ALAMEDA -- Dennis Allen's grand vision of a team that relies on a strong running game and a stout defense finally came into focus in the 14th game of the season. One day later, the Raiders coach contemplated the next step:
Doing it again.
A 15-0 victory in their final home game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday was nice, but a similar effort on the road against Carolina would be an important step.
"It's just like I've been saying since Day 1 -- we've got to be more consistent at it," Allen said Monday at his weekly news conference. "We've proven we can do it at times, but we've got to be more consistent at it. That will be our challenge moving forward."
The Raiders (4-10) finish the season at Carolina and San Diego (both 5-9) -- teams that aren't exactly in the NFL's upper echelon, but they aren't the 2-12 Chiefs, either.
With the Raiders defense taking a beating this season, Allen guarded against the perception that the result wasn't as impressive given the level of competition.
"It's tough to shut out anybody in this league," Allen said. "For us to go out there and do that -- it's the first time it's been done in this organization for 10 years -- I think that was critical for our defense."
The shutout was the first by the Raiders since they blanked the Chiefs 24-0 in a rainstorm to close out the 2002 season with an 11-5 record. Allen also noted that the 119 yards of offense surrendered was the franchise's best since 1975, and he pointed out that they gave up 10 yards on the ground to a team that ranked fifth in the league in rushing.
"I think that was a good confidence-builder," Allen said. "Now we have to build on that."
Carter joined the Raiders on Sept. 26 as a free agent after a Pro Bowl season with the New England Patriots. His season ended with a torn quadriceps that required surgery.
"He's a lot closer (to top form) than he was, and I think he's only going to get better," Allen said. "He's been a great addition for us, not only on the field, but in the locker room, in the classroom. He's been good to have, and I expect him to continue to get better."
Allen said Moore had trouble finding the ball against the left-footed Dustin Colquitt, who averaged 54.7 yards per punt with a 51.9 net.
"Hopefully he'll learn from it and we'll move on," Allen said.
Other options include safety Matt Giordano and cornerback Coye Francies.
The same goes for safety Mike Mitchell (neck) and defensive tackle Richard Seymour (hamstring), who looked like he was on pace to play against Kansas City before a setback Friday.