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Raiders close in on penalty record, don't seem to know why

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The fine jar in the defensive meeting room fills up with bills, suggestions pour in from fans and coach Hue Jackson's voice gets hoarse from yelling.

Despite plenty of effort to cure the Oakland Raiders age-old penalty problem, this year's team is on pace to shatter the NFL record for penalties and yards penalized in a season.

"I don't have the answer, obviously," Jackson said. "I talk to the team about it all the time. I don't just talk. I yell, I scream, I threaten. I've done everything. I get a bunch of letters of people telling me other things I should try, too. And please don't send any new ones because those things don't work."

The Raiders (8-7) head into their must-win season finale against San Diego needing four penalties for 11 yards to break both records held by the 1998 Kansas City Chiefs.

Considering the Raiders have committed at least four penalties in 27 straight games, it seems like a safe bet those records will fall.

Jackson vowed at the start of training camp that he would fix a problem that has plagued the Raiders for most of their history.

Jackson has had three officials at most practices in order to curb the problem and said they usually see about three or four infractions a day. That rises to more than 10 a game when it counts.

The players have also instituted a $100 fine system for committing penalties with a jar on defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan's desk.

"Charity will love us at the end of the year," Bresnahan said.

Cornerback Stanford Routt has been the most penalized player in the league with 16 -- one more than the entire Green Bay defense.

"Obviously, getting penalties is never a good thing, but you can't let that get in your head, because if you do then you're playing into the other team's hands," Routt said. "You don't ever want to let the referees decide the game, and if you let them get in your head, you're letting them decide the game."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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