ALAMEDA – With the Raiders’ season spinning out of control after yet another lopsided loss, coach Dennis Allen believes there is still time to save the season.
The Raiders flew home from London on Monday after losing 38-14 to the Miami Dolphins in a game that could mark the franchise’s low point in three seasons under Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie.
“I think that we got to continue to keep working and, again, we got a lot of things we got to look at this bye week and see what we can do to get better,” Allen said Sunday.
One of the first things that likely will get looked at is Allen’s status. With an 8-28 record, a 10-game losing streak and another loss that the Raiders weren’t even competitive in, the case for Allen remaining coach is getting thinner by the day.
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Oakland is off this week after the long flight home, making this a possible time for a coaching change before the Raiders return to the field to host San Diego on Oct. 12.
The Raiders have changed coaches during the season only twice since the merger, firing Mike Shanahan after four games in 1989 and Lane Kiffin four games into the 2008 season.
Those coaches were both feuding with late owner Al Davis at the time and those moves were about far more than results on the field. Whether Davis’ son, Mark, shows patience remains to be seen.
Mark Davis expected to see progress this year after a pair of four-win seasons that were part of the “deconstruction” of the struggling franchise. But even after signing several playoff-tested veterans and having a near full draft class, the Raiders have shown few signs of improvement.
The offense is last in the league in scoring (12.8 points per game), total offense (270 yards per game) and rushing offense (61.5 yards per game) as rookie quarterback Derek Carr has gotten little help from his line or skilled position players.
The defense hasn’t been much better with the exception of a spirited effort against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots that almost led to an Oakland win on the way over to London.
But any good feeling from that 16-9 loss that went down to the final minute was quickly washed away against the Dolphins. After scoring a touchdown on the opening drive, the Raiders allowed the Dolphins to score 24 points on the next four drives to put the game out of reach.
Ryan Tannehill completed 23 of 31 passes for 278 yards and two touchdowns after nearly getting benched earlier in the week and the Dolphins ran for 157 yards against a defense that often had players out of position.
“We'll look at all the issues and see where things went wrong,” Allen said. “We obviously didn’t keep the momentum that we had early in the game and defensively we didn’t do a good enough job of stopping them.”
The Raiders also could be without their starting quarterback when they return from the bye. Carr left the game in the third quarter after injuring his left ankle and knee on a scramble.
Carr has been one of the few bright spots this season as he has looked comfortable in the pocket and shown flashes that he could be a quarterback the Raiders can build their team around in the future.
Fellow rookie Khalil Mack has also played well at linebacker but there are few other building blocks in place in an indictment of the work done by Allen and McKenzie since arriving before the 2012 season.