As Raiders fans filed out of the Coliseum early in the fourth quarter, the few who remained showered the home team with boos.
Not exactly the sight or sound owner Mark Davis had envisioned when he talked about a new direction.
Carson Palmer threw one interception that was returned for a score and another in the end zone, a depleted defense did little to slow down Drew Brees and neither did the coaching staff in Oakland’s 38-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Through 10 games this season, the first-year Raiders (3-7) regime of general manager Reggie McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen appear to have one monstrous mess to clean up.
“I’m not happy, I’ll put it that way,” Davis said in the locker room afterward, speaking to reporters postgame for the first time all season. “And why should I be?”
Everybody in Raider Nation is asking the same question.
Oakland lost its third straight game under Allen as Brees picked apart the defense with his precision passing. The Raiders have allowed 135 points in three straight defeats — the most in a three-game span for the franchise since allowing 141 in the first three games in 1961.
In the latest showing, Brees threw three touchdown passes and Malcolm Jenkins returned an interception for another score to get the Saints (5-5) back to an even record. Lance Moore caught two touchdown passes and Mark Ingram ran for a score as the Saints won for the fifth time in six games to move into position to make a late-season playoff run despite the season-long distraction from the bounty scandal.
“We’re on our way,” Brees said. “Had you told us or anybody after 0-4 we’d be looking at 5-5 at some point, I think a lot of people might have looked at that and said that’s pretty unrealistic. But here we are.”
In other words, the kind of turnaround frustrated Raiders fans are hoping to make.
“I think when you look at it,” Allen said, “it’s really the whole thing you’ve got to get better at.”
Brees finished 20 for 27 for 219 yards, extending his own records by throwing a touchdown in his 53rd straight game and completing 20 passes for the 46th straight game.
About the only bright spot for the Raiders was fullback Marcel Reece, who rushed for 103 yards and added 90 yards receiving as he started at halfback in place of injured Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson.
“I’m just a little disappointed with the regression,” Davis said. “But like I said, they’ll fight.”
NOTE: An Alabama judge dismissed charges against Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain. Court documents show that Morgan County Circuit Judge Glenn Thompson dismissed the charges this month after McClain’s accuser told prosecutors he no longer wanted to pursue the case. Decatur Municipal Judge Bill Cook convicted McClain in May of third-degree assault, menacing, reckless endangerment and discharging a firearm in the city limits. Cook sentenced McClain to 180 days in jail for allegedly threatening to kill a man and firing a gun next to his head.