OAKLAND -- Maybe it was just reckless over-optimism, but Dennis Allen did not look or speak like a doomed man Sunday.

He sounded almost jaunty, actually. Did he know something we didn't?

The Raiders coach wasn't exactly thumping his chest, of course, not after the Raiders lost their sixth consecutive game, 34-14 to Denver, to close Allen's second consecutive 4-12 season.

This was a yet another bad and boo-filled Coliseum end to yet another horrible Raiders season, and Allen's tenure has to be in some jeopardy because of it.

But when asked if he expects to be back for the 2014 season after all this disappointment, Allen's answer was notably direct.

"I fully expect to be back," Allen said. "I fully believe that I deserve the opportunity to come back here ...

"I want to be part of the rebuilding phase."

Before the game, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie sure didn't seem to be bracing for upheaval, either.

Are we looking at the prospect of a serene Raiders offseason? Really?

Now, all of this could change in a half-a-blink if McKenzie is secretly planning to move on without Allen or if owner Mark Davis is upset enough to personally order some mass firings.

But that was not the mood of this day or, for once, this franchise that is so used to automatic batch dismissals after struggling football.

Here's the best guess: Even after these two rough seasons, McKenzie and Allen remain each other's strongest ally, which could convince Davis to keep both, at least for one more year.

It sounds as if McKenzie and Allen will plot out an aggressive plan for the offseason in the next few days, with heavy focus on finding the quarterback of the future; then McKenzie will present that plan to Davis.

If Davis still has faith in McKenzie -- and I believe he does -- then McKenzie's faith in Allen will present Davis a reason to pick stability over disruption.

I think it's also the correct decision, understanding the bleak situation these two men inherited.

As Davis described it recently, these two years have been the "deconstruction," and Monday begins the "reconstruction" of the Raiders.

So, yes, McKenzie and Allen are far from proven winners, have made more than their share of errors, and the team played worse as each of the seasons progressed, not better.

But Allen and McKenzie have shepherded the Raiders through the barren times and probably deserve to see what they can do with money to spend and draft picks to use.

I don't think it's time for McKenzie to be shopping for a new coach (and what great candidate would come knowing McKenzie might be around for only another year?) or for Davis to be searching for yet another G.M.-coach combo he can trust.

Because then, would Davis just have to do this over again in another two years?

"It's a league of no patience," veteran safety Charles Woodson said. "It's kind of hard to see things when you have a couple of losing seasons like they've had here. Of course the knee-jerk reaction is to blow it up.

"But I think to get the consistency, you have to give someone a chance to let it run its course. We'll see what happens."

Every indication is that Allen and McKenzie have been a joined entity through the last two years, and somehow the relationship hasn't broken apart through all the defeats.

Now the Raiders have the fifth overall pick in the 2014 draft, tens of millions of cap room, and a coach with something to prove -- if he still has his job.

"It's been a tough couple of years," Allen said. "It's been a tough couple of years on everybody -- been a tough couple of years on you guys, been a tough couple years on the fans, it's been a tough couple of years with everybody within the organization.

"It's something that needed to be done, and we're excited about the future and moving forward."

That doesn't mean McKenzie and Allen are guaranteed to draft correctly or sign the right free agents. Or figure out what the heck to do at QB, since they were so haphazard with Matt Flynn, Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin this season.

But the good G.M.-coach chemistry means they have a shot at it.

There is no guarantee that a new coach would work well with McKenzie or that a new G.M. would absolutely hire a better coach than Allen.

If you've ridden with these two guys this far, you might as well give them one more campaign.

It's a risk, but so is every NFL decision, and if Allen and McKenzie are still in this together, they're a better risk than almost any other management team the Raiders could assemble anytime soon.

Read Tim Kawakami's Talking Points blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami. Contact him at tkawakami@mercurynews.com.