"It was fourth and inches," he said with force. "It was fourth and inches and we have to be able to make inches. We hadn't been moving the ball up and down the field and to get a chance to be down there when you're in scoring position, you can possibly get a touchdown, we have to make inches."

It's nice to make inches. But Allen's decision was dead wrong. I apologize for going all football on you. It's just that the Raiders should have kicked the field goal — they were close and the field goal was easy as pie.

Why kick the field goal?

Because the Raiders needed both a field goal and a touchdown with the extra point to tie the game. They needed the field goal sooner or later. They could have kicked the field goal then and there, tried to stop the Redskins' offense — a fairly crummy offense, by the way — and go for the game-tying touchdown on their next possession.

By failing to convert on fourth down they ended the game, gave themselves no chance. The guys on local radio complained about the call, reminded listeners the Raiders' offensive line had not pushed back the Redskins' defensive line all day, and getting inches on fourth down was a fairytale. "Fairytale" is my word, not theirs.

Just go for the field goal, Dennis.

But, as I say, this is a small point. There are so many small points with the Raiders — only small points.

Typical small point: Would the Raiders have won with Terrelle Pryor at quarterback instead of Flynn? Who knows? Maybe they would have. It doesn't matter. They didn't have Pryor, out with a concussion. Anyway, the Raiders' record with Pryor was 1-2. End of story.

Another small point: General manager Reggie McKenzie overestimated the ability of running back Darren McFadden to stay healthy — he hurt his hamstring on Sunday. With McFadden it's always something.

Another small point: McKenzie overestimated Flynn, paid him a fortune to be, as it turns out, the second-banana quarterback. Flynn always turns out to be second banana. It's his natural position.

Did you see him against the Redskins? He has no pocket awareness. On one disaster play in the fourth quarter, he stood there surveying the field while a million Redskins ran at him. He didn't notice them. He was a guy leisurely bird watching on vacation — see the blue jays, see the sparrows. While he bird-watched, a Redskin knocked the ball out of his hand — it flew away like a Canada Goose. The Redskins recovered the goose and scored a touchdown two plays later.

The Redskins sacked Flynn a lot. I would tell you how many times but this is a family newspaper and I stay away from the obscene. The Raiders' offensive line had complicity in the sackage, but so did Flynn. He moves with the alacrity of a fire hydrant. Or is it an Amana freezer?

The Redskins were there for the taking. Note: I am not saying Pryor could have taken them. He has his own issues as a quarterback. But the Redskins came into the game without a win. Some teams are "undefeated." The Redskins came to Oakland "defeated."

Their quarterback Robert Griffin III used to be a rising young star in the league, but his star burned out — bad knee — and now he is earthbound, sadly terrestrial. He may never be special again. Whenever he ran, he ran slowly. He labored. Defensive lineman ran him down. He is no longer a special quarterback. He is just a guy. This is such a loss for the league.

And the Raiders could not beat even him, couldn't beat the Redskins, another unimportant, entirely dismissible team with only small issues.

And when it counted, the Raiders couldn't get inches. Allen thought his team "should" get them. But should is way different from could. Allen needs to know the difference, needs to see his team for what it is, needs to face reality.

Reality is so rude.

<I>For more on the world of sports in general and the Bay Area in particular, go to the Cohn Zohn at cohn.blogs.pressdemocrat.com. You can reach Staff Columnist Lowell Cohn at lowell.cohn@pressdemocrat.com.</I>