The Raiders have gone from the potential surprise team in the AFC West to the least competitive team in the league in the span of four weeks.
Even the 1-10 Chiefs — one of the three teams the Raiders have beaten this season — have put up more of a fight than the Raiders recently, and the Raiders may not have reached rock bottom yet. There are still five games to be played, including three in a row at home, starting with 3-8 Browns on Sunday, in front of a fan base growing more and more disgruntled with the club’s awful play.
Oakland was 3-4 one month ago heading into a home game against the Buccaneers, who were also 3-4 at the time. At that time it seemed possible that the Raiders could emerge from the rubble in the AFC West as a potential challenger for at least a wild-card spot. The Bucs sent the Raiders into a tailspin they have yet to find there way out of, though, and it has rightly put first-year head coach Dennis Allen on the hot seat.
His Raiders are playing like the Bucs of a season ago — a team that lost 10 consecutive games, many of them lopsided losses, after a 4-2 start before firing its head coach, Raheem Morris. Morris was considered a head coach of the year candidate after the 2010 season — things change quickly in the NFL, as the Raiders have shown of late.
The Raiders have lost four straight games. It’s the first time they have done that since 2008, and the Bucs game was the last time they didn’t lose by 21 or more points.
If Allen does not put a stop to the embarrassment soon, owner Mark Davis might end it for him when the season is over. After the Raiders’ last blowout loss at home — a 38-17 rout by the Saints — Davis held an impromptu press conference in the team’s locker room. He made it clear that he believed the team was not playing up to its potential and, when asked about the future of Allen and GM Reggie McKenzie, Davis told reporters “they’ve got contracts, they’ll be here.”
He also said that day that he wanted to see progress and not regression from his team, but he received more of the latter a week later in the Raiders’ 34-10 loss at Cincinnati.
It was not long ago that the idea that Allen could be one-and-done as the Raiders’ head coach seemed far-fetched. It’s becoming more conceivable with each blowout, and at what point will an owner losing his patience decide that he’s seen enough?