started the game off well, but faltered down the stretch with an interception returned for a touchdown and a costly fumble. He held the ball way too long and took seven sacks. The offensive line was brutal in protection, but Flynn exacerbated the issues by being unable to feel the pressure and get rid of the football.
“Passing game-wise, we really couldn’t get anything going,” Allen said. “I didn’t think Matt [Flynn] was as effective as he needs to be. I didn’t think the protection was as good as it needs to be. Those are the things we’ve got to work to improve on. We get another great opportunity this week. We’ve got San Diego coming in here, and we’re looking forward to it.”
The Raiders defense and special teams played very well and the team can build from those performances. The defense is far improved from last season and kept the Raiders in the game against the Washington Redskins. The special teams, aside from another Sebastian Janikowski missed field goal, executed a fake punt to Taiwan Jones for a first down and Rashad Jennings blocked a punt that was picked up by Jeremy Stewart in the endzone for a touchdown.
“I thought our special teams played well in the game,” Allen said. “They gave us an opportunity. We stole a possession with a fake punt. We blocked a punt for a touchdown.”
It is going to be very difficult for the Raiders to shake off this loss because of how they lost. It will be very telling to see how Oakland comes out against San Diego this week. If they are ready to play or revert to last season's form and struggle to compete.
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