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OAKLAND — Special teams, often overlooked in the scouting reports, can win football games. Or at least make losses a little more respectable.

Two of the Raiders' most exciting plays in Sunday's 24-14 loss to Washington came out of punt formation — including the first score of the game. Neither team had done much of anything when Washington's Sav Rocca went back to kick 4:16 into the game. But Oakland's Rashad Jennings came flying in with an inside rush and blocked the punt. It bounced twice before teammate Jeremy Stewart recovered for his first NFL touchdown.

It was Jennings' second career blocked punt, and the Raiders' first punt block for a touchdown since Oct. 10, 2010.

Coach Dennis Allen said the Raiders saw in film study that they might be able to pressure Rocca. Jennings insisted that's nothing unusual.

"It's always an opportunity to make a play," he said. "If you watch film, no matter who it is, you're gonna see opportunities to make plays.

"On special teams, something that I always do is I really study the snappers, to get the get-off. That's really what makes a difference."

The Raiders were up 14-10 in the second quarter when punter Marquette King took the field on fourth-and-1. But special teams coordinator Bobby April got tricky. King moved behind center, and gunner Taiwan Jones retreated into the backfield. Jones took a shotgun snap and ran 19 yards to prolong the drive.

"When I first got it, felt like they had the angle on me," the speedy Jones said. "But it was a nice block in front of me, so I was able to get around the (left) corner."

Alas, his achievement didn't lead to points. After three plays, King was lining up for another punt, and he actually put his foot to this one.

<b>Stand your ground</b>

The Oakland defense played pretty well on Sunday, but one recurring problem visited the team again: the offside penalty.

The Raiders were hit with two of them against Washington, and one was a killer. Trailing 17-14 in the fourth quarter, the home team appeared to turn the tide when safety Brandian Ross recovered a fumble by running back Roy Helu Jr. at Washington's 26. Unfortunately for Oakland, defensive end Lamarr Houston was offside.

"Encroachments like that, with a big turnover, change the momentum of the game and eat you alive," Houston said.

Safety Charles Woodson was blunt in his assessment. "It's unacceptable," he said. "You gotta watch the ball. And when the ball in snapped, that's when you go. So we've had a couple of those, and Coach (Allen) has addressed it. And he's gonna have to keep on addressing it.

"If we keep having those type of penalties that help a team sustain a drive or get them closer to a first down, that's hard to overcome week in and week out."

<b>Seabass on the hook</b>

Last year, Oakland's Sebastian Janikowski missed three field goals — in 34 attempts. This year, Janikowski has missed three field goals — in eight attempts. Clearly, something is bugging the big-legged kicker, beyond the annoying infield dirt at O.co Coliseum. And that something might be a new holder. King is handling those duties this year, with long-time holder and Janikowski chum Shane Lechler now punting for the Houston Texans.

"Listen, we have to get more comfortable still with that duo," Allen said. "And again, it's a 52-yarder off the dirt, but yeah, any time he misses it's a concern."

<b>Extra points</b>

= The Raiders moved into sole possession of the most defeats since the start of the 2003 season. They have 114 losses, one more than the Detroit Lions.

= The Raiders' 298 total yards were a season low. They came against a defense that had allowed an average of 488 yards over the first three games of the season.

= After four games, the Oakland defense still does not have an interception.

= The visiting team has won five consecutive games in this series, dating to 1992.

= Raiders long snapper Jon Condo played in his 100th consecutive game.