London, England – There was a time when an eight and eight record would get you fired. Since then things have changed for the worse. Former owner Al Davis passed away almost three years ago, his son (Mark Davis) whose less of a daredevil than his father has kept his coaching staff in place despite two losing seasons. The senior Davis hated to lose and found ways to win especially if it meant handing out pink slips.
The past two years, the Raiders have gone 4-12. A far cry from the 8-8- seasons that led the former owner to fire his head coaches. Oakland is looking for win number one before heading into the bye week. Head coach, Dennis Allen is confident about his job security and that the Raiders will win just as he does every week.
“I’ve always felt confident that this team can win football games,” said Allen. “But we’ve got to be able to go out there and do it on Sunday. We get another opportunity this Sunday against Miami. We’ll go out and put forth our best effort and see if that’s good enough to win.”
Is it time to panic in week four? Absolutely. Oakland traveled across the pond after their loss to the Patriots last week to prepare for the Dolphins this Sunday. Miami comes in with a 1-2 record. The match-up should be good since both teams are almost equal in stats except for the Dolphins rushing yards which is considerably less than the Raiders.
“We’ve always felt together as a team, we just weren’t winning,” Safety Charles Woodson said. “Just as any team we’re trying to build that mentality going into a game expecting to win. The importance was not to go 0-1. Nobody around here wants to be 0-4, so we understand the importance of this being just another road game.”
Woodson was not shy with his comments after week two’s loss. He basically said, “We’re not good”. A harsh reality coming from a veteran whose played with the best and worst during his playing career. Oakland’s defense flatlined in the first two games but made some crucial stops and held New England three times on first and goal. A vast improvement from their first two games. The Raiders offense struggles with the red zone yet quarterback Derek Carr continues to find ways to move the offense.
“Our game plan was simplified,” Woodson said. “We knew exactly what to do and when that happens, guys fly around knowing what’s expected of them. It showed in the film, guys were where they were supposed to be and that’s why we had a chance in the end.”
Carr found an open Denarius Moore who was unable to catch Carr’s shotgun pass on fourth down. That ended the game. Oakland walked away with a good effort and loss number three. Today’s practice at Pennyhill Park, the team seemed upbeat and ready to get back on the field to compete. The time away from the U.S. has given the players a chance to bond more.
“I think anytime you get a chance to get away and keep your team (for lack of a better word), sequestered in a small area. They spend a lot of time together, it’s good for those guys to get together and bond,” Allen said. “And hopefully it’ll help produce wins.”