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Is the Jets game a must-win for Dennis Allen?


Brad Bordyn

If the Raiders are going to end the season on a high note, their opportunities to make a statement are quickly running out.

After dropping two consecutive winnable games, the Oakland Raiders find themselves stuck at four wins – the same as their 2012 total. With four games remaining, this young Raiders team will be desperately seeking a positive finish to the season – one that displays how far they’ve come. Particularly for Dennis Allen, the final stretch of the season is crucial. If the Raiders don’t look competitive over the next few weeks, Allen will be giving Mark Davis every reason to wonder whether his Raiders are on the right track or not. And after Sunday’s game against the Jets it won’t get any easier.

The Jets present by far the most beneficial matchup for the Raiders out of their remaining games. Geno Smith has turned the ball over a league-leading 23 times, and the Jets offense has looked anemic. The Raiders secondary is lacking depth, especially with Usama Young now on IR, but Smith has only thrown one touchdown pass in the last seven games.

On the other hand, the Jets have a talented defensive line featuring Mohammed Wilkerson, Damon Harrison, and outstanding rookie Sheldon Richardson. The Raiders will be without Mike Brisiel, which thrusts struggling, recently-benched guard Lucas Nix back into the starting lineup on the right side. Moreover, the Raiders could be without leading rusher Rashad Jennings, who has helped jumpstart the offense. Lack of a run game coupled with quarterback pressure could quickly ruin any plans the Raiders have to leave the Meadowlands with a victory.

After the Jets, the Raiders face three consecutive divisional games. The Raiders were almost competitive when they visited Kansas City earlier this season, but an offensive meltdown against the then-undefeated Chiefs led to an ugly loss. This time the Chiefs might be without one or both of their starting outside linebackers, but their offense has improved since the last time the Raiders faced them. The Raiders were lucky to escape their Week 5 game against the Chargers with a win. San Diego has been typically inconsistent all season, but Philip Rivers is capable of making Oakland’s secondary look bad. And finally, Denver has both Peyton Manning and Von Miller and the Raiders aren’t nearly talented enough to hang with an elite team yet.

That lack of talent may be the reason Dennis Allen will be around next year, even with another losing season on his resume. Few could have expected Allen to do too much with the pieces he was given. But if he can’t help the Raiders to an even slightly better record than they had last season, how could anyone blame Mark Davis for considering his alternatives? Of course, consistency is the best thing for a young football team, and starting over with a new coaching staff may not even be an instant fix. But Allen’s team needs to do something to help his cause. Obviously, the Raiders won’t win out. But even if they look competitive in losses against better teams, it could go a long way. Still, at least one win would be huge for Dennis Allen. If the Raiders don’t beat the Jets this weekend, it’ll be an uphill climb over their final three games.


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I can't believe McKenzie and Allen were brought in without a minimum of a 3 year plan.  Everyone in the organization knew it was going to take 2 years just to climb out of the hole.  2014 will be the year they have cap room and can build the team McKenzie (and Allen) want.  Dennis Allen definitely gets this next season to show what he can do.

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Not saying it's right or wrong, but if DA can't give them even one more win than they had last year, I can't fault Mark Davis for re-evaluating the situation. I still think it's best for the long-term health of the Raiders to have consistency with the coaching staff and front office, but at this point Allen needs some help from his team to make that case for him.

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To utilize their cap room and sign star players who can contribute Oakland is going to have to show a certain amount of stability. I think the Raiders will have a difficult time with off-season signings if they're starting over with the coaching staff.

 

The Raiders have loss some winnable game, but the losses were due to the play on the field and not the coaching (unlike with Hue Jackson).

 

My hope is Little Davis will give McKenzie and Allen the 2014 season to finish what they started in 2012.

Edited by Rybcon

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Then again, if you can't prepare your team to play against the Jets and then you start dicking around with the quarterbacks maybe being a head coach is too much for you.

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I know Wins vs. Losses are the most important stat but you also have to look at how competitive we have been in games. I know as fans thats a hard pill to swallow but we are in games whereas last year we were getting spanked and there was nothing we could do about it. So I think Marky Mark sees progress but is it enough progress to allow DA and RM to continue their build... I hope so - to much of the dismay of most of the Raider Nation

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I agree.  The Raiders have been far more competitive this year than I had thought they would be.  Now we'll see how we do against the 3 division teams these last 3 weeks.

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It's a fine line.

 

On the one hand you have a head coach who's shown some promise. You can't really get much done with a team in 2 years.

 

On the other hand, you have a team who once fired a head coach after one season of 8-8. This is a results-driven league.

 

I think Allen has some promise and deserves another year. If you're drafting this high, he needs the opportunity to bring in some talent (never was sold on either of the Raiders' first two picks, Hayden and Menelik Watson).

But I completely understand why the Raiders might get rid of him.

 

It's a fine line.

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