Raiders defense plays better, still not good enough

Allen: 'I was proud of the way the defense responded'

Raiders defense plays better, still not good enough
November 10, 2013, 4:00 pm
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The Raiders allowed just 251 yards against the Giants forcing two turnovers, including one that went for a touchdown. (USATSI)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Raiders defense gave up 542 yards and seven touchdowns last week in a beat down of epic proportion. The Philadelphia Eagles embarrassed a proud unit at home, leaving many to wonder how the Raiders would respond.

The answer: pretty darn well, but still not good enough.

The Raiders lost 24-20 to the host New York Giants on Sunday, but it’s hard to find much fault in the defensive effort. The Raiders allowed just 251 yards. They forced two turnovers, including an interception Tracy Porter returned 43 yards for a touchdown.

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Still, the Raiders fell short. While the offense should be blamed for this one, defensive leaders refused to point fingers.

They were happy with the rebound, disappointed in the end result.

“We played better than last week, but a loss is a loss,” middle linebacker Nick Roach said. “If we can’t do enough on our end to help our offense out, then it wasn’t good enough.”

The Raiders allowed a few costly third down conversions – the Giants were 7-for-14 overall -- and a too-high total of 133 rushing yards, but pass defense was strong. The unit was stout enough to give the Raiders a real chance to win, but the offense couldn’t get much going.

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The offense only scored one touchdown – it came in the first quarter, with an incredibly short field – and13 total points. Generally, the defense asks for at least 17. The offense couldn’t provide it.

After yet another tough loss, defenders found little solace in improved play.

“They’re all frustrating when you lose,” free safety Charles Woodson said. “The way we lost last week was embarrassing and this one was a winnable game. We didn’t make the plays we needed to make. We gave up some plays that we shouldn’t have given up and we didn’t come up with the win. All these losses hurt equally."