Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Raider Nation showers hapless team with boos

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OAKLAND, Calif. -- As Raiders fans filed out of the Oakland 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 defence 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 post-game 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 defence 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. We stayed the course, we didn't overreact. ... We just knew that things were going to turn for us if we just continued to do things the right way, good things were going to happen. And we did that."

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."

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 19, 2012 C6

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