Heading into Week 11 on the road against the Houston Texans, the Oakland Raiders would be faced with a challenge against a desperate team looking to get a win at home.
Along with the Texans team in desperation mode, the Raiders would take on a very good defense on their home field without quarterback Terrelle Pryor and running back Darren McFadden. Pryor has been dealing with a sprained MCL in his knee while McFadden continues to a battle a persistent hamstring injury.
Regardless of the injuries, Oakland had solid options with rookie Matt McGloin stepping in for Pryor and Rashad Jennings filling the void in the backfield once again. Although many doubted McGloin’s ability to be a force in his first NFL start, the Penn State product put on a show on Sunday with an incredible performance considering his circumstances.
McGloin finished with 197 passing yards and three touchdowns. The third stringer didn’t turn the ball over once which is something Pryor hasn’t been able to say for quite some time. McGloin connected with Denarius Moore on his first pass of the game for a touchdown followed by a touchdown pass to Rod Streater at the 3:50 mark in the first quarter. The rookie’s third touchdown of the day came in the third quarter hitting tight end Mychal Rivera on a 26-yard strike.
An impressive debut to say the least that has many believing a quarterback controversy as begun once again in Oakland.
Houston native Case Keenum had the Texans battling offensively in the second quarter leading his team on two scoring drives and getting the benefit of a 87-yard punt return from Keshawn Martin. Despite the solid output by Keenum, the coaching staff decided to bring in veteran Matt Schaub.
The decision may have been ill-advised with Schaub failing to reach the end zone in relief of Keenum. Schaub will almost certainly become public enemy number one in Houston once again after this subpar performance that led to an eighth straight loss this season.
Along with McGloin proving the doubters wrong in Week 11, the Raiders also got another solid outing by Jennings in relief of the injured McFadden. Despite the fact the running game took some time to get going, Jennings broke free of the defense late in the third quarter exploding for an 80-yard touchdown run to put the Raiders up, 28-17.
As a result of Jennings’ big run, the consensus seemed to be that the game was in the bag for Oakland, but that didn’t turn out to be the case. The Texans defense was able to contain the offense of the Raiders in the fourth quarter while connecting on two field goals by Randy Bullock.
Following the two field goals from Bullock, the Raiders failed to put any more points on the board, but it didn’t matter. The defense stepped up in the fourth quarter and guided Oakland to the fourth win of the season with a third string quarterback and a backup running back leading the way.
The Raiders ran out the clock in the fourth quarter after Usama Young almost picked off Schaub in the end zone. Oakland took down Houston, 28-23.