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Raiders show signs of regression

  • Oakland Raiders quarterback Matt McGloin (14) fumbles against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second quarter of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali recovered the fumble. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

ALAMEDA — The defense allowed Jamaal Charles repeatedly to take short passes and run untouched down the field for scores. The offense kept giving the ball away no matter who played quarterback. Even the special teams had its share of miscues.

It all added up to a 56-31 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday that might not have been the most lopsided of the season for the Oakland Raiders but was possibly the most distressing.

With every facet of the team struggling in a fourth straight loss, it's making it tougher to make the case that the Raiders (4-10) are making progress in year two under coach Dennis Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie.

"We're not in the blame game. We're not in the pointing fingers game. That's for everybody else to do," Allen said Monday. "Our job is to come together as a group, coaches and players. We're in the solution business, not in the creating problem business. And that's what we've got to go work to do."

The biggest problems of late have been on a defense that was the strength of this team the first half of the season. The Raiders allowed the most points in franchise history to the Chiefs with much of the damage coming on short passes that turned into big gains.

Charles scored on three screen passes that covered 49, 39 and 16 yards to go along with a 71-yard score on a downfield pass. That was part of a 195-yard receiving day that was the best for a running back in 14 years.

In all, Alex Smith completed 17 of 20 passes for 287 yards but 223 of those yards came after the catch, according to Pro Football Focus, as the Raiders were never in position to make plays.

"We've got to recognize that those things are coming," Allen said. "We've got to do a great job of tackling in space. That's an area that we've got to work to improve on, because we can't let screens behind the line of scrimmage go for big gains like that."

That has become a disturbing trend in recent weeks as the Raiders have been picked apart by Nick Foles, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Geno Smith and Alex Smith while allowing a league-high 34.7 points per game the past seven weeks.

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