As an undrafted rookie free agent, who was brought in as a camp arm in April, Matt McGloin won his NFL debut, leading the Oakland Raiders to a 28-23 win against the Houston Texans. It snaps the Raiders seven game road losing streak and improves the team to 4-6 on the season. The Texans drop to 2-8 after suffering their eighth straight loss.
The Raiders got off to another fast start when safety Charles Woodson stripped tight end Garrett Graham on the opening possession. Phillip Adams scooped the fumble and returned it 26 yards to the Houston 16. McGloin capitalized to wide receiver Denarius Moore for a five yard touchdown. His first NFL pass went for a score and gave the Raiders a 7-0 lead.
Defensively, the Raiders continued their stellar play. Linebacker Nick Roach made a great interception of Case Keenum setting up Oakland at the Houston 16 yard line again. McGloin found Rod Streater on the next play for a 16 yard score.
It was a game of runs as the Texans ripped off the next 17 points. First, Keenum somehow eluded a sack from defensive end Lamarr Houston and fired a 42 yard touchdown to Graham. Then, the Raiders special teams allowed a Keshawn Martin 87 yard punt return touchdown. Martin bobbled the initial catch, opening up the return lanes and took it all the way. Houston tacked on a 51 yard Randy Bullock field goal to take a 17-14 halftime lead.
The Raiders responded in the third quarter with a 73 yard scoring drive. McGloin delivered to tight end Mychal Rivera for a 26 yard touchdown. McGloin hung in the pocket and tossed a strike to Rivera's out stretched hands. McGloin finished the game 18-32 for 197 yards and three touchdowns. He did not turn the ball over and made smart decisions all afternoon.
Continuing their solid third quarter play, Rashad Jennings took a wild cat snap, ran over a safety and broke away for an 80 yard touchdown run. Jennings has been terrific filling in for the injured Darren McFadden. He carried 22 times for 150 yards on the day and his run gave the Raiders a 28-17 lead.
Defensive coordinator Jason Tarver and head coach Dennis Allen put together a great defensive game plan. They were able to get pressure on the quarterback to the tune of two sacks and numerous hurries. Houston and linebacker Kevin Burnett recorded the sacks. The defense carried the Raiders to the finish.
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak pulled starter Case Keenum in the fourth quarter for Matt Schaub. Oakland's defense withstood two Houston drives that both resulted in field goals. The Texans had one more opportunity at the end of the game to take the lead. They drove down to the Raiders two yard line. Burnett and Roach stuffed Ben Tate on third down. After a false start, Schaub faced a fourth down. He tried to get it to his stud wide receiver Andre Johnson, but Usama Young stepped in to break-up the pass. Johnson and Schaub had a heated discussion after the play, leading Johnson to head into the locker room as the Raiders took a knee.
After getting out to big lead in a few previous games, the Raiders finally finished and earned a win. It was their first November win in six tries and matches their win total from last season. McGloin did everything and more the Raiders asked of him and was a huge part of the win. Oakland will host the Tennessee Titans next Sunday.
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