Improvement not enough as Allen, Raiders seek victories

Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesOn the right path: Raiders coach Dennis Allen has seen his team improve during the first five games

Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesOn the right path: Raiders coach Dennis Allen has seen his team improve during the first five games

Dennis Allen has seen improvement on just about every part of his team. With only one win in five games, the Raiders rookie coach realizes it’s not enough.

Not even taking the unbeaten Atlanta Falcons to the wire before losing on Matt Bryant’s 55-yard field goal in the final seconds provided Allen with a sense that Oakland has turned the corner.

“We’ve got to learn how to finish and win those types of games,” Allen said Monday. “That’s what our job is. This is a production business. It’s about winning and losing, and we weren’t able to get it done yesterday.”

The Raiders put up season highs in rushing yards (149) and total offense (474) while the defense held the Falcons to 286 yards and intercepted Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan three times after getting zero through their first four games.

Definite progress, though at 1-4 it’s difficult to see.

“I definitely feel like we’re improving,” rookie linebacker Miles Burris said. “But I don’t believe in moral victories and I don’t feel good about losing.”

Help could be on the way — at least for the defense.

Linebacker Aaron Curry is expected to come off the physically unable to perform list and join the Raiders in practice Wednesday. Curry started nine games last year for Oakland after being acquired in an October trade from Seattle, but has not played since undergoing knee surgery in the offseason.

The Raiders will have a roster exemption for three weeks while deciding what to do with Curry, who must be added to the 53-man roster, be cut or placed on injured reserve when the exemption expires.

“We anticipate him practicing on Wednesday and we’ll start from there,” Allen said.

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