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Turnovers a hurdle Raiders' offense can't overcome

  • Oakland Raiders quarterback Matt McGloin (14) warms up before an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Oakland Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

ALAMEDA — It has been a bittersweet past five weeks offensively for the Oakland Raiders since Matt McGloin took over as quarterback.

They're putting up nearly 370 yards a game and are scoring at a higher pace than they have at any time since the start of the 2011 season. The numbers in the red zone have also gone up, a sign that things might not be as bad in Oakland as they appear.

It's one of the few bright spots Dennis Allen's team can hold onto as it prepares for the final two weeks of an 11th consecutive non-winning season.

Yet all that progress has gone largely unnoticed because of the Raiders' turnover problems, an issue that has plagued the team all year.

"We have to protect the football," Allen said Friday. "That's been a point of emphasis this week. We have moved the ball well and we have scored a lot of points in the last few weeks but we have to protect the football. We can't put our defense in tough situations."

Oakland set a season-high for scoring and put up 461 yards of offense but coughed up the ball seven times alone in last week's 56-31 loss to Kansas City.

Five of the turnovers came from McGloin, the undrafted rookie quarterback who threw a season-high four interceptions and lost a bobbled shotgun snap while making just his fifth NFL start.

"I don't think words are really necessary," McGloin said. "I don't need someone to tell me, 'Hey, pick it up,' or anything like that. Everybody knows when they make mistakes. Everyone wants to be perfect. And that's something I do and everybody does is strive to be the best that you can be."

Since McGloin replaced Terrelle Pryor as Oakland's starter, the offensive production has increased significantly. The Raiders have scored 24 or more points in three consecutive games for just the second time in Allen's two seasons with the team and are averaging 25.8 point over the past five.

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