Matt McGloin Shouldn't Be Handed Starting Spot over Terrelle Pryor After 1 Game

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistNovember 18, 2013

Nov 17, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Matt McGloin (14) throws a pass against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. The Raiders defeated the Texans 28-23. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Matt McGloin exceeded expectations and helped lead the Oakland Raiders to a victory over the Houston Texans in his first career start. While it was a promising performance, it shouldn't be enough to move him ahead of Terrelle Pryor on the depth chart quite yet.

Pryor missed the game due to a bothersome knee injury. The lingering issue could help explain his poor play over the previous few weeks after a strong start to the season. He shouldn't be removed from the starter's role due to one solid showing from McGloin.

The Raiders, who have spent years searching for a franchise quarterback, would have a hard time taking the Penn State product out of the lineup after he tossed three touchdowns against Houston. So he'll likely get another chance to prove himself next week against the Tennessee Titans.

At the same time, getting another week of rest should help Pryor get back to full strength. He clearly wasn't himself against the New York Giants in Week 10, and there's no need to rush him back with Oakland likely wanting another look at McGloin anyway.

The main reason the Raiders should be hesitant to name McGloin the full-time starter is because his track record doesn't suggest his game against the Texans can be expected on a weekly basis.

In his only other appearance during the regular season, which came against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 9, he connected on just seven of 15 passes for 87 yards.

He didn't play particularly well in the preseason, either. He had two touchdowns and three interceptions while completing a mundane 57 percent of his 35 attempts.

Going back to college, he led a run-oriented Penn State offense that took a lot of pressure off his shoulders. But even against college defenses, his completion rate was below 60 percent over the final three years.

So while his three-touchdown outburst on Sunday was a sight for sore eyes in Oakland, nothing from his past suggests he's going to be the long-term answer for the Raiders.

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 27:  Terrelle Pryor #2 of the Oakland Raiders outruns William Gay #22 and Ryan Clark #25 of the Pittsburgh Steelers to score on a 93-yard run at Coliseum on October 27, 2013 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Ima
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

By contrast, Pryor at least showed some serious upside during the early portion of the season. He completed at least 62 percent of his passes in each of his first four games while adding at least 30 rushing yards in each contest. He had four touchdowns and two interceptions over that span.

Letting him get back to full strength while further evaluating McGloin is the best course of action for now. Relegating Pryor to indefinite backup duty in favor of the undrafted rookie after one game would send the wrong message.

McGloin should be forced to build off that success before being considered the full-time starter.