ALAMEDA (CBS / AP) — Oakland Raiders coach Dennis Allen likes the production his team is getting out of the no-huddle offense.
The Raiders scored two touchdowns and a field goal running the no-huddle against Jacksonville on Sunday, when they overcame a 14-point deficit in the third quarter and went on to beat the Jaguars in overtime 26-23.
It was the second game this season in which quarterback Carson Palmer has engineered a fourth-quarter comeback. Both times he did it while running the no-huddle.
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The question for Allen is: How much is too much?
Offensive coordinator Greg Knapp continues to be criticized for his play-calling. The running game is barely showing signs of life.
Pass protection for Palmer has been shaky at best.
“It worked for us against Pittsburgh and it worked for us yesterday but it’s one of those things where you don’t want to hang your hat on a no-huddle offense,” running back Darren McFadden said Monday. “We know we’re going to have to use it when we can. When we go out there and use it, we’re running it pretty good.”
Yet Allen isn’t ready to commit to the no-huddle full-time.
While Palmer has looked comfortable calling his own plays at the line of scrimmage—something he did earlier in his career in Cincinnati—the Raiders plan to use the no-huddle only as a part of their offensive package and not a regular thing.
“It’s something that, on a week-to-week basis, we try to determine how much we’ll use it,” Allen said. “Obviously, we were not executing in the first half on offense. It was the worst half of football we’ve played offensively. But we knew we needed to do something to try to change some things up and the no-huddle worked good for us.”
Oakland’s offense sputtered throughout the first half against Jacksonville and managed only two Sebastian Janikowski field goals before halftime.
After a three-and out on the Raiders’ opening possession in the third quarter, the decision was made to go to the no-huddle and Oakland scored on three of its next five drives to force overtime.
Palmer completed only 56.5 percent of his passes against the Jaguars but was 9 of 13 for 118 yards while running the no-huddle.
Afterward, Palmer talked about the value of the no-huddle for Oakland’s sluggish offense.
“We tired (the Jaguars) out a little bit, especially in their secondary,” Palmer said. “It got them tired, kept things off balance and it was a great halftime adjustment by coach Knapp.”
Palmer also used the no-huddle during a comeback win against Pittsburgh on Sept. 23. One of the biggest plays in that game came when the Raiders quarterback checked out of the original call and made a small tweak that resulted in McFadden’s 64-yard touchdown run.
“It’s worked well in some situations and in others it hasn’t worked well,” Allen said. “It’s kind of a feel on how the game is going. In the game (Sunday) … it seemed to increase our focus offensively and we executed better offensively. So it will remain part of our offense and some games it will be more part of what we’re going to do than others.”
Notes: The Raiders are still uncertain what they’ll do with LB Aaron Curry. Curry came off the physically unable to perform list last week but the team is still evaluating his progress and conditioning. … WR Rod Streater (knee), DE Dave Tollefson (shoulder), LB Miles Burris (elbow), DL Desmond Bryant (elbow), LB Keenan Clayton (shoulder) and RB Mike Goodson (hip) are all nursing minor injuries.
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