Nov 17, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Oakland Raiders safety Charles Woodson (24) and cornerback Mike Jenkins (21) force a fumble by Houston Texans running back Ben Tate (44) in the fourth quarter at Reliant Stadium. The Raiders defeated the Texans 28-23. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Just Blog Baby’s staff writers Week 11 Game Balls following the Raiders 28-23 win over the Texans.
Before I give out my game balls for this week, let me say this about McGloin….I am not surprised by how ready he looked or how prepared he was. Lets not forget who his college coach was, Bill O’Brien. Former Patriots Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach. Which explains why he knows how to read a defense (almost non existent in read-option), how to go through progressions and how to prepare. Now with that said, before we all start typing “QB of future” or “Bench Pryor” or whatever….lets wait. Lets see what happens. Let the rest of the league get a book on him and see how McGloin adjusts from there. That, in my opinion is a lot of the issues with Pryor, is he has not adjusted well to how the league has started playing him, but that’s another column for another day. On to the game balls:
Offense: Matt McGloin
When looking back at the game, McGloin stands out of course, Jennings as well but I think the Offensive Line had one the their best games of the year, but they didn’t play much differently than they normally do. Here’s why, McGloin got the ball out fast. He did not hold on to it. He treated that ball like a bomb with 3.5 second fuse. He took the snap and didn’t wait and made quick decisions, most of them the right ones too. If not for drops and a review that could have gone either way, McGloin could have gone for 280. Lets not forget that the Texans have a top defense statistically. Jennings ran hard and fast and even without the 80 yard wildcat run still would have had a good game like someone who used to play in Oakland…a McFadden something. WR’s…….meh. Andre Holmes looks like he could have some serious play making skills. The rest, are just a bunch eligible receivers with numbers you throw the ball to and pray they catch it. Although I think Streater is becoming more and more consistent and is dropping less than his colleagues. Game Ball: McGloin.
Defense: Team Game Ball
Well, what can you say, the Defense has had some great moments this year. None bigger than that last series. The D-Line was good. Sio Moore just seems to get better every week. Roach had a big INT that really helped pile on that trademark Raiders 14-0 1st Quarter lead they get every game. It gets harder every week for me to choose a defender because they ALL play so well together. The D-Line, LB’s, DB’s; all together as one gets the Game Ball this week. That was a complete effort from all involved. Game Ball: Entire Defense
Special Teams: Marquette King
Other than SeaBass missing from the left hash once again and that crazy Punt return for touchdown, not a bad showing, Marquette King out-did is predecessor and it wasn’t even close (although his net avg is lower due to the 87 yard TD return) Lechler seemed out of sorts punting against the Silver and Black. King as he as all season is showing Raider Nation that they made right decision in Keeping King and of course I can’t help but mention Taiwan Jones as I have in past weeks. Jones was blatantly held on that punt return and wasn’t even one of those could go either way type calls, it was just horrible missed call. Jones in a short amount of time has become one of the best gunners in the NFL. So much fun to watch, especially live. With that said, special teams game ball goes to Marquette King for going punt for punt with Lechler.
Special teams: Marquette King- King was the most consistent kicker of the day with Jano missing yet another left hash mark field goal. King had a very good day though, averaging nearly 50 a punt on 11 kicks with a couple of booming 60+ yarders. He consistently put the Texans’ offense far in their own territory where they were not able to drive down from. The only touchdown the Texans’ offense scored was on a broken play near midfield.
Defense: Charles Woodson
Woodson completely changed the momentum and pace of the game with his strip in the opening Texans’ drive. This allowed the offense to capitalize on the short field position and create early pressure on the Texans.
Offense: Matt McGloin
For an undrafted free agent with only one week of practice time in a heavily read option system, Matt McGloin performed admirably in his starting debut with three touchdowns and more importantly, no interceptions. He could have led the offense to more drives if the receivers would stop dropping balls, but they will get more comfortable with him with more playing time together.
