Entering Sunday’s game, the Washington Redskins had eight team sacks in three regular season games.
The Redskins left Oakland with 15 sacks as Matt Flynn led the Raiders to an agonizing 24-14 loss, scoring only one offensive touchdown against the league’s second-worst defense.
Flynn (21 of 32 for 227 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) may have gone from playing himself out a job in August to playing himself out of a job entirely.
After the game, Allen said he didn’t consider playing McGloin, but he did offer up some emotion:
“That one hurt, that one stung. The way that we were able to start the game, block a punt and go up 14-0, then let them back in the game.”
The only bright spots for the Raiders (1-3) were forcing turnovers on a blocked punt that became six points and a Washington (1-3) fumble that came on a Charles Woodson blitz.
The Raiders were without Terrelle Pryor, slated to start until he showed signs of sensitivity to light — a symptom consistent with the concussion he suffered in Week 3.
The second half left the Raiders without running back Darren McFadden, who left with a hamstring injury and fullback Marcel Reece following a knee injury.
Without the three, Oakland’s offense disappeared, as did any fan support that Flynn may have had left.
An interception from Flynn was returned for a touchdown by Redskins rookie cornerback David Amerson late in the first half, putting the game within reach of Washington.
The Raiders would have no scoring answer in the second half and only five first downs during the 30-minute stretch.
Early in the game, the Raiders faced a fourth-and-one, which the team responded to by perfectly executing a fake punt, which only led to an actual punt just four plays later.
Allen and the vocal home crowd were not pleased by the lack of execution by Flynn, something Allen attributes to Flynn’s small stature of six-foot-one:
“I don’t think he saw the field very well today, I think he was part of the problem with the sacks that we gave up. It was a tough situation for him to go into, obviously with the loss of McFadden and Reece, that didn’t help him out. Offensively, we didn’t get it done.”
Despite the lack of performance from Flynn, Allen said he never considered bringing in McGloin:
“I didn’t feel like putting him in was the best option.”
Replacing McFadden was second-string running back Rashad Jennings, who recorded his 1,000th career rushing yard on Sunday. Jennings finished the day with 45 rushing yards on 15 carries, adding another 71 yards through the air as Flynn’s safety valve.
Menelik Watson is presumably going to practice during the week, something that is sorely needed as Khalif Barnes, who usually plays right tackle, has been the starting left tackle.
Jared Veldheer, who is the top left tackle on Oakland’s depth chart, remains without an official timetable to return to practice.
Pryor was just shy of taking the field, and Allen said he wanted to be 100 percent certain that he was ready to play before sending him out:
“I just didn’t want to have any doubt in my mind at all. After visiting with doctors, there was doubt in my mind and I wasn’t going to put him in harms way. I wanted to do right by him.”
Beyond the lack of vision that Allen said Flynn struggled with, there was a lack of awareness that was made clear on a drive that left the team at fourth and inches, perhaps even just one inch away from a first down.
A quarterback dive was called, and Flynn was unable to make those few inches with Redskins linemen falling all over him. It was a pivotal play in the game, one that the Raiders may have been able to rally around.
Allen was asked whether he thought the team should have kicked a field goal, to which he replied:
“It was fourth and inches. Alright? And we gotta be able to make inches. We hadn’t been moving the ball up and down the field. To get a chance to be down there, where you can possibly get a touchdown, we gotta make inches.”
The noticeably displeased and second year Raiders head coach tallied his fifteenth loss in Oakland, something that is generally a point of no return in the NFL.
While Allen has not had a star-studded roster to work with, his time on the hot seat may have arrived. But he may also have some wiggle room given the lack of possible replacements and the improvement that Oakland has shown on both sides of the ball.
A chance at redemption looms next Sunday against the San Diego Chargers, a division rival that Oakland has lost to 17 times since 2001.