LONDON – Owner Mark Davis held court on the Raiders sideline before Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins, and chatted with NFL dignitaries requesting an audience with the man in charge.
He did so with a documentary on his iconic father, Al Davis, playing on the Wembley Stadium big screens.
When asked about a warm reception London gave his team, the massive sect of Raider Nation in the crowd and whether the experience was worth giving up an Oakland home game, he channeled his father in less colorful terms.
“How has the experience been?” Davis said. “I’ll let you know after the game.”
A wry smile crept across his face, knowing his words would be translated right.
His dad would’ve said it differently, but the meaning was the same.
Even in a foreign land that treats you like royalty, one thing matters: Just win, baby.
The Raiders did not. They were humiliated on a grand stage and lost a 38-14 affair that should be considered among the worst in recent franchise history.
The Raiders fell to 0-4 on this young season and, as it was when Al Davis was in charge, losing comes with consequences.
It would be surprising if head coach Dennis Allen retained his post through the Week 5 bye, as NFL sources have told to CSN Bay Area that he could be fired in the coming days.
A source told CSN reporter Fallon Smith after Sunday's game that the 0-4 start has sealed Allen’s fate.
Nothing has been made official as of early Monday morning, when the Raiders flew back to Oakland. Don't ignore one key point: Davis reserves the right to change his mind.
That seems unlikely at this point, but it remains a possibility.
Davis wanted to see progress in the win column. He wanted to see his team compete. The Raiders haven’t done much of that in the first four weeks.
While there’s plenty of blame to go around – general manager Reggie McKenzie certainly played a huge part in this disaster – Allen could be the one to walk the plank.
As previously reported, offensive line coach Tony Sparano is expected to take over as interim head coach. He has head coaching experience, already retains the assistant head coach title and is the only assistant with a contract through 2015.
While it might seem early to pull the trigger, Davis’ patience has worn razor thin.
The Raiders struggled in a loss to the Jets after an offseason brimming with optimism following veteran free-agent pickups and a solid draft. They were embarrassed in the home opener against Houston, the only game at O.co Coliseum before Oct. 12.They couldn’t finish a close game against the Patriots.
The Raiders reached a new low with Sunday's loss.
The Miami Dolphins entered the game in relative disarray, with a quarterback/coach issue on the front burner, but the Raiders made Miami look like one happy family.
They Silver and Black were beaten fundamentally. They were embarrassed by one blunder after another, with four straight turnovers in the second half.
The worst came from center Stefen Wisniewski, who sent a shotgun snap wide enough for Miami to recover and return the loose ball for a touchdown.
The loss dropped Allen to 8-28 as a head coach. He’s lost 10 straight dating back to Nov. 17, 2013, and, in a poor indictment of a head coach, can’t help his team right the ship despite great effort and desire.
He talked extensively about looking at every avenue to improve results following a horrific Texans loss. On Sunday, he said the exact same thing. That shows Davis that his man – McKenzie’s man, more appropriately – can’t fix what ails his Raiders.
“I mean obviously it didn't work in this game,” Allen said. “We didn't perform well in this game.”
Allen said job security was "not my concern right now,” though it certainly should be. Bye weeks offer additional time to make coaching changes and be ready for the next opponent.
A valid question: Will it help?
Interim coaches rarely see a spike in production, considering they use the same roster and the same scheme.
Even so, a new man in charge could get the chance.