If the Raiders were looking for something to spark their passing offense Sunday in Houston, undrafted rookie quarterback Matt McGloin might in fact be that spark.
The former Penn State walk-on walked onto the field in Houston for his first career start in relief for an injured Terrelle Pryor and led the Raiders in their 28-23 win in Houston, completing 18 out of 32 passes for 197 yards and three touchdowns.
Although the yardage and the completion percentage don't necessarily stand out, the three touchdowns revived a Raiders passing game that hasn't seen the end zone since the Raiders 24-7 loss in Kansas City back in week six.
"Obviously Matt McGloin went in and played outstanding," Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said in the post-game presser. "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."
If it counts for anything, Raiders starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor has thrown five touchdowns on the season.
Yes, just five. And he has only thrown for multiple touchdowns twice in his nine career starts. Both times tossing a pair of touchdowns against the Chargers in the 2012 regular season finale and earlier this season.
Now, with the Raiders at 4-6 and still within a shot at a wild card spot in the AFC, two games out of the second wild card spot behind Miami and the New York Jets, head coach Dennis Allen has a big decision to make: stick with his guy in Pryor, or see how far McGloin can take the Silver and Black.
It's quite a gamble for sure for Allen or any head coach considering whats at stake. But McGloin, who should start next week against Tennessee, would be the right choice. And Dennis Allen would agree.
Besides, who wouldn't let an undrafted quarterback throw for his first career touchdown on third-and-goal in the first quarter?
“You know what? Some of these guys just have it. Do you know what I mean? Some, just there’s something deep down inside of them that they don’t pay any attention to the fact that people say they can’t do it," Allen said Sunday. "He’s really done that ever since we brought him in."
The next two possible starts, against the Titans at home and at Dallas on Thanksgiving, might tell us if what we saw in Houston was real or just a one-hit wonder.