Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Power Rankings: No. 28 Oakland Raiders
By Paul Gutierrez
A weekly examination of the Raiders' ESPN.com Power Ranking:
Preseason: 29 | Last Week: 25 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002
What was once a strength -- the defense -- has become the Oakland Raiders' Achilles’ heel -- albeit an injured one.
For three straight weeks, the defense has let the team down by either (A) allowing a late lead to dwindle (against the Tennessee Titans); (B) allowing a big lead to fade (Dallas Cowboys); or (C) not making a stand after a score (New York Jets). The latest pratfall, in the Meadowlands, had 16th-year veteran Charles Woodson calling it the most “embarrassing” loss he’s ever encountered.
As such, the Raiders dropped three spots in our latest Power Rankings, and speculation has begun about coach Dennis Allen’s job security. After all, defense is his specialty. And his handling of the quarterback position -- playing Terrelle Pryor for one productive series against the Jets before sticking with Matt McGloin, who would eventually find his way -- has many scratching their heads.
Still, injuries and a lack of quality depth have hamstrung Oakland, which has now lost 13 straight games in the Eastern time zone while getting outscored by a combined 469-225. And Allen’s road record of 2-13 is the NFL’s worst since the start of last season.