According to a report from ESPN.com, starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor was able to return to practice on Thursday, but his status for the game against the Texans is uncertain. The report goes on to say that McGloin is continuing to take the majority of reps with the starters on offense.
Vic Tafur from the San Francisco Chronicle tweeted this quote from head coach Dennis Allen:
Dennis Allen said #Raiders rookie QB Matt McGloin "just has a little bit of that 'it' factor ... he has a lot of confidence in himself."— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) November 15, 2013
Sorry, Allen, I'm not buying it. If Pryor can't play and McGloin has to start under center, the Raiders will be in very big trouble.
Pryor has been the big playmaker for the Raiders on offense. He's put up over 2,000 yards of offense and nine touchdowns this season, although he does also have 10 interceptions and four fumbles.
He isn't the most reliable passer and doesn't always take care of the ball, but Pryor's ability to be a dual-threat quarterback has opened the field for the Raiders, helping the offense drive down the field and score points.
McGloin can't deliver that same kind of play on the field. In fact, he wasn't even a top-tier college quarterback while at Penn State, which is a big reason why he went undrafted. Despite playing against some weak competition in the Big Ten, McGloin only completed 60.5 percent of his passes for 3,271 yards, 24 touchdowns and five interceptions in his senior season.
While McGloin is certainly a smart player who can digest a playbook and read defenses, there are some things that should worry you about him playing at the NFL level. He doesn't have the most ideal build for a quarterback at 6'1'' and 210 pounds, making it hard for him to see the entire field. Meanwhile, he doesn't have a strong arm to make the deep passes that the Raiders will require and he struggles to step into throws, especially when on the move.
If Matt McGloin starts for the Raiders, can he lead them to a win against the Texans?
In the short time that McGloin has played so far in the NFL, it's been less than impressive. He came in against the Philadelphia Eagles, completing just 7 of his 15 passes for 87 yards. Pro Football Focus (subscription required) gave him a -1.2 grade, which is very bad for someone who played just 20 snaps.
To make matters worse, the Texans are one of the best teams against the pass, making it an even more difficult task for McGloin. They allow just 166.6 passing yards per game, the fewest in the league. J.J. Watt has been having yet another terrific season, recording 42 combined tackles, 6.5 sacks and three forced fumbles, and he will be doing whatever it takes to get to whoever is playing under center on Saturday.
The Raiders haven't been as bad as many were expecting, but if Pryor can't start at quarterback, McGloin won't be able to lead this team to their fourth win of the season.