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Raiders find a winning road formula

The Raiders finally found a formula for winning on the road.

Rookie Matt McGloin threw three touchdown passes in his NFL starting debut, Rashad Jennings had an 80-yard touchdown run and the defense set up two scores with takeaways and kept the Houston Texans out of the end zone in the fourth quarter for a 28-23 win Sunday at Reliant Stadium.

The Raiders, 4-6, were 0-4 on the road coming in and had lost eight straight under coach Dennis Allen dating back to last season.

“Obviously we were all aware of what our road woes have been,’’ Allen said. “But I’ve said this all along, we’ve kept putting ourselves in position in the fourth quarter to win games. Today was one of those times we were able to pull through and finish it.’’

The Raiders needed a stand inside of two minutes to hold on and send the reeling Texans to 2-8, and did so in the same end zone where Michael Huff intercepted a pass on the game’s final play to beat Houston 25-20 on Oct. 9, 2011 the day after owner Al Davis passed away.

This time, quarterback Matt Schaub, who replaced starter Case Keenum in the second half, threw incomplete in the middle of the end zone with Usama Young defending on fourth-and-7 from the 8-yard line.

Houston had gotten as close as third-and-1 from the 2-yard line only to be stuffed for a 1-yard loss by Kevin Burnett and then commit a false start.

It sent a crowd of 71,726 home disappointed as Houston lost its eighth straight game.

McGloin, undrafted out of Penn State, was 18 of 32 for 197 yards and touchdown passes of 5 yards to Denarius Moore, 16 yards to Rod Streater and 26 yards to rookie tight end Mychal Rivera.

The Raiders’ 15th starting quarterback since Rich Gannon was injured in 2005, McGloin, who played in place of the injured and ill Terrelle Pryor, came as advertised in terms of controlling the game and making decisions.

He had at least four passes dropped and did not throw an interception.

“I’m happy with the way they’ve embraced me and accepted me coming into the starting role,’’ McGloin said. “I don’t think I had to win them over or anything like that . . . it really wasn’t a `win me over’ situation.’ ‘’

Jennings, whose 80-yard scoring run after taking a direct snap from center put the Raiders up 28-17 with 2:26 left in the third quarter and stood up as the winning points, had 22 carries for 150 yards.

Allen said he hadn’t talked a lot about the road issues, but free safety Charles Woodson said it was something everyone was aware of.

“We haven’t talked about it much, but guys realize we haven’t won away from home,’’ Woodson said. “If we’re going to be a good team and talk about getting better, we’ve got to be able to go on the road and get a win, so that was big for us today.’’

The hang-on-for-dear-life finish came after another fast start, with the Raiders’ defense presenting McGloin with the gift of two possessions at the 16-yard line. The first came when Woodson stripped tight end Garrett Graham following a completion, with Phillip Adams returning the fumble to the 16.

On third-and-5, McGloin’s first pass as an NFL starter went for a 5-yard touchdown to Moore.

Later in the quarter, rookie defensive tackle Stacy McGee hit Keenum as he threw with the resulting floater picked off by Nick Roach and returned to the 16. On the next play, McGloin hit Streater for a touchdown.

Houston countered in the second quarter with a 42-yard Keenum to a wide open Griffin on a broken play, an 87-yard punt return by Keshawn Martin and a 51-yard Randy Bullock field goal to take a 17-14 lead.

The Raiders took control again in the third quarter. McGloin’s 26-yard strike to Mychal Rivera on first-and-20 put Oakland up 21-17, with Jennings stream-rolling safety D.J. Swearinger and getting blocks from Marcel Reece and Mike Brisiel on his career-long 80-yard touchdown run.

Houston got into the red zone three times in the fourth quarter three times in the fourth quarter and came away with only two field goals.

Houston coach Gary Kubiak, coaching from the press box in his first game back after suffering a mini-stroke, cited two problem areas which have plagued the Texans all season.

“You look at the turnovers and them being good in the red zone and us being bad in the red zone,’’ Kubiak said. “Still, if we can line up and get a yard at the end of the game, we win. But we didn’t do it.’’

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • rifflicks

    do you actually believe what you post????

  • alex7

    too strong an arm to be a poor man’s Shaun Hill.

  • alex7
  • Raider_Riff

    Wow. They arent going easy on DA.

    Asking the real questions. Im impressed.

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV

    DA is saying the obvious–that he hasn’t had a chance to sit down and talk with tp to see how he is physically and that he doesn’t want to make a decision until he has all the info he needs.

  • Rico Stifler

    I liked Tatum cuz of what he brought on the field. Turner was just a player I really liked and I was saddened and shocked when he suddenly died during the offseason. I kept the newspaper article on his passing for years before it got lost when I was moving.

  • RaidingTexas

    Dam, just saw the news about Howard.

  • lefty12

    Why is anyone that questions TP’s ability to play the position at NFL level called a ‘hater’.I like the kid.i love his work ethic.I just don’t believe he is an NFL QB.

  • alex7

    DA will not announce a starting QB because coaches enjoy those mind games with opponents.

