Oakland Raiders: Notes & Observations From The Week That Was

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Jan 4, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; General view of a penalty flag in the 2014 AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Too Much Laundry on the Field

Against the Bengals, the Raiders did a much better job of avoiding costly penalties than they have in the past. For the game, the Raiders were flagged just five times for 32 total yards. It was a marked improvement for an Oakland team traditionally among the league’s most penalized teams.

Those bad habits and penchant for shooting themselves in the foot though, crept back in against Baltimore. Time and time again, the Raiders made mental errors that set them back. Holding, false starts, defensive holding, offsides, pass interference – the Raiders ran the gamut of penalties and by the end of the game, had as much laundry on the field as the training staff was going to have to do for the team.

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For the game, Oakland totaled 16 penalties for 106 yards. It wasn’t a particularly brilliant showing by a team that is trying to instill discipline and controlled play among their attributes. The penalties extend drives – Oakland surrendered five first downs via the little yellow hankies – and often put Baltimore in better field position than they should have been in.

Unlike last week though, they got some help from their opponents as the Ravens gave up six first downs on penalties to the Raiders to help keep some of their own drives alive.

It goes without saying though, that giving up slightly more than a football field in penalty yardage isn’t a good thing. But with a defense that’s been performing as poorly as Oaklad’s has, the last thing they can afford to do is give the opposing offense freebie yards.

Next: Just Enough -- For Now