Originally published on Silver & Black Report on Dec. 22, 2013
One of the reasons for the Raiders inability to leave San Diego with a win on Sunday was due to their inability to stop committing penalties.
The Raiders finished with a season-high 12 penalties for 73 yards against the Chargers, and that is with three of the flags being declined by San Diego.
Many of the penalties occurred on third downs, aiding the Chargers 54-percent third down efficiency.
"We had a bunch of offsides and things like that. Just things you can't do," Woodson said of the teams' penalties. "We shot ourselves in the foot all game long. That's how it's been all season. We have made costly mistakes in critical situations that have hurt the football team."
The game marks the seventh time in the last 11 games that the team has had eight penalties or more. Raiders head coach Dennis Allen attributes that to the team moving away from fundamentals as a result of players trying to make plays happen.
"I really think it boils down to guys are pressing to make something happen and we’re not sticking to our fundamentals and technique like we need to," Allen said. "That’s what happens when you don’t stick to your fundamentals and technique. A lot of penalties we are getting, a lot of them are during the play, at least a lot of them today were during the play. We just got to go back to work on our fundamentals and work on that and continue to improve there."
While penalties are going to happen for the most part, Allen knows the un-smart penalties need to be avoided. One such penalty that could have been avoided was when cornerback Mike Jenkins came up to tackle Ryan Mathews for no gain but then decided to knock the ball out of the running back's hands way after the play was dead, resulting in a taunting penalty.
"We’ve got to play smarter," Allen said. "Penalties are going to happen in the game, but we can’t have the not-smart penalties which cost your football team."
Matt McGloin knows that the offense needs to do a better job of limiting pre-snap penalties as well and believes that working on it at practice will help limit the effect an opposing crowd may have. He also knows that so many penalties make it difficult to win in the NFL.
"Obviously you can’t have that many penalties an win a game," McGlaoin said. "As frustrating as it is, we were dealing with a lot of things out there: a loud crowd and things like that. So I thought that definitely played a factor into it, but again, that’s not an excuse it’s just something we have to work more at at practice. You know, working with a lot more silent cadences and stuff like that. It’s just an opportunity for us to keep improving, something to learn from."
According the NFL.com, the Raiders now have 114 penalties on the season, second to the Seattle Seahawks who have 121 penalties.
The Raiders need to cut down on the penalties next week if they have hopes of surprising the Denver Broncos in their season-finale.