Raiders Sticking with McGloin as Starter Despite Terrible Game

Michael Wagaman@@mwagamanContributor IDecember 15, 2013

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 15:  Matt McGloin #14 of the Oakland Raiders fumbles the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs at Coliseum on December 15, 2013 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Matt McGloin came out of the Oakland Raiders’ Week 15 game against the Kansas City Chiefs after getting poked in the eye in the fourth quarter. That was par for the course since the undrafted rookie quarterback played like he couldn’t see much anyway.

McGloin threw four interceptions, one that Kansas City's strong safety returned 47 yards for a touchdown. The former Penn State walk-on also lost a fumble when he bobbled a shotgun snap from center Stefen Wisniewski.

It was the worst performance of the young quarterback’s season and left no doubt that the Raiders are in dire need of help at the position.

“I’m at a loss for words for it,” said McGloin when asked about Oakland’s seven total turnovers. “It’s disappointing. It’s frustrating. We were hurting ourselves out there.”

No one outside of Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles did more damage to the Raiders than McGloin, who was making his fifth consecutive career start. His turnovers directly led to 28 points for Kansas City, 21 in the first half when the Chiefs built a 35-17 lead.

That led to a chorus of boos from the crowd at Coliseum, which had previously been vocal in its support of McGloin.

It probably didn’t help McGloin’s confidence when the Raiders brought in Terrelle Pryor and rotated the quarterbacks in and out for a second consecutive week. Yes, he knew it was going to happen beforehand, and McGloin seemed to handle it better than he did against the New York Jets.

Yet his overall performance was shaky and uneven.

The optimists will point to the statistics: McGloin threw two touchdowns and completed 18 of 36 pass attempts for a season-high 297 yards.

The realist will point to the outcome: The Raiders have lost four straight and are just 1-4 with McGloin as their quarterback.

Pryor didn’t exactly light up the scoreboard when he was in. The former starter ran for more yards (19) than he passed for (12). He was also intercepted once, accounting for the seventh Oakland turnover.

As bad as the defense played, though, this one was on McGloin.

One of his interceptions came while he was backpedaling and threw off his back foot. Two others were the result of McGloin locking on to his receivers, making it easy for the defender to make a play. He was nearly picked off a fifth time but Chiefs safety Kendrick Lewis dropped the ball and missed what would have been a sure touchdown.

Even when he wasn’t getting intercepted, McGloin looked off. After Lewis’ gaffe gave the quarterback another chance, he sailed a throw to the sideline high over the head of fullback Marcel Reece.

On the touchdown throw to Andre Holmes, McGloin failed to see Jamize Olawale who was wide open on an underneath pattern and was waving his hands trying to get noticed in the end zone.

Still, head coach Dennis Allen said he plans to stick with McGloin as the starter.

“We can’t turn the ball over like that but he is a young player and … he’s got to go through those growing pains and that learning process,” Allen said. “It’s tough. It’s tough on all of us. But that’s part of what we’ve got go to through.”


* All information and quotes used in this and any report by Michael Wagaman were obtained firsthand unless noted otherwise.