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Raiders coach Allen says defense 'unacceptable'

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Raiders coach Allen says defense 'unacceptable'

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) It's the run defense one game, the pass defense the next and the running game almost every week that is holding the Oakland Raiders back.

The problems keep mounting almost as fast as the point total for the opposition.

A week after being gashed on the ground by Doug Martin and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Raiders were taken apart through the air by Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens in a 55-20 loss Sunday that matched a franchise worst for points allowed in a game.

``That outcome was unacceptable,'' coach Dennis Allen said Monday. ``We have to be better than that.''

After overhauling the defensive system in the offseason and bringing in the team's first defensive-minded head coach in decades, the Raiders (3-6) are on pace to allow the most points in franchise history.

They have allowed at least 40 points in back-to-back games for the first time in a half-century and the 97 points over the past two weeks are the second-most in a two-game span in team history.

``I wish there was a magical answer,'' Allen said. ``I know everybody wants a magical, `This is the solution,' but at the end of the day, and I've said this over and over, it's about us doing our job the right way every single time. And when we develop that consistency, when we've had that consistency, we've played well in all three phases. But that's the key to having success.''

The Raiders spent most of the week trying to fix a run defense that allowed 278 yards the previous week in a 42-32 loss to Tampa Bay. They did a good job slowing down Ray Rice, holding him to 35 yards on 13 carries, and allowed just 2.8 yards per carry overall.

It didn't matter much as Flacco repeatedly found tight ends Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson open over the middle and connected on two deep touchdowns to Torrey Smith as the Ravens easily picked apart the Oakland secondary.

``It's just amazing,'' defensive end Andre Carter said. ``The week before, we didn't stop the run. This week we stopped the run. Great progress. Especially with Rice because Rice is a heck of a back. So it's like, `OK, good.' Pass is the issue. Oh, my gosh.''

Now they need to fix the pass defense quickly with Drew Brees and the rapidly improving New Orleans Saints coming to town this week.

Defensive tackle Tommy Kelly said the problems Sunday were as simple as players not being in the right position or executing the calls properly and the answers are right there on the game film.

As bad as the beating felt on the field, Kelly said it only got worse when he went home and was drilled by his 8-year-old son about what went wrong during the game.

``It kind of wears you down after you turned the corner and you're going in the right direction,'' Kelly said. ``Like my dad always told me, `Just put your head down and keep working. Keep working and something good is going to come out of it.' That's all I can do at this point because it's mind-boggling to me, personally.''

Allen said he believes there is enough talent on the roster to succeed even though the team he inherited had problems with depth because of salary cap constraints and few available draft picks.

The players went into the year excited about a new defensive system that offered more variety than the strict man-to-man philosophy advocated by longtime owner Al Davis for so many years before his death last year.

Allen, in his first head coaching job at any level, has already tinkered with the running game during the season, utilizing more power schemes than the zone blocking concepts the team started the season with to help get struggling starter Darren McFadden back on track.

There was some success with that change before McFadden went down with a sprained right ankle against Tampa Bay. Allen would not rule out changes defensively as well.

``Everything we do is in a constant evaluation,'' he said. ``But I'm not going to stand up here and say we're making wholesale changes. We're going to look at every aspect of what we do, offensively, defensively and the kicking game, and if we feel changes need to be made, we'll make those changes.''

NOTES: McFadden and Mike Goodson remain in walking boots for their sprained right ankles and their status this week remains in question. DT Richard Seymour is in a similar situation with a hamstring injury. ... Backup LB Travis Goethel has a torn ACL in his left knee and will be out for the rest of the season. ... TE Brandon Myers and S Matt Giordano have concussions and are going through the protocol. ... RT Khalif Barnes is on target to return to the starting lineup this week for the first time since injuring his groin Sept. 16.

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Report: Ravens safety Matt Elam arrested on drug charges

Report: Ravens safety Matt Elam arrested on drug charges

Ravens safety Matt Elam was arrested on drug charges early Sunday morning in Miami, according to Pro Football Talk.

"We have just been made aware of this and are looking into the situation," Ravens Vice President of Public Relations Chad Steele said via email. Steele later added that "Matt Elam is not in our (Ravens) plans."

