Aug 22, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Matt McGloin (14) passes against the Minnesota Vikings in the third quarter at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings win 20-12. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Loser: Matt McGloin
One of the most compelling depth chart battles going on this preseason for the Raiders has been the battle for the #2 QB spot between Christian Ponder and Matt McGloin. McGloin, who started 6 games for the Raiders as a rookie in 2013, seemed the odd man out when the team acquired Ponder, who has 36 NFL starts under his belt, the vast majority of them with Bill Musgrave as his offensive coordinator.
But McGloin appeared to take the bull by the horns in the preseason opener agains the Rams, completing 10 of 11 passes for over 100 yards and a score while Ponder had a very solid but not as brilliant 6-8, 59 yard 1 TD performance (with a pointless interception before halftime). Ponder remained second on the depth chart coming into Saturday nights game, however.
Empire Writes Back
Against his old team, in wet weather and after a one hour delay, Christian Ponder took the field against Minnesota’s somewhat talented second team defense (which included corner Trae Waynes and linebacker Eric Kendricks) and completed 7 of 9 passes for 69 yards while leading the team on two scoring drives (two field goals).
McGloin came into the game as the third quarterback and immediately did what McGloin has had a tendency to do throughout his short NFL career: he threw a pick. On first down from the Raider 12 yard line McGloin threw over the middle directly to Minnesota linebacker Brian Peters while trying to hit Rod Streater on a crossing route. It’s likely that the diminutive McGloin may not have seen Peters at all. Minnesota scored a touchdown three plays later. McGloin would lead the Raiders offense on two more drives and throw six more passes, completing five of them, but for a total of only 20 yards.
While 5 of 7 isn’t a terrible stat line, 5 of 7 for 20 yards and a pick is, and the pick wasn’t some throwaway play. It was an awful interception by a quarterback who’s had more than a few awful interceptions in his brief career. McGloin will have to step his game up in his limited appearances in Sunday’s game against the Cardinals if he’s going to be able to wrest that #2 spot from Ponder.
Next: Winner: Mario Edwards Jr.