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Raiders sliding down familiar path

  • Oakland Raiders quarterback Matt McGloin (14) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

ALAMEDA — Dennis Allen's second season as coach of the Raiders is starting to look a lot like his first — and that's not necessarily a good thing.

A year ago, the Raiders were 3-4 and showing signs of progress before stumbling down the stretch with eight losses over the final nine games, including a stretch of six straight.

This year's team has almost mirrored that with a similar collapse.

Oakland Raiders vs. Dallas Cowboys

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Oakland's 31-24 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving was its fourth in five weeks after what had been another encouraging 3-4 start. The Raiders have blown second-half leads in three of the losses during their recent slide, and five overall this season.

That's left Allen, Oakland's first coach in the post-Al Davis era, with an 8-20 record that could easily land him on the hot seat in the offseason.

“We haven't made enough plays at the end of football games to be able to win those games,” Allen said Friday. “(If) we keep giving ourselves opportunities, we keep putting ourselves in those positions, eventually ... we'll make those plays at the end of the games and we'll win those games.”

The problem is they haven't.

Oakland built a 21-7 lead over Dallas in the second quarter before the Cowboys stormed back to win. A week earlier, the Raiders let a 19-16 lead slip away in the final moments of a loss to the Tennessee Titans.

They also blew fourth-quarter leads against the Indianapolis Colts and New York Giants, and lost to Washington after holding the advantage at halftime.

Gone is talk of a possible playoff run, replaced by the mere hope of winning out and avoiding a losing record for the ninth time since 2002.

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