Consistency, or lack thereof, the defense's bugaboo

Consistency, or lack thereof, the defense's bugaboo
November 12, 2012, 10:49 pm
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ALAMEDA -- Dennis Allen is a defensive-minded coach, so you know it just has to pain him to see the Raiders give up 97 points over the past two weeks.Especially when the defense appears to "fix" one problem one week and then, the next, something else springs a leak.Or, as the loquacious Tommy Kelly said, "It's like a dam right now. You put your finger in one hole, and three or four more holes pop up."To be more succinct, the Raiders gave up 278 rushing yards to Tampa Bay. They followed that up in Baltimore by "limiting" the Ravens to a mere 78 yards on the ground. But Oakland surrendered 341 yards through the air and was pummeled, 55-20."We feel like you fix one thing and then you feel like you're fixing something else," Allen said in his weekly media conference Monday. "But at the end of the day, we've got to do a better job at being more consistent. And that's what it's really all about."And this from the glass-is-half-full department: it is the second time this season the Raiders had a 200-plus yard improvement in rushing yards allowed from one week to the next. Against Miami, Oakland gave up 263 yards on the ground; against Pittsburgh, the Raiders surrendered but 54 rushing yards.Consistency, or lack thereof, see?Perhaps more frustrating, though, was the Raiders' defense continuing to give up "explosive plays," which are defined by the Raiders staff as pass plays that yield at least 16 yards and run plays that gain at least 12 yards.The Ravens had 11 explosive plays -- 10 passes, which included two touchdowns, and one run -- on Sunday.This a week after Tampa Bay had 10 explosive plays -- four passes, one TD, and six runs, three TDs."I wish there was a magical answer," Allen said. "I know everybody wants a magical, 'This is the solution,' but at the end of the day, and I've said this over and over, it's about us doing our job the right way every single time. And when we develop that consistency, when we've had that consistency, we've played well in all three phases. But that's the key to having success."Everything we do is in a constant evaluation. But I'm not going to stand up here and say we're making wholesale changes. We're going to look at every aspect of what we do, offensively, defensively and the kicking game, and if we feel changes need to be made, we'll make those changes."On the season, the Raiders have given up 69 explosive plays (48 passes with six TDs and 21 runs with six TDs) while getting 63 explosive plays of their own (54 passes with five TDs and nine runs with one TD).It all begs the question, with so much inconsistency on defense, do the Raiders have enough raw talent on that side of the ball to win?"Yeah, we have enough talent," Allen said. "We have to play at a high level on every single snap in every single game. Just like anybody else in the National Football League, if you dont play consistently, youre going to have the ups and downs like weve had. I dont look at it as a talent issue. We have who we have. Our job is to go out there and win football games."And no, no one on Allen's staff is on a hot seat."Nobody is on the bubble," Allen said. "I dont think this is the appropriate time to even comment on that anyway."