ALAMEDA, Calif. – Jason Tarver is as passionate and animated as any coach in the NFL. The Oakland Raiders' defensive coordinator is usually quick with a statistic or two to back up whatever point he's trying to make.
The fact that Oakland's defense is third in the NFL in three-and-outs, for example. Tarver's eyes grew wide and he talked proudly about that Thursday, saying few people around the league expected that out of the young Raiders.
All of that energy grinds to a screeching halt, however, when discussing Oakland's struggles on third down.
The Raiders have had issues finishing drives and games for much of the season. It's become a particularly troubling trend over the past three games, all of which ended in losses for a team headed for its 11th consecutive non-winning record.