Monday morning reaction; Raiders at Ravens

Rob Carr

I was hoping for good, expecting bad, and ended up getting one of the worst performances in Oakland Raiders history.

There really is no way to sugarcoat this loss. It was devastating. It isn't just sitting at 3-6 which is so bad, it is the way the Raiders lost that game against Baltimore that was so terrible.

The 55 points given up ties the most in franchise history (tied with a loss to the Chargers) and that is a lot of games to take into consideration. This is not the type of record Dennis Allen intended on putting his name to.

There are not many positive things left to say about a defense that just gave up 97 points in its last 2 games. It seems like the Raiders simply cannot stop both the pass and the run in the same game. They are alternating which area of the opposing team's offense is going to make them look silly on each Sunday.

The offense can't run and can't score points inside the red zone. The passing game has been good but they are not getting enough touchdowns. The overall play calling has been unimaginative. Worst of all is that Carson Palmer is having to do everything himself which for a gunslinger often results in turnovers.

As for special teams, how on earth can Phillip Adams be the best return man the Raiders have? The fumble on the punt before half time against Baltimore was a killer and the game fell off a cliff after that mistake.

This forum was calling for Trindon Holliday who was cut from the Texans this preseason and all he has done is get 2 return TD's in the past 2 games for the division rival Broncos. After failing to get a legitimate return man this year the Raiders absolutely need to target one in next year's draft.

It is hard to sit here and find reasons left for hope in this season. It is another tough opponent next week against the suddenly unstoppable Saints. This coaching staff has not endeared themselves to the fan base yet and that is a big problem. Its an even bigger problem when you have Drew Brees coming to face you after a terrible loss.

Dennis Allen is not going anywhere anytime soon so his stance among the fans is a major concern for the organization. This is also a major concern for the Raider Nation which is far too impatient to go through the growing pains of a rookie head coach. Unfortunately the two are stuck together for the forseeable future.

What the Raiders need now is a great performance against New Orleans after this embarrassing loss in Baltimore. The Dennis Allen era needs a statement victory and winning a shoot out against the Saints could be just that. Dennis Allen also needs to show the fans that he can make the necessary adjustments after a game full of flaws.

This has definitely become a rebuilding year even if it didn't feel like the team itself needed it. I still believe in Dennis Allen and I think he will prove his heart and talent as a winner. I realize most people will say rebuilding is just code for sucking, after all the 49ers and the Colts both seem to be able to win while rebuilding. Unfortunately that is not the norm and losing usually comes hand in hand with rebuilding.

Rebuilding is for a team that needs to start over from the ground up and realistically that is exactly what the Raiders are doing. It is what teams need to do to become competitive again, and sucking just happens to go along with it most times. Not always, obviously, but more often than not. The groundwork needs to be set up to succeed long term or short term success doesn't really matter.

This year the team will have taken a step back in the hopes of taking two steps forward next year. To do that I believe the Raiders coaching staff must finish strong and string some wins together. Nobody is happy with losing and the product on the field needs to show that starting right away next week.

Yes, I agree that the rebuilding of a team that seemed so close is hard to take. Sometimes when you fix things that absolutely need to be fixed (like the Raiders salary cap situation) other parts that didn't need to be fixed are affected too. When this organization gets its feet totally on the ground again they will move forward rapidly but everything needs to be in place first.

Unfortunately for all of us that are sick of losing, the math of it ends up to more losing now when we can handle it the least. I am sick of waiting for the future too but its reachable with the staff the Raiders have. It is going to take them being here long enough to get the system to work and that doesn't always coincide with the fans wants and needs.

Baltimore came into this game ready to show the world that they are still a force and ransacked the Raiders in the process. What the Ravens just did to the Raiders could fit right into an Edgar Allen Poe poem perfectly as it was dark, tormenting, and left the victim lifeless afterwards. The soul crushing loss has also left Raider Nation demanding change that they likely will not and should not get.

The Raiders are not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs but it's a long shot to say the least. They would need to finish no worse than 8-8 and that would take going 5-2 over the final 7 games. That doesn't even solidify a spot, it just puts them in the conversation.

That doesn't mean it is time to roll over for the rest of the year. In fact it means the opposite to me. This team needs to win a few games to go into next year confident even if they miss the playoffs this year. The coaches need to instill some faith into this fan base no matter what in order to calm the minds of the masses.

Right now the respect is not there from the fans and that can be a death sentence. Dennis Allen has a chance to earn some of that respect next week vs the Saints, but another blow out loss will have the chants for his head grow louder. The Raiders need continuity but its hard to take losing as part of that building process and right now that is a tough lesson for this new Oakland hierarchy to learn.

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