Raiders work on finishing

The Raiders spent their bye week in search of a consistent finishing kick.

A 38-17 win over the Miami Dolphins provided a perfect illustration of how to close out a win, with the Raiders throwing only one pass and controlling the ball for 12:56 of the fourth quarter while rushing for 134 yards and two touchdowns.

Oakland's other three games had more drama than coach Lane Kiffin would have liked, with two of them resulting in losses.

In Week 1, the Raiders were up 21-20 with 6:43 to play and immediately yielded a seven-play, 80-yard touchdown drive in an eventual 36-21 loss to the Detroit Lions.

In Week 2, Thomas Howard's interception and 44-yard return put the Raiders up 20-17 with 8:55 to play, only to have Denver march 78 yards on 15 plays, with Jason Elam tying the score and sending the game into overtime with a field goal.

The Raiders fell 23-20 in overtime.

In Week 3, the Raiders went up 26-17 against Cleveland with 8:17 to play, and even that lead wasn't safe.

The Browns went 80 yards in 10 plays, with Derek Anderson scoring on a 3-yard run to make it 26-24, then launched a desperation drive starting at their own 9 which didn't end until Tommy Kelly blocked Phil Dawson's field goal attempt at the gun.

Kiffin believes finishing games has to do with following through in all areas with regard to the club's plan without regard to the score or situation.

"You hear the statement all the time that teams lose games more than they win games because the don't do things right," Kiffin said. "It's a mentality you have to have. My job is to get this team and this locker room to believe they are really good ... I'm afraid of our room thinking they've done something because we're 2-2, because we really haven't."


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