Nhat V. Meyer San Jose Mercury News Coach Dennis Allen said the Raiders intend to fight back after allowing 135 points while losing the last three games.

Frustration grows for slumping Oakland

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012 - 5:10 pm

ALAMEDA – Owner Mark Davis isn't the only person upset with the Raiders' performance the past three weeks.

"Hey, I'm right there with him," coach Dennis Allen said Monday at his weekly news conference. "I'm frustrated. I'm disappointed. You wake up in the morning, and your gut hurts.

"At the same time, when a man gets knocked down, he gets up and fights. And that's exactly what we intend to do. I understand his frustration. I can appreciate that. Let me tell you, there's nobody that's going to work any harder to get it corrected than I will."

Davis had an impromptu meeting with reporters after Sunday's 38-17 loss to New Orleans, saying he was a patient man but unhappy with "regression."

Asked if general manager Reggie McKenzie and Allen, both in their first year with the franchise, received a pass this season because of salary cap issues and injuries, Davis said, "I wouldn't call it a pass. They've got contracts. They're going to be here."

The Raiders (3-7) have given up 135 points in losing their last three games. Sunday, they visit Cincinnati (5-5).

"When you lose, it hurts, rips your gut out," Allen said. "A win turns everything around. A win makes everybody feel a lot better. And that's what we need to do. We need to come together as a football team and all make a decision that we're going to do what it takes to win football games."

Allen's message to the team was to stick together, and quarterback Carson Palmer believes the coach's talk hit the mark.

"His message was really good, spoken from a guy who's been on good teams, been on bad teams and been in the middle also," said Palmer, who will face the Bengals for the first time since forcing them to trade him to Oakland in October 2011. "I think this team will respond very well to his message. We have to stick together. I don't think that's an issue. We know what areas we need to improve on. This is a group that is not going to shy away from that."

The Raiders' issues have remained fairly constant since the season began. They've had difficulty running, although Marcel Reece had 103 yards on 19 carries against New Orleans. They've also had difficulty converting on third downs and in the red zone.

Defensively, the Raiders have had periods of being unable to stop both the run and pass, and against the Saints, both problems were evident.

"I think inconsistency has been our biggest Achilles heel," Palmer said. "We've put together great plays or a great quarter or a great half on every side of the ball. But consistently doing it – the teams that win consistently in this league play consistently well four quarters of the game."

Defensive tackle Richard Seymour, who has missed the last two games because of a strained hamstring, agreed.

"It isn't the most talented teams that win in this league. It's the teams that do everything right over and over and over again," Seymour said. "We've been inconsistent at times – offense, defense and special teams. Anytime that happens, the record speaks for itself."

Notes – Allen hopes to see players such as Seymour (hamstring), running backs Darren McFadden (ankle) and Mike Goodson (ankle) and safety Tyvon Branch (neck) back on the practice field. But the coach stressed that injuries were no excuse, and he had no information as to whether any or all could return this week.

• Asked if he has enough good players to turn things around, Allen said, "I firmly believe that. I think if you look at it the other way around, that's an excuse, a crutch to say you can't get it done."

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Jerry McDonald



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