Rashad Jennings, who rushed for 150 yards Sunday, has made his case to be the Raiders' starting running back -- even after Darren McFadden returns.
Whither Run DMC?Darren McFadden missed his second straight game due to injury, his third this season and his 16th in the Raiders' past 35. He also has 352 yards on the season (3.6 yards per carry). Rashad Jennings, meanwhile, has 340 yards rushing and a 6.0 average ... in his past three games. McFadden, it's been noted, has never played more than 13 games in a season and is in the final year of his rookie contract. Has McFadden's injury history, as well as Jennings' emergence, made Jennings the feature back and McFadden the “change of pace” back going forward, or whenever McFadden and his ailing right hamstring return? “I put a lot on my shoulders and I always want to come out and perform,” Jennings said. “Wherever they place me -- running back, special teams, lining up at receiver -- is cool with me.”
A little something extra: Sure, center Stefen Wisniewski took pride in the strong performance of undrafted rookie quarterback Matt McGloin. That Wisniewski and McGloin share a Happy Valley heritage made it all the more special. “His story's unbelievable,” Wisniewski said. “I've known him since he came to Penn State as a walk-on, beat out three or four scholarship kids to take that job, then comes here as an undrafted free agent, beats out a quarterback [Tyler Wilson], beats out another quarterback [Matt Flynn] and here he's got his first opportunity to start and goes and wins it. Throws three touchdowns, no picks, great job. Really, really happy for the kid, really proud of him.”
Getting off the schneid: The Raiders won their first road game since Oct. 28, 2012, improving Dennis Allen's road record to 2-11. “Obviously, we were all aware of what our road woes have been,” Allen said. “Today was one of those times we were able to pull through and finish it. I'm proud of those guys.” The team the Raiders beat on the road last year? The Kansas City Chiefs, who finished 2-14. The Texans, meanwhile, are riding an eight-game losing streak and sit at 2-8. “It was good for us because we haven't won any games on the road all season,” said free safety Charles Woodson. “We feel like we have let some games get away from us all season long, but it was good for us to close this one out.”
Of explosive plays X: And now for our weekly tracking of “explosive” plays. As deemed by Allen, such a play is one that gains at least 16 yards through the air or 12 yards on the ground. The Raiders had six such plays against the Texans: one run, Jennings' 80-yard TD; and five passes, including two McGloin TD passes. Houston had nine explosive plays -- two runs and seven passes, including a touchdown. In 10 games, the Raiders have 70 explosive plays (23 runs, 47 passes), with three TD runs and six passing scores. Oakland's opponents, meanwhile, have 73 explosive plays combined, 16 runs (one TD) and 57 passes (six TDs). It is the first time this season Oakland has trailed its opponents overall.