ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — For more than a decade the Raiders had trouble winning on the road no matter the location: East Coast, West Coast and all stops in between.
One month into the season, coach Jack Del Rio and his staff appear to be turning that trend around following close victories at New Orleans, Tennessee and Baltimore — all venues where the Raiders have struggled.
This comes on the heels of going 4-4 on the road in 2015 after a combined 22-74 mark away from home from 2003-14.
The trick now for Del Rio and his team is to keep that success going at the Oakland Coliseum. The Raiders host San Diego on Sunday
“We need to win at home, there’s no doubt about that,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “Our fans are too awesome. They deserve it, to have a win in front of them. It’s going to be a tough task obviously in the division. We need to go out and we need to set a standard at home.”
The Raiders’ only loss this season came at the Coliseum, a 35-28 setback to the Atlanta Falcons in Week 2, putting more emphasis on this week’s game against division rival San Diego.
“For us right now, we’re going to talk about this one because it’s up to do today,” said Del Rio, who has a 3-6 home record as the Raiders coach. “Then it’ll be so important that we win next week. That’ll become paramount. That’ll become the main focus and where we want our attention and effort and everything.”
Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. was a three-time Pro Bowl linebacker during his 13-year NFL career and had his share of success both on the road and at home. The key, Norton said, is to stay together on the road and avoid the plethora of distractions that come with playing at home, like ticket requests from friends and family.
“Your home games are really important but when you put them together, there’s no question, if you have a team that’s really good on the road, that really helps you in the long run,” Norton said. “It’s hard put a finger on it, but it’s a combination of things. Everything is much more structured (on the road). The guys are walking around going to dinner and things together. So far it’s worked for us this year.”
Notes: Oakland will be without starting running back Latavius Murray against the Chargers. Murray has been out all week with a toe injury and wore a walking boot while watching practice Friday, meaning the workload will be split among rookies DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard. “You’re always prepared in case,” Del Rio said. “We’ve got capable guys, guys that have been playing anyway. We’ll be ready to go.” … Right tackle Menelik Watson (knee) and safety Nate Allen (quad) did not practice and are out. Offensive linemen Austin Howard (ankle) and Matt McCants (knee), linebacker Malcolm Smith (quad), running back Taiwan Jones (knee) and tight end Clive Walford (knee) were all limited and are questionable.