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Raiders find a winning road formula

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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

  • RaiderGuy50

    McGloin would have even better stats if not for the dropped passed- we left points on the field but nice win-
    We are having growing pains but we’re headed in the right direction

  • Chino

    David bass had a pick six

  • dplunk

    EXACTLY!!

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Good Morning Raider Nation!!!

    It’s a Beautiful Morning to be a Raider Fan, Isn’t it?

  • hwnrdr

    Good Morning Nation!!!
    I think I read something yesterday that DA was considering starting Jennings and having DMAC as a “change of pace” back…not sure where I seen that but…

  • Chino

    Give them time to adjust to change in velocity. I remember harvin complaining that favres arm was too strong.

  • Chino

    Saw it myself

  • Chino

    @Jerrymcd: Raiders’ Rashad Jennings shines; McFadden looking like change-of-pace back upon return . . .
    http://t.co/BDFarGz46H

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    The stats don’t matter. Everbody trying to sell their QB to you cites all the dropped passes and the Int’s that hit the right guy but got deflected.

    Well, yeah, that’s the way it is, in addition to just plain bad passes or throwing it away.
    I found the dropped passes encouraging because of the stalled drives and three and outs. Almost every stalled drive shouldn’t have been because of a well thrown ball that was dropped.

  • TP deserves tons of credit for basically bailing out McKenzie on the Flynn debacle, keeping us relevant and competing up until a point.
    But as I always say, this isn’t 9 year old girls soccer. Because he tries hard, really wants to play/win and gets along with his teammates doesn’t add up to a hill of beans if you can’t make the plays NFL QB’s should make.
    McGloin proved yesterday, that while there is some definite upgrades needed at WR and with the interior O-line, there is plays to be made, and you don’t have to run around for 5 seconds to make them.
    Read the D, get to the back of your drop, get rid of the ball or STEP UP IN THE POCKET, and throw it to the guy in single coverage accurately.

  • turf toe

    We had a distinctive look out there. Defense moved as a pack; not just one guy overachieving. Still stunned at our performance. Matt deserved the game ball and earned the starter’s job. He also threw down the gauntlet to our receivers as if to say “Here’s the ball. Now catch it.”

  • plunkhead

    On why Terrelle Pryor didn’t travel to Houston: “Really, to be honest with you, it’s really part of the policy, but he was also sick on Saturday morning and that was something I didn’t want…I didn’t want somebody that was sick to be on the plane and have the opportunity to get a bunch of guys sick coming into this game.”

  • NYCRaider

    thrilled about yesterdays results. only 1 game out of the last wild card.don’t want to jump to conclusions based on one game but mcgloin needs to start again. NFL is a production league and McGloin played so well we need to give him every opportunity to be our next Gannon. The end of the Dmac era was cemented yesterday, thank god he didnt take RM extension.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    The O line theoretically regressed slightly on paper yesterday. Yet somehow looked quite adequate out there.

    Where’s Charlie for an explanation?

  • Yesterday is was tweeted that the last two years, McFadden is averaging 3.4 ypc, and every other RB combined are averaging 5.1ypc.
    Yikes!!!!!

  • plunkhead

    Mad Matt

    On decisiveness in throws: “We know what they have at defensive line and that’s something we stressed all week. I wanted to make sure that I understood what they were doing defensively in terms of coverage and I wanted to be decisive in my decision making and try to get the ball out quick and let our receivers catch and run.”

  • turf toe

    Accurate analysis.

  • NYCRaider

    LOL, Charlie is busy looking for an old repost of his that can blame Al for almost losing yesterday

  • plunkhead

    On his favorite throw of the day: “I enjoyed throwing the ball to Rod [Streater] there, that touchdown there. I think the ball to [Mychal] Rivera was one of my better ones on the day. He runs great routes and I trust him a lot in his decision-making and his route running. I gave him the opportunity for it and I knew he was going to be there and he was.”

  • jumpnjiminy

    That one was a good spiral too…throws a few too many wobblers for my liking…but I know it’s results that matter.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    I’m not saying we don’t need to upgrade the O line, but he’s a bit fixated on the subject.

