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Change of scenery for Paul Guenther doesn’t alter results

Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther moved from his traditional spot on the sideline to the press box to call plays on Sunday.

He couldn’t have liked the view.

The Raiders’ defense had just one sack and didn’t force a turnover as it allowed Bills’ receivers to run free through the secondary far too often in a 30-23 loss at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday.

“Paul Guenther went up in the box so he could see better,” coach Jon Gruden said. “We’re playing a lot of new players and I think it worked out pretty good. I think his communication was good with the middle linebacker from the box. I think he was good communicating with the staff from the box as well.”

Linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, who relays the defensive signals from Guenther during the game, said there were no communication issues with the new setup.

The execution was a far greater concern. Through four games, the Raiders have just two interceptions and have not forced a fumble. The team has just four sacks.

“We have to get the turnovers from our defense,” Gruden said. “We’re just not getting any turnovers.”

The Raiders entered the game 27th in the league in defensive yardage allowed at 406 yards per game and 25th with 30.0 points per game allowed.

Buffalo managed just 336 yards, but too many were gained with little resistance. The Bills spent most of the fourth quarter simply protecting a lead.

Welcome back

Kwiatkoski was back in the lineup for the Raiders after missing the two previous games with a pectoral injury suffered in the season opener against the Panthers.

He was officially added to the Raiders’ active roster on Sunday and started alongside Cory Littleton.

Kwiatkoski finished with three tackles, including one for a loss.

“I hate missing games,” he said. “You want to be out there with your team, win or lose. I was just happy to be back and trying to get back to business as usual.”

The Raiders also got back Sam Young at right tackle, where he replaced the injured Trent Brown. Young suffered a groin injury in the season opener shortly after replacing Brown, who hurt his calf against the Panthers and has played just three plays this season.

Young had been sidelined the past two weeks, and his return allowed Denzelle Good to slide back to his natural left guard position to replace struggling rookie John Simpson.

Simpson had been filling in for Richie Incognito, who is on injured reserve. Good had played right tackle for almost all of the first three games.

Brown was inactive for the third straight game.

Old reliable

Jason Witten, 38 and in his 17th NFL season, continues to produce. Witten caught two passes for 18 yards and a touchdown Sunday, giving him exactly 13,000 receiving yards in his storied career, good for second among tight ends in NFL history.

Only Tony Gonzalez (15,127) has more receiving yards at tight end than Witten, who is the 19th man to reach the mark.

With a couple more productive outings, Witten could pass former Seattle Seahawks star wideout Steve Largent (13,089) and former Bills standout receiver Andre Reed (13,198).

Both are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Century club

Gruden became the fourth coach to lead the Raiders for 100 games, joining a list that also includes John Madden, Tom Flores and Art Shell.

The Raiders are 51-49 in games coached by Gruden.

Closing strong

Carr’s scoring pass to Witten came with 19 seconds to play in the first half.

He has now thrown for a touchdown after the two-minute warning of the first half in each of the four games this season.

The four scores have gone to four different receivers.

Carr finished the game 32 of 44 for 311 yards with a passer rating of 107.3 and is the only player in the league with a passer rating over 100 and a completion percentage above 70 in each of the four games this season. It’s the first time in his career he has had a passer rating over 100 in four straight games.

The Raiders fell to 12-8 in games Carr throws for more than 300 yards.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

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