This was the Raiders team that was originally meant to be on the field in the offseason. The offense looked radically different from the offense we were seeing the past couple weeks, because a traditional pocket passer was in the pocket. Coming into the game, the offensive line was a concern because Pryor was not in to bail them out when the pocket collapsed, but they held pretty well protecting Matt enough for him to go through all his progressions. Here are some key takeaways from the game.
The need for a consistent receiver- This game was way too close for comfort, especially during the first half which is plagued with punts. Matt McGloin looked really good throwing ball with accuracy and velocity, but the receivers dropped balls left and right and made life just a tad bit harder for the rookie quarterback. Denarius Moore had another inconsistent day; he notched only 11 yards on two catches despite being targeted eight times, but did have a nice touchdown in the first quarter.
Rod Streater and fellow rookie Mychal Rivera seemed to have the best chemistry with Matt in this game. Streater was targeted the most on the team (8) and reeled in six balls for 84 yards and a touchdown. I was pleased to see Rivera get more targets, six specifically, because he is a threat in the passing game and has nice hands as he displayed on his touchdown pass.
The inconsistency of the Oakland receivers is going to make it rough on whomever takes the starting job going forward, but the emergence of Michael Rivera as a security blanket is reassuring.
McFadden should not be re-signed- Who said the McFadden was the only running back on our team that can bust off huge runs? Jennings looked very McFadden-esque in his 80 touchdown scamper late in the game. Well the good McFadden at least. Jennings carried the ball 22 times and for a whooping 150 yards and 6.8 yards per carry.
He looks so much more comfortable and powerful running in this offense compared to McFadden, that I just can not see the team bringing Darren back. Get rid of him and his cap hit and use that money to invest in things that we need, like a receiver, or a guard.
Jennings can be signed cheap because he’s been a backup his entire career and we still have Murray on the IR that looks to have the same potential as McFadden, but the injury concern is still there. Elite running backs are not necessary to win a championship, because a back is only as good as its line and supporting cast. Plus if the passing game is weak, the running game will always falter due to the opposing defense stacking the box.
Matt McGloin looked good, really good- In his starting debut, he went 7-11 on his first 11 passes with three drops in that span as well. He ended that game with with three touchdowns and a 105.9 passer rating. He is the 2nd player to go undrafted in the common draft era and have 3 TD passes, no interceptions and a win in his first career start.
It looked like taking the starting reps this week helped him immensely, because he looked so much better than when he game in for some garbage time in the fourth quarter of the Eagles game. Originally just brought in to be a camp arm, Matt had to work hard to overcome all the hurdles to earn his first start in the NFL. He is used to having to fight for his spot though, as he walked on into Penn State to become their starter, where he broke numerous records for passing yards, touchdowns, and completions.
He tripled the amount of Terrelle Pryor’s passing touchdowns from the past four weeks in one game and converted all red zone attempts. When asked about who would remain starter after Pryor healed, he responded with “Listen, here’s what I’m going to do — I’m going to enjoy this win, all right,” Allen said. “We’re going to go back and we’ll evaluate. But he definitely did a very good job today.”
Who do you think should start? Matt did throw two touchdown passes, but two came from amazing field position. On the other hand, his receivers dropped countless passes and he threw the ball with accuracy and poise. Tell me your thoughts.