Allen: 'We gotta learn how to win on the road'
Dennis Allen: “I’m looking at this team getting focused in on beating the Houston Texans and that’s the only thing that I’m concerned with." (USATSI)
Programming note: Watch Wednesday’s Raiders press conference with Dennis Allen and Terrelle Pryor streaming live right here at 1:10 p.m.
The Raiders are a disappointing 3-6 and the AFC’s No. 12 seed. Crazy to consider playoffs were a possibility a few weeks ago.
Let’s drop that word from the vocabulary and focus on more immediate concerns. The Raiders just need a win, baby.
That’s especially true after getting blown out by Philadelphia despite a chance to reach .500, and losing a winnable road game against the New York Giants.
Those results have changed immediate goals, and dampened early-season hype that the Raiders might be a surprise contender in conference.
That’s no longer the case.
“Obviously, we're in a hole right now,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “We've got to continue to fight to get ourselves out of this. I know we've got a lot of character. Those guys in that locker room, I know, are going to keep fighting, keep working. They're the type of guys you want in the locker room. We've got to learn how to win on the road.”
That’s been a struggle since Allen was hired. The Raiders are 1-11 on the road since the start of 2012, regardless of time zone. They’ll have another crack on Sunday against the Houston Texans. The Raiders aren’t finishing well, and have an offense struggling at all times.
Environment, however, shouldn’t be a factor.
“Winning on the road is about focus,” Raiders running back Rashad Jennings said. “The crowd is a factor, but if you can tune that out and stay in the moment, then it’s just a football game again.”
Focus is only possible if the Raiders can get their heads right. The Raiders are clearly frustrated with their play, and there’s concern that the disappointment will impact their desire in practice and play.
[RELATED: Allen: Jennings has earned more touches]
“It’s a sick feeling,” Jennings said. “I don’t know anybody who’s happy, but you have to deal with wins and losses in your own way. You can’t ride a roller coaster. You have to stay even keel.”
The Raiders still hope to win a stretch of games to elevate their confidence, and still have a string of lackluster opponents to ease that quest. The road to redemption can be tricky, especially if the guys think too far ahead.
“I’m looking at this team getting focused in on beating the Houston Texans and that’s the only thing that I’m concerned with,” Allen said. “I’m not concerned with anything other than that because that’s the only thing that we can control right now. We can’t control anything that has happened in the past.”