    McGloin is already farther ahead developmentally after half a season than Pryor is after 3 and a half seasons. You have to go with McG and see where he’s at 3.5 years from now.

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV

    @McGloin
    DA: “It’s never been too big for him.”

  • Raider_Riff

    “big rushing game” yes. Such as 150+

    100+ yds… no. You can get that with a solid 4-5 yds per carry.

  • Raider_Riff

    I dont have to discount anything.

    Weve been a 3 yds per carry team all year. No reason to believe that will be any different just because of one single big play.

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV

    Guys praising Burnett–he deserves it. DA pointing out that the D has all bought into playing as a unit. I think that’s a fair assessment from what we’ve seen.

  • lefty12

    It has been different since McFadden went down.Why do you continue to discount this?

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV

    DA knows how to praise the guys that do, as he puts it, “the dirty work.”

  • Goldie7

    Thanks man!

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV

    DA saying Jennings has earned the right to continue to get his “touches.” I heard him say the same at the presser after the game yesterday.

  • RaidingTexas

    Did we ever settle on a nickname for #14? McGannon?

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV

    LIttle Red? Or maybe “Big Red”?

  • SnBG

    Woodson has said the same thing.

  • Raider_Riff

    Questioning Pryor isnt the issue.

    Being happy when he fails is.

    Not seeing the whole field and all the real reasons he struggles is also an issue. It reeks of agenda.

    Trust me. The same clowns that hate on Pryor, will soon be hating on McG if he struggles. They’ll call Mad Matt out for “not being a NFL QB’ cause he isnt big enough or doesnt have the arm they want.

    It’s the motives or lack of logic behind the criticism that I have a problem with.

    I have my criticism’s of Pryor also. Nobody has ever asked me to list them recently. I used to have a lot more criticism’s of Pryor and I argued with Raider O bigtime about Pryor. I got proved wrong with my initial criticisms. But never were my concerns rooted in hatred for Mistic or pay-back for Palmer.

    And most importantly, my critics of Pryor arent that big of a deal for me right now cause most all of my criticisms of him are stuff that just come with him being a first year starter. I’ll have my critic’s of Mad Matt also but I’ll have to keep things in perspective because I know he’s young and dealing with a rough supporting cast.

  • RaidingTexas

    Man, that sucks. Clearly his fault, and took someone else with him.

  • http://www.cosmicdanceband.com/ SilverandBlack666

    McGloing places

  • http://www.cosmicdanceband.com/ SilverandBlack666

    Penn State survivor…

  • Raider_Riff

    I like “Mad Matt”

  • PlunkforHOF

    Mick

  • RediaR

    As long as it’s more creative than the recent horrible trend of initials+Jersey number or stat line, I fully support it.

  • Raider_Riff

    Burnett has been my defensive MVP all year.

  • RaidingTexas

    McWinning?

  • rifflicks

    McCampArm

  • RaidingTexas

    Or something that doesn’t fit the general performance of the player. Never understood “Dwow”. He rarely wows you.

  • alex7

    not yet.

    The Walk On
    B-14 (classic bomber)
    McLovin

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV

    Kind of reminds me of a young Mark Wahlberg.

  • RaidingTexas

    I’d take that over McRollRightStaredownTheWR

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    Just read that myself,
    too many Raider Nation members dying lately

  • _Mista_

    Numb nuts tell me again how much you like SeaPerch.

  • Jim Jesus

    LOL

  • RaidingTexas

    Oh, the angry little beitch is here.

  • Raider_Riff

    It’s been marginally better.

    Beat writers were listing the stats on Twitter all day yesterday. Taking a lot of heat for it as well.

    That 80 yd run put Jenning’s numbers thru the roof.

    What cant be discounted, is Jennings “total yards per game” in his starts. Something like an average of 144.

    But his actual running stats havent been that great. And I dont blame him.

  • _Mista_

    Time for TP to sit and watch McGroin play the rest of the way. Open competition in 2014. TP & McGroin will both be hungry to win the job.

    The end

  • http://www.cosmicdanceband.com/ SilverandBlack666

    Careful when she runs out of Meth she can get angry.

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    most of the time I do

  • alex7

    Good chance Pryor is cut if he doesn’t convert to another position.

  • Raider_Riff

    I know that is what you saw. Youve said it many times.

    But it can get shut down and will get shut down if we can soften them up with 5 & 7 step drops that require WRs to run option routes and the OL to provide decent protection. You cant tell me you are honestly confident that our OL or WRs will carry out their duties?

  • plunkhead

    The McAttack

  • _Mista_

    There is no reason to make him switch position. Back to the drawing board kid.

  • alex7

    actually, I believe his contract is up. 3rd round pick 3 years ago.

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    Just a thought, how about moving McFadden to tight end

  • lefty12

    Why would I or any fan be happy when Pryor fails?It means the team is failing.I don’t get this kind of thinking.To be honest,I saw more happiness when Flynn failed so TP would get the job than I see with people being happy TP has looked bad the last few games he played.Raider fans want to win whether it’s TP,Flynn,or Mad Matt leading the team.

  • rifflicks

    too skinny