Only 12 more weeks of misery

Is it possible to find a silver lining in an 0-4 Oakland Raiders season? Maybe the Silver and Black can call the game at halftime. Or maybe someone will come up with adjustments during the half. Wishful thinking?

How far can the Raiders go?

A 34-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers Sunday at Monster Park left Oakland with an 0-4 record a quarter of the way through the season.

Oakland has lost back-to-back games to Cleveland and the 49ers, which looked to be potential wins, leading both games at halftime.

They've already had their bye week and Oakland figures to be decided underdogs in their next six games.

First up is Denver and longtime nemesis Mike Shanahan on the road Sunday, followed by a home game against Arizona on October 22.

If the Raiders can't beat the 0-4 Cardinals -- who got a spark from Matt Leinart Sunday if not a win over Kansas City -- they're looking at the real possibility of an 0-10 start.

After Arizona, the Raiders host the defending Super champion Pittsburgh Steelers (October 29), visit the defending NFC champion Seattle Seahawks (November 6), travel to Arrowhead Stadium to face the Chiefs (November 19) and are on the road against the San Diego Chargers (November 26).

After that stretch, the closest thing to a breather on the schedule arrives -- if there is such a thing to the Raiders -- when the Houston Texans arrive at McAfee Coliseum December 3.

Given the way the Raiders lost to the 49ers, there's no guarantee the Texans will go down in defeat.

Oakland actually ran the ball well, averaging 6.7 yards per carry, and did some positive things in the passing game for the first time this season as Andrew Walter was 10-for-15 for 138 yards and a touchdown as the Raiders led 13-7 at halftime.

Then the Raiders fell apart in every area. The 49ers Manny Lawson blocked a punt by Shane Lechler, leading to a 6-yard touchdown pass from Alex Smith to Arnaz Battle and giving San Francisco a 14-13 lead.

Walter threw interceptions on the next two possessions, including one in the end zone. He threw a lateral that LaMont Jordan failed to chase, thinking it was an incomplete pass, and Melvin Oliver ran it 12 yards for a touchdown.

That made it 31-13, and Walter was pulled in favor of Marques Tuiasosopo. Tuiasosopo threw a touchdown pass but also threw a pair of interceptions himself.

"You can't make as many mistakes as we did and expect to win," Raiders coach Art Shell said. "We screwed up on the punt team, we didn't do a good job of tackling, threw interceptions in the red zone. We didn't capitalize on opportunities we had. I don't question the effort by I do question the guys being technically sound enough to do their jobs."

The defense, which Oakland hoped would be a strong point, gave up 134 yards on 27 carries to Frank Gore as the 49ers piled up a 35:13 to 24:47 advantage in time of possession.

"It was the tale of two halves for us," Walter said. "In the first half I thought we moved the ball very well. In the second half, for whatever reason, we got out of synch. It seems like right now I interchange one good play with one bad play and that's no way to do it."


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