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Lowell Cohn: Dennis Allen can't be serious

  • Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen yells to his team during their game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Oakland on Sunday, November 3, 2013. The Eagles defeated the Raiders 49-20.

    (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

I mean, lots of people, me included, were saying the Raiders have playoff potential. Well, that's out the window now, out the window and in the gutter after some quarterback named Nick Foles, the backup to Michael Vick, threw seven touchdowns, tying the NFL record, and got a passer rating of, get this. 158.3, which is pure perfection.

Note: If a quarterback wants to throw a perfect game, play the Raiders.

But I am not here to praise Nick Foles. I am here to talk about Dennis Allen who is known as a defensive coach, someone who allegedly imbued his players with the know-how to stop the other guys. Really?

Oakland Raiders vs. Philadelphia Eagles

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When the teams came out for the second half with the Raiders merely trailing 28-13, the Eagles scored touchdowns in consecutive drives in 46 seconds, then in 51 seconds. I almost hyperventilated from the sheer speed of it all. I bet you did, too. After punting on their next possession, the Eagles scored a touchdown in a minute and 18 seconds, still rapid but slower than the first two drives — maybe they were getting tired from all that running away from Raiders' defenders.

One imagines Allen at halftime making the necessary defensive adjustments and firing up his team. Actually, one does not imagine Allen doing any of that. The second-half results don't indicate fire, not even a puny flame to cook one measly marshmallow.

It's impossible to imagine Allen firing up anyone. He may understand football, but he doesn't seem to understand people, how to reach them, how to motivate them. This motivation stuff is a big part of coaching. I'm just saying.

Afterward, Allen told the media, as he always does, that his team will work hard. Like anyone cares how hard Allen and the Raiders work. Like Allen gets extra points for working hard. Like the Cowboys, Niners, Eagles, Seahawks, Broncos — you name the team — don't work hard. Please.

Allen also said, and I quote, "I think we've all got to understand that in the National Football League you've got to come out and be fully prepared and mentally, physically and spiritually, you know, emotionally ready to play."

The Raiders need to be spiritually ready to play? Maybe they should have offered a human sacrifice at halftime.

Here's another Allen quote — the guy is fascinating. "We also realize we're a better football team than what we displayed out there today," he said.


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