Tha Sports Junkies 101

Week 17 Preview: Oakland Raiders Turn To Matt McGloin

By Jeffrey Beall via Wikimedia Commons RaiderNationz via flickr


Raiders Keep Hopes High Heading Into the Postseason

The Raiders turn to Matt McGloin to lead their extremely talented offense in Week 17 and beyond. Oakland will not be receiving any help from outside linebacker Aldon Smith this season either, as the NFL has announced that he will not be reinstated this season. The Oakland Raiders will look for reliable play from their backup quarterback, strong outings from their running backs, and a swarming defense in order to push them toward another Lombardi trophy.

As a starter in his rookie season back in 2013, Matt McGloin was 1-5 and threw as many interceptions as he did touchdowns, eight. However, he was not surrounded with the type of talent he is encased in now. He definitely did not have three pro bowlers on his offensive line, nor did he have weapons on the outside nearly as dangerous as Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. The Raiders also lacked a running back trio that can wear down defenses, along with a defense that created turnovers.

Not saying that anyone should be excited about McGloin starting for the Raiders, but the Raiders resurgence has not solely been through the success of Derek Carr. While this had surely been the best year of his young career, the are a much more well-rounded team than in years past. While the defense has been gouged for yards and points this year at 27th and 19th in the league, they have also created the second most turnovers in the NFL at 29. The offense has been given many short fields this season and ranks fifth in the league with 84 points off of turnovers. The Raiders have the best turnover ratio in the league, so as long as McGloin can refrain from turning the ball over, the Raiders may have a shot. With the recent case of fumblitis the Broncos have caught, this could bode well for the turnover thirsty defense.

Oakland should be able to weather the storm in Denver, but Raiders fans may need to take whatever happens with McGloin on Sunday with a grain of salt. The Broncos defense features some of the best cover corners and have the best passing defense in the league. Carr did not do much against the Broncos defense earlier in the season, but his arm was not called on much either. Raider Nation should expect a similar approach to the game this Sunday, an attack based on a strong running game that manhandled the defensive front in the trenches. Latavius Murray will look to lead the charge against the Broncos once again, after putting up 114 yards and 3 touchdowns on 20 carries last time these two teams met. Raiders backup running backs look to make an impact as well, considering when they played back in Week 9 they combined for 101 yards on 19 carries in addition to Murray.

The Oakland Raiders look to use this game as a measuring stick in order to see where they sit in the AFC following the loss of MVP candidate Derek Carr. Luckily for them, Week 17 provides a great scenario versus a bitter division rival. With a win, along with a Patriots loss, the Raiders could find themselves with home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. If they lose, then they could end up not even hosting a playoff game this season with a Chiefs win. The Raiders look to size up the Broncos this Sunday at 4:25 ET.