Filed for print . . .
Least in the east
Raiders results in their last 13 road games played as the early game in the eastern time zone dating back to a 27-24 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Dec. 6, 2009:
Dec. 8, 2013–Jets 37, Raiders 27
Nov. 10, 2013—Giants 24, Raiders 20
Sept. 8, 2013—Colts 21, Raiders 17
Dec. 23, 2012—Panthers 17, Raiders 6
Nov. 25, 2012—Bengals 34, Raiders 10
Nov. 11, 2012—Ravens 55, Raiders 10
Oct. 14, 2012—Falcons 23, Raiders 20
Sept. 16, 2012—Dolphins 35, Raiders 13
Dec. 4, 2011—Dolphins 34, Raiders 14
Sept. 18, 2011—Bills 38, Raiders 35
Dec. 12, 2010—Jaguars 38, Raiders 31
Nov. 11, 2010—Steelers 35, Raiders 3
Dec. 27, 2009—Browns 23, Raiders 9
The Raiders will leave a day early Thursday in hopes of finding their inner alarm clock.
A run of 13 consecutive losses in games played in the eastern time zone was the impetus for coach Dennis Allen to move up the travel schedule in anticipation of Sunday’s regular-season opener against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.
“I wanted to do something to get our bodies right for the East Coast time,’’ Allen said.
The last time the Raiders won in the east was Dec. 9, 2009, when Bruce Gradkowski threw three touchdown passes in the fourth quarter in a 27-24 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Only five players from that team are still on the roster _ safety Tyvon Branch, running back Darren McFadden, place kicker Sebastian Janikowski, right tackle Khalif Barnes and long-snapper Jon Condo.
Allen has been the coach for the last eight losses, and while he isn’t sure if leaving a day early will actually help, it’s worth a shot..
“In my mind, the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result,’’ Allen said. “It’s something different, it’s trying something new. We’re trying to find every little advantage we can to give us an opportunity to play well and we’ll see how it goes.’’
Instead of taking Tuesday off, the Raiders practiced so they could leave a day early. Their Friday practice will be in New Jersey.
The last two East Coast road losses have been at MetLife Stadium, 37-27 to the Jets last Dec. 8 and 24-20 to the New York Giants on Nov. 8. The Raiders opened the season in the east last season and fell 21-17 to Indianapolis in one of the better games they played all season.
Condo said he’s noticed over the years the Raiders often open sluggishly in the East, but noted with candor, “it’s happened sometimes on the West Coast in Oakland, too.’’
Safety Usama Young said West-to-East travel takes some adjustment.
“When you go from east to west it’s almost like you gain some time and get some extra rest,’’ Young said. “Going from west to east hits you real quick. It almost reminds you of when you were younger playing football in the morning. It’s a different feel..
“The games I’ve had so far it’s been tougher. Tougher to wake up in the morning. It feels a little odd. Hopefully this extra day will give us time to adjust.’’
About the only instructions players are given for East Coast trips are to hydrate. Condo said he avoids sleep on the team charter so he can get a full night’s rest the night before the game.
An added bonus is of the extra day is allowing the team a day of bonding. When Allen was an assistant coach in New Orleans, the Saints practiced in Indianapolis for a week before their season opener in Tampa Bay to avoid Hurricane Gustav and he thought the experience improved team chemistry.
Right tackle Khalif Barnes will go along with the program but wasn’t interested in getting too deep in analysis of his team’s difficulties in the east.
“I’m really not making any excuses,’’ Barnes said. “Since I’ve been here we just haven’t played well. It’s going to be a mindset thing . . . everybody in this league has to deal with something, whether it’s East Coast teams coming to us, us going to them, playing in hot weather. There’s a bunch of stuff people go through.’’
Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver feels the calendar along with a handful of experienced players used to winning can override difficulties in the East.
“We have a whole bunch of players who have played and won, and in that stadium,’’ Tarver said. “It’s 2014 and the struggles that have happened, whatever the streak is, it’s not the same.’’
Jets coach Rex Ryan dismissed thoughts of any advantage his team may have Sunday.
“I think that’s overblown,’’ Ryan said. “Football is football.’’
– Middle linebacker Nick Roach was limited but on the field for the first time since a concussion Aug. 22 against Green Bay. He still hasn’t been cleared to play but was cautiously optimistic he’d be good to go by Sunday.
The Raiders could be at nearly full strength for the opener, with only Chimdi Chekwa (knee) unlikely to play.
– Rookie seventh-round draft pick TJ Carrie will return punts and Latavius Murray will return kickoffs against the Jets.