ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — Dennis Allen has seen improvement on just about every part of his team. With only one win in five games, the Oakland Raiders rookie coach realizes it's not enough.
Not even taking unbeaten Atlanta to the wire before losing on Matt Bryant's 55-yard field goal in the final seconds provided Allen with a sense that Oakland has turned the corner.
"We've got to learn how to finish and win those types of games," Allen said Monday. "That's what our job is. This is a production business. It's about winning and losing, and we weren't able to get it done yesterday."
The Raiders put up season highs in rushing yards (149) and total offense (474) while the defense held the Falcons to 286 yards and intercepted Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan three times after getting zero through their first four games.
Definite progress, though at 1-4 it's difficult to see.
"I definitely feel like we're improving," rookie linebacker Miles Burris said. "But I don't believe in moral victories and I don't feel good about losing. A loss is a loss and a win's a win."
Help could be on the way — at least for the defense.
Linebacker Aaron Curry is expected to come off the physically unable to perform list and join the Raiders in practice Wednesday. Curry started nine games last year for Oakland after being acquired in an October trade from Seattle but has not played since undergoing knee surgery in the offseason.
The Raiders will have a roster exemption for three weeks while deciding what to do with Curry, who must be added to the 53-man roster, be cut or placed on injured reserve when the exemption expires.
"We anticipate him practicing on Wednesday and we'll start from there," Allen said. "We're going to get him out there and let him run around, see where he's at and begin the evaluation process to figure out if and when he's going to be available on the roster."
The fourth overall pick in 2009, Curry lined up primarily as a weakside linebacker for Oakland last season but also spent time in the middle when Rolando McClain was hurt.