|Andre Carter got his second sack of the season after tackling Chiefs QB Brady Quinn on Sunday. (US Presswire)|
Defensive end Andre Carter was on the field for a season-high 65 percent of the Raiders' defensive plays (32 of 49) during Sunday's 15-0 shutout of Kansas City, and had one of his most productive games of the year.
Carter had his second sack of the season and, according to stats compiled by Raiders coaches after a review of game tape, five quarterback hits, two quarterback hurries and four tackles.
Carter, who ranks eighth among active NFL players with 78 career sacks, didn't sign with the Raiders until Sept. 27 and didn't make his Raiders debut until Oct. 14 against Atlanta.
Allen said Monday that Carter is "a lot closer" now than when he signed to being the player he was before suffering a season-ending quadriceps injury last year with New England. "And I think he's only going to get better. He's been a great addition for us. Not only on the field, but in the locker room, in the classroom and those types of things. He's been good to have and I expect him to continue to get better."
Carter's increased playing time came largely at the expense of starting right defensive end Matt Shaughnessy. Shaughnessy played only 17 snaps.
Allen said he wanted to get Carter more time in the nickel as well as in the base defense.
"I think we'll continue that moving forward," he said.
The Raiders had a season-high four sacks against Kansas City with Carter, defensive tackles Desmond Bryant and Tommy Kelly and linebacker Philip Wheeler each logging one.
Confidence boost: Allen called Sunday's shutout a "confidence builder" for his defense, which had allowed a league-high 402 points before facing Kansas City.
"It's tough to shut anybody out in this league," Allen said. "For us to be able to go out there and do that, the first time it's been done in this organization for 10 years, I think that was critical for our defense. I think our defense in that game played outstanding."
The Raiders allowed just 119 total yards, the fewest since holding San Diego to 93 yards in a 6-0 win on Oct. 6, 1975. They allowed just 10 rushing yards, tying a franchise record set on Dec. 10, 2000, against the Jets. Kansas City came into the game ranked No. 5 in the NFL in rushing.
"I think that was huge for our defense," Allen said. "I think that was a good confidence builder. Now we have to continue to build on that."
Adams watch: Cornerback Phillip Adams' first career NFL start Sunday came to a sudden end when he suffered a concussion early in the second quarter.
Adams was injured while tackling running back Jamaal Charles for a three-yard loss on first down. He left the game and didn't return.
The concussion was Adams' second in three games. He suffered one against Cleveland during a play in which he intercepted a Brandon Weeden pass.
"We'll go through the normal NFL protocol on that and we'll see where he's at on Wednesday," Allen said.
Brandian Ross replaced Adams and had his most extensive playing time since the Raiders signed him off of Green Bay's practice squad on Sept. 19.
"I think that was good for him to get some playing experience out there," Allen said. "I thought he did well under the circumstances. Brandian Ross is a guy that we got in the middle of the year that has played a lot of different positions for us. He's played safety for us, he's played corner for us. We've used him in a lot of different roles, and I thought he did a nice job coming into the game yesterday and really playing both positions."
Injury report: Rookie wide receiver Juron Criner suffered a hip injury during Sunday's game. "It's pretty sore today, but we'll see where he's at on Wednesday," Allen said.
Tight end Richard Gordon injured a bicep, but "there's no structural damage," Allen said. "He's, again, a guy that we'll have to look at on Wednesday to see where he's at."
Starting strong safety Tyvon Branch took all 49 defensive snaps despite a lingering ankle injury that kept him out of practice for all but Friday last week.
"Tyvon Branch is still dealing with the same ankle that he's been dealing with, but I thought he did a nice job going in the game and playing with that ankle," Allen said. "I didn't really see any effects that really caused him an issues."
Safety Mike Mitchell suffered a stinger. Even though he was cleared by doctors to return to the game, Allen kept him out for precautionary reasons.
"I think he'll continue to get better," Allen said.
Moore's rough day: Wide receiver Denarius Moore served as the Raiders primary punt returner Sunday for the first time this season, and he showed more than just a little rust.
Moore had trouble tracking Dustin Colquitt's punts and repeatedly let them drop and roll deep into Raiders territory.
"He hasn't done it a lot this year," Allen said. "He's done it a lot in practice, but he hasn't done it a lot in game situations. I think he's got to get a better feel for judging the ball coming off the punter's foot and getting a better initial break on it so he can catch some of those punts. Especially the first one that was a little short, you'd love to see him be able to step up there and catch that one. But there were a few that were directionally punted. Their punter did a nice job."
Moore, who returned punts last year as a rookie, replaced Adams on Sunday, but Allen said he doesn't know who will return punts Sunday at Carolina.
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"I think we'll evaluate that as the week goes on," Allen said. "Matt Giordano's a guy that we've used back there to field punts. Coye Francies is a guy we've used back there to field punts, as well as Denarius and Phillip."
Extra points: Allen gave his players the day off Monday, a reward for Sunday's victory. The last "Victory Monday" they had was Oct. 29, the day after beating the Chiefs 26-16 at Arrowhead Stadium. ... No. 3 quarterback Terrelle Pryor made his 2012 debut Sunday but went three-and-out in his lone series with an incompletion on his only pass. "The biggest thing is we wanted him to get into a game," Allen said. "He got in a game last year for one play, there was a false start penalty and really wasn't able to run a play. I wanted to be able to get him in an NFL football game during the regular season and get him a little bit of experience and we'll see where we go from there."
Follow Raiders reporter Eric Gilmore on Twitter @CBSRaiders.