Allen: 'We've got to play smarter'
SAN DIEGO – Head coach Dennis Allen said his Raiders played hard but didn’t play smart.
That was evident in the penalty count. Allen’s Raiders committed 12 penalties for 73 yards, a total that didn’t include three declined missteps.
The damning stat within a stat: Six of those penalties gave the Chargers a first down.
It’s part of a late-season surge in flags that, among many other factors, coincides with a five-game losing streak.
“I think it really boils down to guys pressing to try and make something happen,” Allen said. “We’re not sticking to our fundamentals and technique like we’re supposed to. A lot of the penalties we’re getting to and they’re not. Today, penalties happened during the play. We have to continue to improve there.”
While the Raiders were penalized heavily, the Chargers were not. The hosts were flagged three times for 24 yards.
The Raiders fell victim to some suspect calls, but were offenders of some undisciplined mistakes. The worst came from Mike Jenkins, who knocked the ball out of Ryan Mathews’ hands after pushing him out of bounds.
He was flagged for taunting.
“That wasn’t smart,” Allen said. “Those are plays we can’t have because they cost your football team. In the heat of the moment, he did something emotional. We can’t have that.”
Allen set a tone early in training camp that included a heightened level of discipline. Yet here the Raiders are, ranked in the top five for penalties as they traditionally are.
“They hurt us a lot,” receiver Rod Streater said. “You can’t continue to put yourself behind when you’re playing a really good team like they are. You have to really be on point. To keep pushing yourself back and back makes it hard to come out with a win like this.”