The Oakland Raiders have now lost five straight games since the defeated the Houston Texans on November 17th. The team has found a number of ways to lose the games including penalties, defensive lapses, and turnovers. Oakland has one more chance to get back into the win column in 2013 when they play the AFC West division champion Denver Broncos.
“Obviously, we’re disappointed that we lost the game,” Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said after the 26-13 loss to the San Diego Chargers. “There’s multiple factors that go into that. We had too many penalties, third down was a critical thing in the game. A lot of our penalties, specifically defensively, came on third down, which allowed them to extend some drives. The turnovers in the red zone cost us six points and we couldn’t capitalize enough to win the football game when we took the ball away from them. So disappointing. Guys are frustrated. We all are. We have to be better.”
It seems that the Raiders just have no idea how to win football games. It is not for a lack of effort, but a lack of talent and execution. They settle for field goals far too often in the when they need touchdowns. They commit penalties to extend opposing drives or destroy their own drives. They miss opportunities to make plays that could get them over the hump to a victory. They fail to capitalize fully when they are able to force turnovers. The team finds ways to beat themselves.
“I told the guys in the locker room, I thought we played hard; I didn’t think we played smart,” Allen said. “And that’s what we have to be able to do. We have to play smarter. Penalties are going to happen in the game, but we can’t have the not smart penalties, which cost your football team.”
Oakland will try to find answers against a Denver Broncos team playing for the top seed in the AFC. This team will look very different next season with their cap space abundance and high draft choices. Whoever wants to be a part of the 2014 Raiders will have to show themselves in the season finale.
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