OAKLAND — Because the overall product was ragged, and because the offense spent the entire game trying to erase a deficit against the lowly Cleveland Browns, it was easy to overlook. But when the Raiders' 20-17 loss was in the books, the numbers were right there in black and white: 14 receptions and 130 yards for tight end Brandon Myers.
Myers' catch total tied the Raiders franchise record set by Tim Brown against Jacksonville in the final game of the 1997 season (that one was a loss, too) and tied for fourth most ever by an NFL tight end.
“He's just a good football player,” Oakland quarterback Carson Palmer said. “He makes plays. He gets open. He really understands what we're trying to do as an offense. ... He understands coverages and seems to always kind of find an open spot. Just naturally, you don't teach that. You don't coach that. That's just, you either got it or you don't. And he's got a lot of it.”
After catching 32 passes in his first three seasons with the Raiders, Myers has broken out big-time in 2012. He leads the team with 69 receptions, most by a Raiders tight end since Todd Christensen snagged 95 in 1986, and most by anyone in silver and black since Jerry Porter caught 76 in 2005.
THE COACH'S BURDEN
After Allen addressed the media following Sunday's loss, a Raiders public relations official announced that the coach was leaving immediately after the game to be with his father, Grady, who was seriously ill in a hospital in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
The players didn't know that Allen coached the game under such trying circumstances.
“No, he didn't tell anybody,” middle linebacker Omar Gaither said. “Didn't know at all. It would have been nice to get a win for him.”
Allen expects to return to Oakland late Wednesday, in time to coach the team against the Broncos the following night. Offensive coordinator Greg Knapp will be in charge of daily operations in Allen's absence.