The quarterback position this season for the Oakland Raiders has not been dull. The team traded for Matt Flynn in the offseason to be the starter. Terrelle Pryor emerged with a fantastic preseason to take over the job to begin the season. Now Matt McGloin, filling in for Pryor, has thrown his name in the ring with a three touchdown performance in a win over the Houston Texans.
McGloin's solid game comes at the perfect time for Oakland because Terrelle Pryor has struggled recently. Pryor is 1-3 in his last four games. He has not completed more that 54 percent of his passes in any of those games. He has one touchdown pass and eight interceptions in that span. His rushing ability is the one area where he excels, but it has caused some difficulties along the offense line, trying to block for extended play. Pryor and the offensive line had been disconnected the last few games with him bailing early on drop backs because of the anticipation of pressure.
Enter McGloin, the undrafted rookie free agent out of Penn State who was brought into the organization as a training camp arm. McGloin completed 18-32 passes for 197 yards and the three scores in a 28-23 win in his NFL debut. He made smart, deliberate decisions with the ball when things broke down, which is uncharacteristic for a rookie and had nice velocity and accuracy of his throws. If the Raiders receivers did not drop several potential catches, McGloin's numbers would be even better. To make McGloin's day even more impressive, he did it against the number one passing defense in the league.
“I thought we had a lot of great individual achievements,” Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said. “Obviously Matt McGloin went in and played outstanding. To go against that defense, to have three touchdown passes with a [105.9] quarterback rating, I thought that was outstanding for a kid that’s an undrafted free agent that came in here as a fourth arm for camp, to come and perform in this type of environment. I thought that was outstanding.”
Going forward what will the Raiders' plan be at quarterback? First, it will depend on the health of Pryor. He is dealing with a sprained MCL in his knee, so until he is completely healed, the Raiders will ride with McGloin. Oakland has been cautious with Pryor's injuries in the past and after the game McGloin played Sunday, the Raiders won't rush him back. Allen will evaluate the situation and has not made a decision on the starting quarterback going forward.
“Listen, here’s what I’m going to do, I’m going to enjoy this win,” Allen said. “We’re going to go back and we’ll evaluate, but he definitely did a very good job today.”
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