OAKLAND — Safety Mike Mitchell sat in front of his locker after Sunday's 38-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints, sweat beading his forehead, and as hard as he'd worked on the field in the preceding three hours, holding back the tears seemed to take nearly as much effort.
"It's extremely frustrating," Mitchell said. "You want to win so bad. ... I'm doing my best not to cry on camera. But it hurts."
There was enough pain to cover O.co Coliseum after this latest collapse by the Oakland defense. After losing 42-32 to Tampa Bay in Week 9 and 55-19 to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 10, the Raiders have now surrendered 135 points in three consecutive games. Only once in franchise history — way back in the first three weeks of 1961 — has this team been more generous.
That 51-year-old skid got head coach Eddie Erdelatz fired. It's unlikely the same fate will befall the current coach, but Dennis Allen sounded a bit mystified by his 3-7 team after Sunday's loss. And he may be getting a little nervous, too, with principal owner Mark Davis expressing his own frustration in the post-game locker room.
"Obviously, we're not where we want to be, and we've got to realize that," Allen said. "We've got to face that. Like I said, the only thing I know how to do is go back to work, and that's what we're going to continue to do."