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AFC West Spin cycle: Raiders regress and still win

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Dan Parr
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Posted Oct. 22, 2012 @ 10:10 a.m. ET
By Dan Parr

With the rest of the division's teams on bye, the Raiders represented the AFC West with an ugly win over the shorthanded Jaguars to improve to 2-4.


What we learned: Sure, the Raiders were able to get a win Sunday, but we are not seeing steady improvement from them. They actually took a step back in terms of overall play — they played a better game in a loss at Atlanta a week earlier. The Jaguars are one of the league’s worst teams with RB Maurice Jones-Drew and QB Blaine Gabbert, and they didn’t even have Jones-Drew, their best offensive weapon, and Gabbert, their starting quarterback, for most of the game Sunday. Both left with injuries, and Jones-Drew actually departed only a minute into the game. Still, the Raiders were trailing 20-6 in the second half and it took overtime for them to get the win at home. In order to beat more talented opponents on a regular basis, the Raiders are going to have to improve significantly.

What’s in store next: Oakland has to hit the road, but it will face the woeful Chiefs (1-5), who have lost three in a row and were blown out by the Buccaneers, 38-10, in their last outing. Kansas City will have had a bye week to address its issues, but extra preparation might not be enough to cure what ails the Chiefs. The Raiders have won their last five games at Arrowhead Stadium and are only a game out of first place in the AFC West heading into Sunday’s battle.

What the heck? It didn’t end up coming back to bite them Sunday, but the Raiders could have done a better job utilizing their timeouts in the second half. In a tight game, Oakland had burned all three of its timeouts in the fourth quarter and there was still 3:53 left on the clock. They used all three in the span of a little more than three minutes and two of them were used in situations when the clock already was stopped because the previous play was an incomplete pass. There was a play earlier in the fourth quarter in which QB Carson Palmer seemed to lose track of the play clock and was flagged for a delay-of-game penalty, which backed Oakland up to the Jaguars’ 14-yard line on 1st-and-goal. They ended up with a field goal instead of possibly more on that drive. The team was just not sharp Sunday.

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