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Norton Jr. 'accountable' for historically poor defense

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The Oakland Raiders' defense has been bad through two weeks. Historically bad.

In Week 1, Ken Norton Jr.'s defense gave up 507 yards to Drew Brees' New Orleans Saints. In Week 2, that D gave up 528 yards to Julio Jones' Atlanta Falcons. With the back-to-back stink bombs, the Raiders became the second team since 1940 to allow 500-plus yards in each of their first two games of a season (1967 Falcons were the other). It's also the first time in franchise history the Raiders have allowed consecutive games of 500-plus yards.

I'm not done.

The Raiders' defense ranks last in points per game allowed (34.5), total YPG allowed (517.5), pass YPG allowed (404.0) and yards per play allowed (8.02). The 1,035 yards given up are the most allowed in any team's first two games since 1940.

If Oakland allows 447 yards or more Sunday versus the Tennessee Titans, they will best the 1951 New York Yanks' (yes, real team) mark of allowing 1,481 yards through three games.

It's Norton's job to make sure that doesn't happen.

"I'm accountable for it," the defensive coordinator said, via the Bay Area News Group. "We've got to work harder, work better and we expect to come out of this.

"I've been around a lot of good defenses, a lot of good coaches and a lot of good players and this fits right up there with the good ones. No one said it was going to be easy. You're going to have adverse times and we're having those adverse times really reveal us."

The three-time Super Bowl linebacker needs more from his playmakers Sunday versus the Titans. Khalil Mack has zero sacks and just two QB hits through three games. Bruce Irvin has six tackles and one sack. Corner Sean Smith has been burned repeatedly.

The additions this offseason were supposed to make the Raiders' defense the best they've been in years. Instead, through two games, they are the worst the NFL has seen in decades.

Head coach Jack Del Rio hinted that he usurped play calls at one point in Week 2, but Norton said he will make the D calls in Tennessee. It's Norton's job to make sure the turnaround begins Sunday.

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