Matt McGloin couldn’t capture lightning in a bottle two weeks in a row. Yet Oakland Raiders coach Dennis Allen feels no need to make a change with his young quarterback and has already penciled in the undrafted rookie to start in Week 13, per Steve Corkran of the Contra Costa Times:
#Raiders coach Dennis Allen said rookie QB Matt McGloin played well enough Sunday to earn the start against Cowboys on Thursday.— Steve Corkran (@CorkOnTheNFL) November 25, 2013
A week after getting the fanbase overly excited when he threw for three touchdowns without an interception in his first NFL start, McGloin looked much more like the inexperienced quarterback he is during a 23-19 loss to the Tennessee Titans.
McGloin passed for a season-high 260 yards and lofted a 27-yard touchdown pass to fullback Marcel Reece that temporarily gave the Raiders a lead late in the fourth quarter. It was the best pass McGloin threw all day and showed why Allen remains so high on the former Penn State star.
However, McGloin clearly wasn’t as sharp as he had been against the Houston Texans. He was much more erratic with some of his throws and, with the offense backed up to its own 9-yard line, threw a costly interception that the Titans turned into a field goal.
“Just a bad decision by me,” McGloin said of his pass that was picked off by Tennessee linebacker Zach Brown. “That’s really it. I didn’t put the ball where it needed to be.”
That was true of several of McGloin’s passes.
He threw a pass that fell incomplete behind wide receiver Andre Holmes in the first quarter. He also made a high throw that wide receiver Rod Streater had to leap high to grab before crashing back to the field.
Streater was briefly shaken up on the play but returned and finished with a team-leading five catches for 93 yards.
More troubling was the four passes that the Titans batted down at the line of scrimmage. For a quarterback who is generously listed at 6’1”, that’s not a good sign.
“That happens to everybody,” McGloin said. “(The Titans) did a good job of not rushing at certain points and kind of reading the quarterback, where his eyes were going and things like that, and jumping at the right time.”
It wasn’t all bad for McGloin.
Playing without Oakland’s leading wide receiver (Denarius Moore was inactive with a shoulder injury), McGloin did a good job spreading the ball around. He completed passes to seven different teammates and engineered the go-ahead drive in the fourth quarter.
At two different points in the game when McGloin was struggling, Terrelle Pryor began warming up on the sidelines. He was never needed, however, and Allen confirmed afterward that McGloin would remain the starter for the Thanksgiving Day game in Dallas.
“I thought Matt played well,” Allen said. “He led the team down the field. Whether he grew up or not, I think he went out there and executed and did his job and moved the team. That’s what we expect him to do.”
There were a lot higher expectations on McGloin coming from Oakland’s fanbase before the game. He was dubbed the savior of the offense following his performance against Houston, with one Bay Area sports talk host proclaiming that McGloin should be the starter in 2014.
Things cooled off a bit more following the Raiders’ loss to the Titans, though it appears the job very well could be McGloin’s the remainder of the season.
“Up-and-down day,” McGloin said. “I thought we missed on a couple of opportunities offensively. Just couldn’t get things going early on. You’re going to have days like that. Unfortunately that was one of those days today. But I thought we did a good job of adjusting at halftime, and it was great to see that we were able to make those changes and continue to get better and figure things out and work things out.”
*Any information and quotes used in this and any report by Michael Wagaman were obtained firsthand.