Raiders struggling in all aspects

Updated: October 6, 2003, 8:22 PM ET

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Coach Bill Callahan is baffled by how bad the Oakland Raiders have been in all facets of their game.

This is the defending AFC champions we're talking about, and they've looked nothing like themselves so far this season.

The Raiders (2-3) lost 24-21 Sunday to the winless Chicago Bears -- another ugly performance by the team that had the league's top-rated offense last season and lost to Tampa Bay in the Super Bowl.

Oakland relied on five field goals by Sebastian Janikowski against the Bears.

"We're currently in the midst of inconsistency," Callahan said Monday. "It's a situation that shows up in every phase of our game -- special teams, offense and on defense. We've got a lot things to shore up, but we're focusing in on every aspect incrementally by position, by unit and also overall our special teams play."

The Raiders already barely squeaked by the lowly Cincinnati Bengals in their home opener, taking advantage of a fortuitous pass interference penalty in the second half in the 23-20 win. Oakland lost 31-10 at Denver in a Monday night game, then needed overtime to beat the winless San Diego Chargers a week before losing to Chicago.

The Raiders started last year's Super Bowl season 4-0, then lost four straight but recovered to win their third straight division title and the AFC championship.

"Last year, we started off with so much success that the slump we went through, we were waiting to get started," right tackle Langston Walker said Monday. "We haven't gotten our confidence up yet."

Quarterback Rich Gannon, the reigning NFL MVP, set a record for completions last season when he connected on 21 straight passes against Denver. This year, his numbers have been dismal.

He's completed only 54.1 percent of his passes, going 93-for-172 for 1,047 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions and has a quarterback rating of 74.9. The Raiders have been outscored 131-108.

"To say it's just Rich Gannon, everybody's an extension of the big play," Callahan said. "Everybody's an extension of a completion. Then, of course, you've got to give some credit to what's going on the other side of the ball, too, because they do have good players. So, is that frustrating? Yeah, it is."

Callahan isn't busy planning extra meetings or film sessions -- he knows his players are aware of what needs to be done.

"Let me say this, this group of players, they're a prideful group of guys," Callahan said. "They want to win, and they want to win in the worst way. And they will do whatever they need to do."

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index