Oakland Raiders: Does McGloin Truly Have What it Takes?

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

After an enthralling performance by the undrafted rookie Matt McGloin, the Oakland Raiders look to seize back-to-back victories against the Tennessee Titans. McGloin sharply earned the right for a consecutive start over the ailing Terrelle Pryor after throwing an impressive three touchdown passes in his big league debut.

Whether or not Pryor remains hampered by a sprained MCL in which he suffered late in an egregious blowout loss to the Philadelphia Eagles is immaterial to why McGloin was named the starter against Tennessee. McGloin rightfully won the starting job solely due to his spectacular performance last Sunday. The offense had been staggering terribly under the presence of Pryor, and the resurgence led by McGloin was certainly significant enough to continue with him at quarterback – at least for now. Dennis Allen was asked why he chose to start McGloin over Pryor, and remarked, “It’s a production based business.”

Say what you please about McGloin — a walk-on at Penn State, an undrafted rookie who initially signed in Oakland as a fourth arm in training camp, to now being named the starter after a marvelous display of football against a tough Houston Texans defense on the road. It’s a jaw-dropping story, though I am not ready to jump the gun here.

Does McGloin truly have what it takes to finish off the season as the Raiders starting quarterback over Terrelle Pryor? I couldn’t say with certitude yet, in matter of fact, not anyone could.

Remember a man by the name of Matt Flynn, who McKenzie gave a boatload of money to, as well as surrendering a fifth-round draft pick, ultimately for one horrendous showing that resulted in a piteous loss to the Washington Redskins? Flynn played poorly enough to scratch himself off the Raiders 53-man roster. He was a major bust in Oakland, though considering the fact that he was evaluated and given a tremendous amount of cash predominantly due to one performance a few years ago, after he threw six touchdown passes and 400 plus yards in the last game of the season against a lackluster Detroit Lion’s defense, this should not have surprised anyone. One game is an exceedingly dangerous sample size.

I have utmost faith in McGloin’s abilities as a quarterback, and as a professional. His status currently flutters aimlessly after just one match-up under his belt, although I do not think he’s the next Matt Flynn. He is a poised individual with exceptional work ethic, therefore I would be rather surprised by a potential downfall, but anything is possible.

Williams, the defensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans, is well-known around the league for dialing up all sorts of blitz packages routinely. Tennessee currently ranks 17th in total sacks with 26, one ranking behind the Raiders who have 27 (Jason Tarver likes to blitz too). The youngster will have his hands full with the relentless pressures of the Titans, and if the offensive line is unable to provide McGloin with a clean pocket, it could be a long day. McGloin was incredibly quick at getting rid of the ball last Sunday, releasing on an average of about two seconds per pass play. That will be critical against a Greg William’s defense.

You couldn’t measure the enormity of this game for McGloin. If he defines mediocrity on Sunday, I think he assuredly still deserves another game. If he throws lights out, well then, he will more than likely be the guy for the remainder of the year. Now, if McGloin displays a horrible performance, then there’s a legitimate quarterback controversy. It’s simple, everything is in the palms of the undrafted rookie. Who would have thought it would ever be Matt McGloin’s job to lose?

Topics: Dennis Allen, Greg Williams, Matt McGloin, Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Titans, Terrelle Pryor

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  • Chris Schroeder

    It’s amazing to me how many people doubted McGloin. I for one was extremely excited when the Raiders brought him into camp and did not understand why he was just the fourth arm. I envision the day when he would be running this offense over Terrel Pryor. I also had no confidence in Matt Flynn from day one seeing that he has no good work ethic in training camp. That is why the Seahawks passed over him and that is why he didn’t start for the Raiders. Matt McGloin is a workhorse, nothing like Matt Flynn. This dude is smart, talented, accurate with good decision-making ability. He Is around the same height as Russell Wilson and Drew Brees. If they can lead their teams to greatness then McGloin could lead the Raiders. It took this guy one NFL start to be named the rookie of the week over all the other rookies in the NFL, on the road in a tough sold out environment against a number one ranked defense. For all the doubters, sit back relax and watch McGloin tear up the Titans worse than he did the Texans come Sunday. I’ll tell you what, if the Raiders receivers didn’t drop half of his passes it would have been a lopsided victory. It will be up to them to make their fair share of plays this Sunday and if they do, and accompanied by good defense then the Raiders should sail though this game with a win.

    • Danny Saeed

      Good stuff Chris. I agree with everything you said. McGloin was outstanding against Houston, although, as I mentioned, I won’t let one start get to me. I need to see more, and I hope you’re right about him tearing up the Titans defense. No DMoe is a shot, but Holmes looked good last week. Rivera is a mismatch and needs to be more involved in the passing game. We’ll see, I’m excited to see two things – how the OL holds up against the vicious pass rush of Tennessee, and obviously how McGloin performs.

      • Chris Schroeder

        That is true. The Texans did not use their blitz packages until the second half as to where the Titans much like the Raiders will use them consistently and like you said, they have a good one. I think McGloin will be fine and do his part but I am more concerned with the defense to be honest with you. Our defense has been Stoutt in the running aspect but not so much in the passing. FitzPatrick is one of those guys that has been there and done that but right now it seems as if his confidence is somewhat diminished from his previous losses and he is starting to slowly rebuild it through productivity even though he is just coming up short. If the Raiders are to win this game through their defense yet again they need to take away Fitzpatricks confidence early and put the nail in the coffin. If they rattle him he will make mistakes but if they give him time, well…. you saw what Foles did to the Raiders secondary when given time. I’m always an optimist though and I think the Raiders play a damn good game and come away with the W.

        The Raiders and Raiders nation have suffered Way too long through countless coaches and quarterbacks trying to find a formula that works. I feel as though we have our coaches now it’s up to the quarterback to change The culture in Oakland

        • Danny Saeed

          You were DEAD on with that prediction. Fitz tore up the secondary. Inability to get pressure with just front four is dreadful. Raiders have trouble putting pressure on QBs without bringing house!