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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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Suggs insists thought of retiring didn't cross his mind during rehab

Suggs insists thought of retiring didn't cross his mind during rehab

OWINGS MILLS – Not only does 33-year-old Terrell Suggs expect to be back on the field soon, the Ravens’ outside linebacker expects to play at a high level for several more seasons after recovering from his torn Achilles injury.

“It’s a fair question,” said Suggs on Wednesday, when asked what can realistically be expected from him in 2016. “This is 14 years for me. I came here a young 20-year-old, really didn’t know anything. I had some of the greatest Jedi Masters teaching me. It’s a fair question. We’ve seen a lot of Ravens come and go, and I’m one of the last few here. It’s a fair question, but in my eyes, premature.”

Suggs will begin training camp on the PUP list, but vows to be back soon.

“It’s not going to be long,” Suggs said. “We’re close to where we want to be. I can’t be timid, but I got to be smart. I feel good.”

Suggs suffered his season-ending Achilles injury Week 1 of last season, and has torn each of his Achilles once. Is it asking a lot for Suggs to still be an every-down player and double-digit sack artist? Yes. Does he sound up for the challenge? Yes.

MORE RAVENS: SUGGS' SHIRT ENDORSES GAME OF THRONES TICKET IN 2016 ELECTION

”Never did it cross my mind that I wasn’t going to come back,” Suggs said. “I got a lot of promises to keep. Many miles before I can sleep.  I love football. I love the locker room. I love my teammates. I love being out here being confrontational.”

Suggs also made it clear he wanted to silence doubters.

“We hear the gossip,” Suggs said. “We hear what y’all are saying. We’re confident, but motivated, too.”

One of the toughest parts of missing last season for Suggs was watching the Ravens go 5-11, and being unable to help.

“It was very tough to watch, and knowing what the guys went through, and for us to not have the success that we expected,” Suggs said. “It just didn’t feel good. Now we get a chance to kind of make it right. Last year’s gone, but we have to make sure that (same) team doesn’t show up Sept. 11 again. We work too hard. Our fans deserve better and we deserve better. We work our tails off. It takes a lot to be considered a Raven. We just got to get back to that.”

How well Suggs plays this year will play a part in determining his future. But as far as Suggs is concerned, it’s too early to start talking about his last ride.

“It’s not something I want to visit at the end of this year, or the end of next year,” Suggs said. “Maybe the year after that we can talk about it. What will I be, 36 then? But I’m not worried about it right now.”

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PHOTO: Suggs endorses Game of Thrones ticket with 2016 election T-shirt

PHOTO: Suggs endorses Game of Thrones ticket with 2016 election T-shirt

BY JEREMY FIALKOW (@JeremyFialkow)

Who are you voting for — Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump? Before you answer, let's turn to Ravens' outside linebacker Terrell Suggs for some other options.

Suggs, who's ready to make his triumphant return to football after a couple season-derailing injuries, tossed out his 2016 election endorsement to ... the Stark/Targaryen ticket?

The names, of course, stem from two powerful family names in HBO's hit show 'Game of Thrones.' 

(Screenshot/CSN Mid-Atlantic)

Whether Suggs actually stays up to date with 'Thrones' or if the network gifted him merchandise from all of their shows remains to be seen. Regardless, T-Sizzle is starting a movement, so climb aboard.

RELATED: FLACCO WON'T RUSH KNEE INJURY REHAB

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Justin Forsett not trying to hear about running-back-by-committee system

Justin Forsett not trying to hear about running-back-by-committee system

OWINGS MILLS – That running-back-by-committee system the Ravens are thinking about using? Justin Forsett isn’t feeling that.

What’s running-back-by-committee?” Forsett deadpanned. “I don’t understand that.”

Forsett laughed, but he was serious about retaining his starting job and doing the bulk of the work at running back. The Ravens are deep at the position, with Forsett, Buck Allen, rookie Kenneth Davis, Terrance West, Lorenzo Taliaferro all ready for Thursday’s first full training camp practice, while Trent Richardson (knee) remains on the PUP list.

MORE RAVENS: WHY FLACCO WON'T RUSH TO PLAY IN PRESEASON

Forsett will turn 31 years old in October, and even if he retains the starting job, the Ravens are leaning toward reducing his carries. But Forsett enters training camp thinking he can still be a 200-carry, 1000-yard rusher. 

“I grew up with old school running backs,” Forsett said. “I love watching them play - Emmitt Smith, Barry Sanders, all those guys. Of course if you’re a running back, everybody wants to on the field all the time. I’m going to put myself in a position where they can’t take me off the field. That’s my mentality. At the end of the day, everybody has their role. I’ll let coach decide that.” 

Even if Forsett doesn’t carry the ball as much as he would like, count on him being a consummate team player. All of the Ravens’ younger backs will benefit from being around Forsett, who starts training camp vowing not to give in, to age, or to his running back competition.

“My goal is to go out and lead this team to a Super Bowl,” Forsett said. “I’m going to try to put myself in a position to do so. This is my ninth training camp. It’s a blessing. Me being fired three times throughout my career, traveling to five different teams, I don’t take it for granted.”