  • It was astonishing at times, how easy they made it look. I wanted to look around afterwards, like did that just happen?
    McGloin stepped up, threw a nice ball to Rivera, who jogged under it and caught it easily with nobody around.
    It was like DAMN!!!! That’s it? 20+ yard TD tosses to open guys, who catch it easily and the QB doesn’t get hit?

  • turf toe

    I’m so happy I feel no need to rag on DMac.
    Aw, hell, who am I kidding? Jennings made him look like Smush Parker in comparison.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Novel idea.

  • 3rd round pick at Guard, re-sing Veldy, and we have a top 10 offensive line.
    You hear the announcer say Briesel is one of the top rated RG’s in football?
    I swear Charlie thinks that quality O-line play was like the 70’s when you could just grab a guy and piledrive him into the ground.
    Today’s NFL, Briesel is what quality looks like. Steady, not stellar. QB’s are going to get hit.

  • nolimits3333

    Dennis Allen is an idiot. McFadden should have been benched last year.

  • plunkhead

    On a few plays you could easily see him look in all three different directions before firing. Staying in that pocket the entire game was also great to see

  • nolimits3333

    Winning formula….
    Jennings + McGloin + blitzing = win

  • bcz24

    Hmmm, well he DID bring in McGloin though??

  • bcz24

    Watson came back in and played after the injury though.

  • turf toe

    It was a nice change. Before, it seemed like the Raiders were auto mechanics trying to use metric tools on an old Buick. Nothing seemed to fit.

  • bcz24

    Geno and the Jets get smoked on odd # weeks, and handle teams on even # weeks… unfortunately we play them week 14 in their building.

  • jumpnjiminy

    I found it interesting how Rivera really came to life with McGloin pitching…dare I say he also caught a TD pass from Flynn???

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    It’s impossibleto tellfrom TV camera coverage, but as far as I can tell, McG didn’t overlook any wide open receivers. Generally the announcers will let you know if they do,and I didn’t hear that yesterday.

  • turf toe

    Yeah. His vision was very sharp. Saw the whole field and knew how to fake out the defenders.

  • plunkhead

    Those first two red zone TD’s were great. Coach had them ready in all phases of the game
    Playing like a team is suppose to.
    DA won huge props from meddlesome Mark yesterday beating the boots in front of TWO US presidents. That does not happen every day

  • turf toe

    I wish we were playing tomorrow.

  • NYCRaider

    agree on the upgrade ..fixated might be an understatement..haha

  • jumpnjiminy

    I thought he also tried to squeeze a few in to some pretty tight spots…worries me a bit about potential picks… That’s the German in me talking not the happy go lucky Irish!

  • NYCRaider

    we need a legit #1 WR. dmoore is an excellent number 2, streeter good #3. adding a number 1 WR would make our offense so much better

  • plunkhead

    Funny how some posters were saying what a knucklehead DA was for not realizing the greatness of TP earlier.
    Now we say the same thing about groundskepper matty

  • turf toe

    Dark mood lifted, replaced with hope.

  • NYCRaider

    really think unnoticed is the job adams is doing in the secondary. very solid and been a key to our d’s success the last 2 weeks

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Hah!

  • jumpnjiminy

    I’m surprised when teams don’t try those quick slants when they’re that close in…I mean I’d do it until it gets stopped. I also think it’s an easier throw than the fade from that spot on the field.

  • Raideraholic

    Matt McGloin was our MVP yesterday
    But… It cannot be lost that CWOOD was responsible for 14 points
    1) the forced fumble early in the game
    2)saving the TD with that SOLID hit on 3rd down at the end of the game.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Yep. That was no Bush league team out there.

  • plunkhead

    All most teams need to compete is an average or better QB.
    When we got CP I expected our fortunes to change because of that but he played below average.
    MM may not be able to win playoff or SB games but if he can play average the team can easily compete for a playoff spot

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Dare away.

  • jumpnjiminy

    Looking to the future I’m a little concerned with Seabass…I know 54 yarders are not automatic but if that miss would’ve been the difference between winning and losing…