Oakland Raiders: Why Matt McGloin should start Week 2


Sep 13, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Matt McGloin (14) is pressured by Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap (96) in the second quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The questions surrounding Raiders quarterback Derek Carr’s injury status for Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens have all been answered, as offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave has commented positively on his performance in practice throughout the week, but is there still a quarterback controversy in Oakland?

In the Raiders’ season debut against the Cincinnati Bengals Carr completed 7-12 of his passes for 61 yards before being replaced by backup quarterback Matt McGloin in the second quarter due to an injury to his throwing hand.

The third-year Undrafted Free Agent finished the game with a mix of high and low points, as he completed 23-31 passes for 142 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception.

According to Raiders.com, Carr doesn’t expect to miss his Week 2 contest against the Ravens, but is this the best decision for the Raiders moving forward?

Carr’s Week 1 performance was severely underwhelming. It didn’t take an NFL scout to realize that he was forcing the ball into his first and second read, and to make matters worse, he struggled to deliver the ball with accuracy and touch whether or not his intended receiver was well covered. Though Carr attributes a lot of his early mistakes to an outstanding amount of Week 1 excitement, his play, though limited, simply left a bad taste in the mouth of the rare amount of optimistic Raiders fans.

“I got so excited for the first week that I was throwing fastballs,” Carr said, via Scott Bair of CSNBayArea.com. “I was out there trying to throw through people. That was just me being excited those first couple series.”

Although Carr was throwing the ball with probably too much heat, it would have been a bit more encouraging if more of those fastballs were in the strike zone.

With that being said, I don’t expect head coach Jack Del Rio to simply abandon on their talented, young quarterback after a couple bad series, but I also believe that Carr’s status as the starter should be consistently discussed moving forward.

Given that he received proper preparation with the first-team offense this week, I believe McGloin could have served as a surprisingly productive starting quarterback against the Ravens. Though the primary reason to rest Carr would be to have him fully recover from the thumb injury, McGloin still showed enough promise in Week 1 to be considered capable enough to lead the Raiders to a possible upset victory Sunday.

McGloin is a strong-armed quarterback with great instincts for the game, as his former head coach at Penn State and now Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien has previously praised him for his natural abilities at the quarterback position.

“I can’t say enough about him,” O’Brien said, via Bob Flounders of PennLive.com. “He’s a smart guy. Smart guys that work hard, that have some talent, they really thrive in that league, they really do.”

Against Cincinnati, McGloin demonstrated poise in the pocket while going through his reads, but most importantly; he consistently threw an accurate, catchable ball to his intended receiver. Though the Bengals defense was primarily in soft coverage’s towards the end of the game, it was still rewarding to see McGloin go through his reads and successfully find his check-down receiver for a positive gain.

Being able to find targets coming out of the backfield or tight ends over the middle should be a point of emphasis against Baltimore, as cornerbacks Jimmy Smith and Ladarius Webb are both talented enough to constantly make plays on the ball and disrupt a quarterback’s rhythm.

Baltimore’s front seven also has a knack for creating pressure on the quarterback, as the team sacked Peyton Manning a combined four times in Week 1. Though both Raiders quarterbacks aren’t perfect under pressure, I still would give McGloin the edge in making accurate throws in a crowded pocket.

Whether or not Oakland upsets Baltimore this Sunday, Carr must prove to the organization and the Raiders fan base that his Week 1 performance was an outlier if he is to continue to play out the 2015 season as the starter. Though Carr seems locked in as the Raiders’ starter right now, the idea of McGloin taking over will continue to be considered if his poor play persists.