Oakland Raiders find way to lose ugly game

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By the Numbers: Raiders vs. Panthers

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Bob Donnan- USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders let another opportunity slip through their fingertips Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.

Oakland’s defense came to play, holding Cam Newton to less than 200 yards passing and less than 75 yards rushing. Everything the Raiders wanted to do to neutralize the Panthers’ offense worked efficiently and Carolina only scored 17 points. Oakland created two turnovers and sacked Newton twice.

However, the offense’s ineptitude was compounded by the injury to Carson Palmer, who left the game in the first quarter. After that point, the offense was inefficient under the direction of Matt Leinart. The backup completed only 50 percent of his passes and the receivers were pretty much held in check. No wideout caught more than three passes and the leading receiver in terms of receptions was fullback Marcel Reece with four catches.

The Raiders get credit for being creative in how they used Terrelle Pryor, but the tricks did not translate into momentum. Even the flea flicker with Palmer at receiver and Pryor at quarterback, which netted a 22-yard gain and got Oakland near midfield, was followed by three plays and a punt. Oakland’s inability to hold onto momentum was devastating in a game so close for so long. The Raiders got to the red zone twice and as usual ended in chip shot field goals for Sebastian Janikowski.

Palmer was one of three key Raiders players hurt during the game. Defensive backs Phillip Adams and Tyvon Branch also were forced out of the game due to injuries early on, which tested the Oakland’s depth. However, the defense responded much better to their injuries than the offense did to having a new quarterback under center.

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0- Oakland touchdowns in the red zone

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Jeremy Brevard- USA TODAY Sports

The Raiders continued their struggles in the red zone, settling for two field goals from inside the Panthers' 15-yard line. If Oakland had scored a touchdown on one of those two drives, it would have been an entirely different football game.

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1.9- Darren McFadden yards per rush

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Bob Donnan- USA TODAY Sports

When your best running back can't average two yards a carry, it's going to be a long game. McFadden did not need to be terrific Sunday, but he needed to be average for Oakland to stand a chance to win.

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3- Oakland quarterbacks used

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Bob Donnan- USA TODAY Sports

The quarterback carousel was not completely planned, but it was definitely a cause for concern. Losing Palmer to injury was devastating, but it was compounded by the fact Leinart came in and was mediocre. The Raiders did some nice things with Pryor and maybe that is the direction Oakland should go next week.

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12- Oakland first downs

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Jeremy Brevard- USA TODAY Sports

Oakland needs to gain more than 12 first downs to be successful. The Raiders finished 4-of-15 on third down, not good enough to win football games. In a game this close, every first down is crucial.

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47- Oakland rushing yards

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Jeremy Brevard- USA TODAY Sports

The only time Oakland has won this season is when the running game has been effective. On Sunday, it was a bad day for the running backs, who couldn't find any room to run and forced Oakland to become one dimensional.

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70- Oakland penalty yards

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Jeff Hanisch- USA TODAY Sports

Penalties have been an issue all year and Sunday was no exception. When you lose more yards via penalty than you gain running the ball, there is a problem. Every yard is crucial especially when you are struggling to put drives together and sustain them.

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151- Oakland passing yards

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Jeremy Brevard- USA TODAY Sports

Oakland couldn't run the ball, which would normally mean the passing game would rack up some significant yards. However that was not the case on Sunday when the passing attack had about as many issues as the ground game.


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