OAKLAND -- The theme from Dennis Allen, presuming he had one, was that the Raiders could not wallow in the disappointment and embarrassment of what just happened.
Minutes after it was over, Allen was obviously not thrilled with the 49-20 loss to Philadelphia on Sunday -- but he has looked angrier over closer losses, and sounded much more despondent at other moments in time.
No, this time, the Raiders' second-year coach made a point not to disparage his team, and in fact he actually said he still believed in his defense after giving up a record-tying seven touchdown passes to Nick Foles, who isn't exactly Peyton Manning.
And Allen maybe was thinking similarly to me, because when I asked him if this performance and this situation had any possible comparison to last year, when the Raiders also opened 3-4 and then got destroyed defensively at home by Tampa Bay, to start a six-game losing streak, Allen was absolutely ready with an answer.
This is not the same situation because this is not the same team. That's the point he's making. He is counting on that, and the entire season now rides on it, with a trip to New York coming up next.
Everything the Raiders have seemed to accomplish this season got shaken up and kicked around by the Eagles and by the Raiders' own screw-ups.
They'd built everything on the defense, and the defense had held up. Until today.
And now everything can be lost ... and that's exactly why Allen tried so hard to make it sound like this was just an aberration, not the start of anything.
---DENNIS ALLEN (partial news conference transcript)
Intro: Obviously, I'm very disappointed in the way we played. I've got to do a better job of making sure our team's emotionally, physically, mentally prepared and ready to go.
Obviously we didn't hold up our end of the bargain. Now we also realize that we're a better football team than what we displayed out there today. We've got to be better than that.
Now we'll go back to work, we'll get ready to go up to New York and compete against the New York Giants, and we'll put a better product on the field.
Just really, overall disappointed, obviously defensively, way, way, way too many explosive plays down the field. And to beat a team like this, that was one of the things we talked about all week, was being able to win the explosive-play battle. They won it, and we didn't.
So we've just got to be better.
Q: Why weren't you able to put any pressure on Foles?
ALLEN: Well, a couple times we weren't able to put pressure on him because we dropped into a three-man rush on a couple of those. I thought they did a great job in protection.
And he did a nice job on a couple of plays of being able to move around and buy some time. We just ...
We tried some five-man pressure, we tried some four-man pressure, we tried some max drop. Really at the end of the day, none of it worked.
Q: Do you think the Eagles' offensive pace at the start threw you guys off?
ALLEN: I don't think it was the pace. I think they came out and they executed. They did a nice job.
Obviously, the second play of the game they hit Riley Cooper on a little ... kind of a run-pass option. And they did a nice job of executing it; we didn't exactly play it the way we needed to and get the ball turned back inside.
And they got a big play in the game, kind of got us behind the eight-ball and we never really were able to kind of come back from it.
Q: In terms of momentum, you were down 21-10 and had them third-and-16 and if you get the ball back, you've got something, and then you give up the first down. How big a play was that?
ALLEN: Again, there was a lot of big plays in the game. That was obviously one of them. We kind of had gotten a little momentum going our way, we had them in a longer yardage situation.
And we were in a max drop in that particular one and he had enough time to end up finding the open receiver and completed it for the first down.
That would've been a big stop for us if we were able to be able get off the field right there and make them punt, and they're a little bit in a backed-up situation, and we can get something going.
But really, we just got beat today. Really in all phases. We just weren't able to do the things that we needed to do to have success. And you've got to be better.
Q: It seemed like your defense was much improved so far this season. What happened today? Was it a regression?
ALLEN: Listen, No. 1, I've still got a lot of confidence in this defense. I think this defense is still a good defense, OK? We had a bad a day. That happens, happens to everybody.
You go out and have a bad day, you don't do what you're capable of doing, and that's what happens.
This defense is a bunch of men in that locker room, they'll come back, they'll respond, and they'll be better next week.
Q: Is that what you tell your team?
ALLEN: Yeah. You know, really, listen, there's not a whole lot you can tell 'em. I mean, at the end of the day, that was an old-fashioned butt-whuppin'. And we gotta move on from it, we gotta learn from it, and we're gonna be better next week.
Q: How do you assess DJ Hayden's performance?
ALLEN: Yeah, he had a tough day. He had a tough day. And DJ wasn't the only one that had a tough day.
Obviously, when you play out there on the island and you have a tough day, those things stand out a little bit more. But he's a young player. He's gonna continue to work, he's gonna continue to get better, and we still got confidence that he can go out and do the job.
Q: Any chance your defense got a little pleased with itself after all the praise recently?
ALLEN: Well, I don't know if that was the case or not. Obviously we didn't play the way we're capable of playing. I think we all gotta understand that in the National Football League you've gotta come out and be fully prepared and mentally, physically and spiritually, you know, emotionally ready to play.
Q: You think this could almost be a good thing, then, as a wake-up call?
ALLEN: Well, I don't know if that's a good thing. Obviously, anytime you get beat in that manner, I wouldn't say it's a good thing.
I think our guys understand that we gotta come out and perform. Every day's a new day, so you can't sit back and think about what's happened in the past.
You gotta move forward and do the next one. Just like some of the good games that we've played defensively, you gotta put those things behind you and you gotta move on. Same thing here. We had a bad game defensively, we've gotta put it behind us. We gotta move on, and we gotta learn from it, we gotta be better. And we will.
Q: Do you know the extent of Pryor's injury?
ALLEN: I really don't know. We were gonna go with McGloin anyway there in the fourth quarter. I was really not aware there was even an injury. So I don't know exactly the extent of it. Obviously, we'll probably take a look at it in more detail tomorrow.
Q How do evaluate Pryor's performance?
ALLEN: I thought there was some good things that he did. Obviously, I thought his mobility and his ability to scramble around and make some plays down the field, we still gotta continue to work to get better in the pocket and continue to develop our passing game.
I think our passing game's an area we've got to continue to work to improve. So yeah, I thought there was some ups and downs. I think when you look at this game and the manner in which it was played, it's hard for me to say that there was a lot of positives in any regard.
Q: Last year Tampa loss sent you into a spiral; any concerns about that now? Any similarities?
ALLEN: None. None. All right?
It's a totally different football team. And we're gonna take this loss. OK? We got knocked down. We're gonna get back up. All right?
And we're gonna go back to work, and we're gonna keep competing. Because that's what the men in that locker room are here to do. And that's what they've done all year long.
Q Did Foles do anything to surprise you guys?
ALLEN: No. I mean, listen, they executed, we didn't, it's my job to make sure that guys are prepared and ready to go and we'll do a better job next week.
Q: Is it concerning that McFadden can't stay on the field?
ALLEN: Well, yeah. Obviously, you want to be able to have your best guys out there and have your best guys healthy. I thought Rashad Jennings did a great job filling in when Darren went down. So if that's the case, some other guys are gonna have to step up.
Q: Any early indication on his injury?
ALLEN: No, I really have no idea.
Q: A few of those plays were wide open—was that more about mental busts than anything, including the McCoy TD?
ALLEN: Well, the one on McCoy, I'm gonna take responsibility for that. They caught us off-guard and we gotta do a better job there. I've gotta do a better job there. But I thought for the most part a lot of those plays, they just beat us.