The arrest, which reportedly occurred at 3:45 a.m. Sunday, is the latest disappointment for one of the biggest draft busts in Ravens history. Elam was a first-round pick in 2013, but he never came close to reaching expectations due to injuries and poor play. The Ravens did not pick up Elam’s fifth-year option making him a free agent in March. He has only played nine games the past two seasons, and he was suspended for one game in 2015 for violating the NFL substance abuse policy.

Now Elam has more to worry about than his disappointing NFL career, and finding another team to play for.  According to the report, Elam was charged with possession of more than 20 grams of cannabis, possession of cannabis with the intent to sell or deliver, and possession of a controlled substance. Elam was initially pulled over for reckless driving, according to police, who then found 126 grams of marijuana and three grams of oxycodone in his car.

Related: Will the Ravens cut tight end Dennis Pitta to create cap space?

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NFL Mock Draft 4.0: Combine Primer And Sleepers

NFL Mock Draft 4.0: Combine Primer And Sleepers

The annual NFL Combine kicks of Wednesday in Indianapolis. Whatever happens there -- receivers run fast, quarterbacks flash arm strength, defenders lack pop -- projections will change and in some cases significantly. Therefore here's my last look at the situation before all the sprints and lifts via mock draft 4.0 plus some other thoughts below.

* League sources offered up names of several prospects currently ranked all over the big boards with the chance to make a big splash during the combine. They include:

Alabama TE O.J. Howard -- Everybody already knows the 6-foot-6 Howard is a two-way monster. His Senior Bowl dominance certainly confirmed that. Rocking the Combine could alter his mid-to-late first round projection into 10-13 range where teams like New Orleans, Cleveland and Arizona have TE needs. Call me crazy, but if Howard is there when the Redskins pick at 17, I can imagine Washington thinkng long and hard about two-TE sets wth Jordan Reed. 

Oklahoma DT Charles Walker -- The Redskins have shown interest in Walker, according to a league source, though his draft range is all over the map. The interior force's redshirt junior season ended early due to a concussion followed by a decision to leave the Sooners early with draft preparation in mind. Was a second-team All-Big 12 selection as a junior thanks to six sacks. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. ranks Walker ninth among defensive tackles while WalterFootball.com projects the 304-pounder as a Day 2 pick.

<<CLICK HERE TO VIEW FULL NFL MOCK DRAFT 4.0>>

Pittsburgh OT Adam Bisnowaty -- Considered underrated despite starting four seasons for the Panthers. The left tackle helped key a resurgent season for the Panthers. Lack of wow prospects at the position means the order outside of Ryan Ramczyk (Wisconsin), Cam Robinson (Alabama) and Garrett Bolles (Utah) is in flux.

Ashland TE Adam Shaheen -- The D2 prospect is early candidate for the "Who is that guy?" award. Expect raves about Shaheen's size and athleticism. CBS Sports already has Day 2 projection on the 6-foot-6, 277-pounder who can run routes like a wide receiever. Could he move all the way into round 1?

Tulsa WR Keevan Lucas -- What the 5-foot-10 receiver lacks in height he makes up for with speed and production. Caught 81 passes for 1,180 yards and 15 touchdowns during his senior season with the Golden Hurricanes. Certain analytics show Lucas' production stood out  and put him in the same statistical company as future NFL receivers Stefon Diggs and Marqise Lee. Day 3 sleeper.

Other to watch: QB Pat Mahomes (Texas Tech), TE David Nkoju (Miami, Fl.), DT Ryan Glasgow (Michigan), CB Cordrea Tankersley (Clemson)

* Look at Scot McCloughan's draft history and one theme emerges: The man likes seniors, especially in round one. Brandon Scherff and Josh Doctson were both four-year players. The bulk of first round selections during his time at Seattle and San Francisco. That doesn't mean McCloughan will go that way with the 17th overall pick; Of the top 19 ranked prospects according to ESPN analyst Todd McShay, 14 are underclassmen. But keep a close on seniors with early round projections like Alabama tight end O.J. Howard, Temple inside linebacker Haason Reddick, Indiana guard Dan Feeney, LSU cornerback Tre'Davious White, Washington wide receiver John Ross and Iowa defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson.

<<CLICK HERE TO VIEW FULL NFL MOCK DRAFT 4.0>>