Raiders unsure where to look for answers

At the midway point of the season, the Oakland Raiders find themselves back where they started -- getting shut out before a national television audience on Monday Night Football.

The Raiders fell to the Seattle Seahawks 16-0 at Quest Field, and in some ways, a game that in some ways resembled a 27-0 beating on opening night against the San Diego Chargers in Oakland.

On offense, the Raiders couldn't protect the quarterback and didn't make good on a promise to run the ball.

Defensively, Oakland had its moments but gave up too many yards rushing and didn't force any turnovers.

Just about everything that was bad about the Raiders in Week 1 remained bad in Week 8.

The Raiders reached the red zone only once against San Diego, driving to the 10-yard line in the waning moments. They never reached the red zone against Seattle.

Oakland quarterbacks were sacked nine times in each game. The Raiders were a combined 5-for-27 on third-down conversions. They punted nine times against San Diego, 10 times against Seattle.

Add it all up and it equals zero -- the Raiders became the first team in the history of the series to be shut out twice in the same season on Monday night.

It's enough to make one wonder whether the Raiders have the players necessary to execute the hard-running, play-action deep passing offense Shell planned on bringing back to Oakland.

"I have not yet gotten to that point," Shell said. "Who you have is who you have, and you've got to work with those players and make them as good as they can be. And that's what we're trying to do. We're going to continue to work with them to try and make them better."

The Seattle loss came after consecutive wins over Arizona and Pittsburgh. The Steelers win was secured with two defensive touchdowns and only 89 yards of total offense.

Unable to get takeaways against Seattle, Raiders defenders realize they didn't do enough. Oakland gave up a touchdown and two field goals to Seattle and then forced punts on eight consecutive possessions.

It wasn't nearly enough. Seattle, able to be patient with the running game, was able to run for 207 yards on 39 carries. It was the second-most rushing yardage the Raiders had allowed this season. San Diego got 194 in the Week 1 game.

"There is a sense of feeling where if we don't score (on defense), we don't have that big turnover, that big play, then our chance of winning goes way down," free safety Stuart Schweigert said. "We put a lot of responsibility on our shoulders, and we want to go out there and create the turnovers and create the points that we need to win games."

Said defensive tackle Warren Sapp: "The only thing we can do is play solid defense. If we have to score points ourselves or at least get (the offense) on the doorstep, that's what we need to do. We can't continue to do this."

The Raiders fully expected defensive end Tyler Brayton to hear from the NFL after an ejection for kneeing Seattle tight end Jerramy Stevens in the groin, drawing a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.

They also expected Stevens to hear from the league. While ESPN coverage focused on Brayton's blatant foul, lost was a kick between the legs that Stevens gave to Brayton just moments before.

"Tyler was reacting to someone trying to kick him in the groin area," coach Art Shell said. "When you see the tape it shows that he got kicked first and reacted. There is some culpability on the part of the other individual."

"Football is a rough sport," Stevens said. "I was getting at him a little bit, and he started getting upset about getting beat. It happens. ... We were running the ball right at him every play, and he couldn't make the play. He only has the film to look at."

Stevens didn't exactly play a great game. He dropped a pass in the end zone and committed a taunting penalty of his own. But that didn't stop Stevens from rubbing the loss in Brayton's face.

"We were out there playing football, and it wasn't anything said," Stevens continued. "It was him getting beat on plays. I was trying to get away from the situation.

"He was obviously upset because he couldn't make the play. So I was out there trying to get away, not get a penalty, not hurt the team. I was shocked that he really tried to do that, but what am I to say?"

Brayton apologized profusely following the game. "I made a mistake," Brayton said. "I'll be the first to admit I made a mistake. I let my emotions get the best of me -- and that's not a good thing when you do that. I put shame upon myself, my family and the Raiders organization, and for that, I apologize."

On Wednesday, Brayton was fined $25K and Stevens ws fined $15K.

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