Raiders defense reaches historic low vs. Chiefs

Three and Out: Allen on hot seat; defense hits wall; McGloin struggles

Raiders defense reaches historic low vs. Chiefs
December 15, 2013, 7:15 pm
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The Raiders have lost six of their last seven contests, allowing just under 35 points per game over that span. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

OAKLAND – The Raiders gave up 55 points three times in franchise history. Not until Sunday did they give up 56.

That’s how much the Kansas City Chiefs scored on Sunday at Oakland Coliseum, which set a new record for points allowed in a single game.

It’s a record these Raiders didn’t want. It’s something they couldn’t avoid. Sunday’s game marks a new low for a defense on a downhill slide since over the last month.

[INSTANT REPLAY: Smith, Charles shine as Chiefs crush Raiders]

The unit gave up a game-deciding touchdown on Tennessee’s final drive. They suffered a second-half collapse against Dallas on Thanksgiving. They got dismantled by the New York Jets last week and somehow played worse against the Chiefs.

It leaves one to wonder if the Raiders defense has anything left in the tank. After losing key depth to injury, the starting lineup seems to be running on empty.

The Raiders had problems with the basics on Sunday, a sign that they’re worn out. They struggled taking proper angles and making quality tackles. That led to several big plays that kept the Chiefs out front.

“We made it difficult on ourselves,” Raiders free safety Charles Woodson said. “This is a game that’s all about fundamentals and when you don’t carry out the fundamentals, things like what happened today happen: big plays happen, long runs happen. If you don’t play good, sound football and take care of your responsibility, you can’t get away from it.”

Quarterback Alex Smith had a perfect quarterback rating, but running back Jamaal Charles benefitted most from sloppy play. He had 215 yards total offense and five touchdowns, scoring several times without facing resistance.

Screen plays were shockingly effective. Charles scored his first three touchdowns on screen passes, including a 49-yard TD on the first play from scrimmage.

“Screens should never be an issue,” Woodson said. “It’s inexcusable and unexplainable how we could give up screens like that for scores. We have way too many good players on this team to let those things happen. We just didn’t get the job done.”

Frustration is starting to mount after another disappointing performance. There’s some head-scratching going on in the postgame locker room. Tracy Porter was at a loss for why the defense has lost its way.

“If we knew why we don’t execute to our potential,” he said, “we’d be 10-4, not 4-10.”

The defense has gone from good to bad to downright awful over the last month, with no sign of turning things around. The slide is starting to weigh on these Raiders as they head down the stretch.

“I think it’s frustrating in anything you do when you have expectations, you practice, and then it doesn’t go well, of course you leave a little disappointed,” middle linebacker Nick Roach said. “But everybody’s going to get knocked down so if you don’t get back up the right way, that’s when the problem comes.”