Sunday, November 17, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Oakland Raiders
By Paul Gutierrez
HOUSTON -- A few thoughts on the Oakland Raiders' 28-23 victory against the Houston Texans:
What it means: Despite a beat-up offensive line, a dearth of third-down conversions and blowing a 14-0 lead, the Raiders' defense came up with just enough to win their first road game since October 2012, ending an eight-game road losing streak. A solid performance from undrafted rookie quarterback Matt McGloin sparked the Raiders early and, just like two years ago, the day after Al Davis' death, Oakland had to withstand a final play in the end zone to hold on. Usama Young, meet Michael Huff.
Stock watch: Rising -- McGloin. His first pass as a starting NFL quarterback went for a touchdown. And he showed tremendous grit throughout, even if, early on, Raiders receivers seemed to have trouble with the velocity on his passes. He finished 18-of-32 for 197 yards -- he was seven-for-his-first-11 with three drops. McGloin, the first undrafted rookie quarterback to start a game for the Raiders since Larry Lawrence in 1975, became the first undrafted rookie quarterback to throw three touchdowns since Erik Kramer in 1987. McGloin, the 17th different Raiders starting quarterback since 2003, joined Bruce Gradkowski and Daunte Culpepper as Oakland quarterbacks to win their first start. What happens if/when Terrelle Pryor is healthy?
Jennings to the house: Who said Rashad Jennings was not a home run threat like the perpetually injured Darren McFadden? For one play, at least, he was. Jennings put on a show with his 80-yard touchdown burst out of the Wildcat formation, faking the handoff to Jacoby Ford before running over Texans safety D.J. Swearinger en route to his career-long run. A week after rushing for 88 yards on 20 carries, Jennings had a career-high 150 yards on 22 attempts.
Another costly miss: With longtime running mate Shane Lechler watching from the other sideline, Sebastian Janikowski missed a 54-yard field goal in the third quarter, the ball hitting the left upright. It was his fifth miss of the season, with all five coming from the left hashmark.
What's next: The Raiders (4-6) host the Tennessee Titans (4-6) in Oakland’s lone home game in a five-week stretch. The Raiders have not beaten the Titans since 2005, Tennessee winning in 2007 and 2010. It will be the Titans’ first visit to Oakland since 2004, when the Raiders won 40-35.