Poor field position haunting Raiders’ offense

Getty Images File PhotoHead coach Dennis Allen

Getty Images File PhotoHead coach Dennis Allen

The reason the goal line looks so far away to the Raiders through two games is because it is.

With special teams struggling and the defense not forcing turnovers, there are precious few short-field opportunities for a team that fell to 0-2 with a 35-13 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

In six first-half possessions against Miami, the Raiders opened drives at the 16-, the 8-, the 7-, the 14-, the 18- and the 12-yard lines.

In the second half, there were three possessions that started at the 20, one at their own 1, one at the 18 and one at the 30.

A 47-yard punt return by Phillip Adams gave the Raiders their only drive start on the plus side of the field, opening at the Miami 25. That eventually resulted in a Sebastian Janikowski field goal.

Oakland’s average drive start against Miami was its own 20. In Week 1, against the San Diego Chargers, it was at their own 18.

“We haven’t helped our offense out by creating field position for them,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “We’ve got to do a better job in the other two phases of the game — defense and special teams.

“We’ve got to get some shorter fields for our offense. We’ve got to take the ball away and create some shorter fields. In this league it’s hard to go 80-plus yards on every drive.”

Quarterback Carson Palmer has passed for 670 yards in two games, the third-most in the NFL, but the Raiders have scored only 27 points in part because it takes a lot of plays to score from long distances.

“You’d obviously like to get better field position,” Palmer said. “We had the one nice punt return, unfortunately we didn’t convert and get seven points out of it.

“There are going to be days like that, you have to find a way to score points and we didn’t do that today. I’m the quarterback and it’s my job to find ways to get us in the end zone and I didn’t do a good enough job today.”

Defensive tackle Tommy Kelly thinks the defense isn’t giving Oakland’s offense a break.

“Man, we’ve got to get the ball, find a way to turn their offense over, give our offense a short field instead of making them have to march 80 yards every time they get the ball,” Kelly said.

Regarding the poor field position, fullback Marcel Reece said, “It’s not easy, but that’s what we’re trained to do. We just didn’t execute like we should.”

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