There's No Place Like Home

At 2-4 the Raiders are perilously close to falling out of the playoff chase before November. If Oakland can't find a way to win on the road, beginning this Sunday in Tennessee, the postseason won't be a concern.

The Raiders have defeated the Titans in two of the last three meetings between the two teams but are 0-4 in Tennessee. That's symptomatic of a bigger problem facing Oakland: winning on the road.

Oakland is winless on the road this season, is just 2-8 under coach Norv Turner and only 2-16 playing away from home since 2002.

The Raiders only two wins this year have come at McAfee Coliseum. They last won on the road in Denver on Nov. 28 last year.

''Winning on the road is real difficult,'' left tackle Barry Sims said. ''You have to deal with so many things. Crowd noise for me is the number one thing I think about, how I'm going to handle the crowd noise and the communication aspect. We do need to be better on the road than we've been of late.''

Sims knows from what he speaks. In the 2003 season-opener against Tennessee, Sims was penalized for false starts on three consecutive plays and four overall.

''It's definitely one of the loudest places I've played,'' Sims said. ''We're just going to have to go in there and execute and eliminate mistakes. That will give us the best chance of getting a win.''

The Raiders play five of their next seven games on the road. After going to Nashville, they head to Kansas City where they haven't won since 2001 and are just 3-13 over the last 16 seasons. After a Nov. 13 home game with Denver, they go on the road to Washington, return home for Miami, then play back-to-back games at San Diego and at the New York Jets.

Whatever hopes Oakland has of getting back into the hunt rests largely on how well they do during that stretch.

''I don't have the answer,'' linebacker Danny Clark said. ''All I can say is we haven't gotten it done (on the road) in the past. Ultimately this is a new day, a new team and I feel like we're going to get it done this week. I don't look too far behind and I don't look too far ahead. (This) is just another game that we need to win, regardless of where it's played.''


* As expected, the Raiders placed safety Derrick Gibson on injured reserve. Linebacker Isaiah Ekejiuba was promoted from the team's practice squad to the 53-man roster.

* Turner said he expects Brad Badger to be the starting left guard against Tennessee. Badger had been nursing a sore knee but Friday Turner indicated the veteran will likely be in the starting lineup.

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