The numbers aren’t pretty.
Dennis Allen has now been head coach of the Oakland Raiders for 34 regular-season games. His record: 8-26.
Allen entered this season on the hot seat, but hopes within the organization and outside of it were that Allen – after two seasons with not much talent and depth on his roster – finally had some players to work with.
Seemingly, that’s true. Yet Allen’s Raiders are 0-2, with both losses to teams that struggled in 2013.
And now the Raiders will travel this week to play the Patriots in New England – the Eastern Time Zone, where they have lost 14 in a row.
The Raiders’ performance in losing to the Jets in Week 1 and the Texans in Week prompted veteran safety Charles Woodson to tell a reporter that, “We suck.” And columnist Marcus Thompson III of the Bay Area News Group asked this question about Allen after the team’s home-opening loss: “What’s the reason to keep him?”
Unless the Raiders pull of a stunning victory over the Patriots in Week 3, the drumbeat to fire Allen will only get louder.
In Allen’s first two seasons, the Raiders at least started 1-2. A loss to the Patriots will put the Raiders at 0-3 and give them little hope of a 2014 turnaround.
And this comes with a roster with a young quarterback who looks like he can play in Derek Carr, a healthy Darren McFadden, a rebuilt and deeper offensive line, a touted rookie linebacker in Khalil Mack, veteran additions on defense and a draft class that appears talented.
Already there is a petition to fire Allen on Moveon.org, and Raiders fans have gone to Twitter to bash Allen, his coaching staff and general manager Reggie McKenzie. Wrote one late Sunday night: “What’s the earliest a NFL head coach has been fired into a season? Dennis Allen was asking for a friend.”
Meanwhile, those in the media, too, are noting that Allen’s start could get him quickly ousted. Wrote longtime Bay Area columnist Ray Ratto: “Dennis Allen really wants to spend more time with his family.” And Peter King of Sports Illustrated’s Monday Morning Quarterback, when asked on Twitter if Allen survives the season, wrote: “Not at this rate. Could be Sparano time at some point.”
Sparano is assistant head coach and offensive line coach Tony Sparano, a longtime NFL assistant and former Miami Dolphins head coach.
The Raiders performance in two games certainly is baffling. The roster still isn’t among the top echelon in the league, but it’s better than in 2012 and 2013, yet the defense has been flat, the running game has been largely ineffective and the pass rush – billed as potentially terrific – hasn’t materialized.
When a veteran such as Woodson tells the media he’s “embarrassed” this early in the season, it’s not a good thing.
Right now, Allen’s set has gone from uncomfortably warm to fiery.