Offense- Matt McGloin
While I think Jennings is deserving, I got to give it to Matt because he played turnover free football. If the Raiders QBs can continue to play turnover free the Raiders have a chance to win every game.
Defense – Nick Roach
Roach was all over the field and also had a great interception that helped keep the Texans off the score board and led to Raiders points early in the first quarter along with Charles Woodson
Special Teams – Marquette King
He continues to improve his touch for punts inside the 20 and with the guy he replaced on the other sideline, he proved that Reggie made the right choice and saved the franchise millions of dollars.
Offense- Rashad Jennings: 150 rush yards, TD
The popular pick here would obviously be Matt McGloin, but I think that has more to do with performance in comparison to expectation than performance alone.
In my opinion, Rashad Jennings had the best performance on the offensive side of the ball.
Jennings put up 150 yards on the ground, 128 of which came after contact.
A large chunk of both of those totals came on an 80-yard touchdown out of the wildcat; a play in which Jennings displayed great vision, crushing power, and breakaway speed all on one beautifully executed play.
Each week that goes by, Rashad Jennings is making fans miss Darren McFadden less and less.
Defense- Kevin Burnett: 1 sack, 7 tackles, 1 forced fumble
Kevin Burnett has been quietly solid for his entire career. To say he has been chronically underappreciated would not be a stretch.
It was one of Reggie McKenzie’s best and brightest moves to bring the veteran to Oakland in the offseason, and Burnett has delivered on a regular basis.
This week in Houston was no different.
Along with a 3rd quarter sack-fumble on Houston QB Case Keenum, Burnett added another hit on the quarterback, as well as four quarterback hurries.
But don’t call him just a pass-rusher, he also added an impressive six stops in the run game.
Special Teams- Marquette King: 5 punts inside 20yd line
Marquette King has worked hard to improve his touch and accuracy, and it’s paying off.
Field position was often a factor in Houston; like when Case Keenum, backed up into his own endzone and at risk of taking a safety, panicked and threw up a duck that would be intercepted by Raiders LB Nick Roach.
Jason Tarver’s defense can certainly feast on opposing offenses when they are put into difficult situations- so the more Marquette King can create those situations, the better.
Offense: Matt McGloin
Rookie undrafted free agent quarterback Matt McGloin got his first start of his career against the Texans and he had a solid game. I am not going to fly over the moon with his performance because there were some instances where he was off on his throws or made a bad decision, however what he did on Sunday was exciting and he delivered the ball accurately and with zip. Say what you will about Terrelle Pryor’s legs and his playmaking ability, but his play has dropped off recently, and as far as I am concerned McGloin has earned himself another stop. He has the mechanics down and he showed some very solid work through his progressions. He may not run a 4.4 forty yard dash, but he makes plays with his arm rather than his legs.
Defense: Stacy McGee
This is a tough call, but rather than choose the easy route with Lamarr Houston or Charles Woodson, I am instead going to give my game ball to Stacy McGee. This sixth round pick blew up the film when I watched it last night, and I am sure that when I watch the coaches film on Wednesday to prep for my column I will see even more. McGee’s pressure caused the interception by Nick Roach and on countless other plays he got quick penetration or held up well at the point of attack. McGee always had the talent at Oklahoma, but his off field stupidity always ruined him. Getting him in the sixth round was great value and I think he has potential to be a solid nose tackle at the rate he is progressing.
Special Teams Marquette King
With the exception of a shanked punt in the fourth quarter, Marquette King did an exceptional job of changing field position and putting the Texans in a poor spot. On several punts he got solid hangtime causing a minimal return and a solid average. Yes there was a punt return touchdown but the punt on that play was solid and if you watch the play it is clear that if the ball doesnt bounce off the returner’s facemask then it is probably a minimal return. I am not putting that on King. He has had an exceptional first season and he has a bright future ahead.