Raiders the little engine that couldn’t


Note: Internet difficulties made updating in-game posts impossible . . .

Filed for print . . .

You could sum up the Raiders season in the 12 plays that were run after officials ruled Rod Streater hadn’t held on to what looked to be a 39-yard touchdown pass late in a 26-13 loss to the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium.

When replay officials upheld the no-catch with 4:46 to play, the offense continued to fight its way toward the end zone _ getting in its own way with a pair of penalties but eventually ending up with fourth-and-5 at the 6-yard line and 59 seconds to play.

In the end, Matt McGloin’s desperation heave in the face of a blitz slipped through the hands of Marcel Reece in the end zone, and the little engine that couldn’t had lost five straight games and seven of the last eight.

“We’re fighting our butts off and we’re close,’’ center Stefen Wisniewski said. “But we don’t quite seem to make the play when we need to in the fourth quarter.’’

San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers completed 19 of 29 passes for 201 yards with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Keenan Allen, Ryan Mathews rushed for 99 yards on 25 carries with a 7-yard scoring run and Nick Novak converted field goal attempts of 27, 48, 28 and 33 yards as the Chargers, 8-7, remained in wild card contention into the season finale at Kansas City.

The Raiders, 4-11, scored on 5-yard run by Darren McFadden and had field goals of 20 and 42 yards by Sebastian Janikowski heading into their last game at home against Denver.

McGloin was 19 of 36 for 201 yards and had a costly interception after the Raiders’ Mike Jenkins had intercepted Rivers. It led to a Novak field goal.

The Raiders were given 10 points on unforced errors. A shotgun snap Rivers never saw was the catalyst for a 58-yard drive resulting in McFadden’s touchdown run. A muffed punt by Allen set up Janikowski’s 20-yard field goal _ with the Raiders failing to produce a touchdown despite having first-and-goal at the 2-yard line.

Any concern felt by players on one-year contracts or coaches worried about their jobs were not alleviated by the manner of defeat. There were too many penalties (12 for 73 yards), too many third-down conversions by the Chargers (6-for-11) and too many missed opportunities.

Allen’s job will be up for review two years into a four-year contract, with general manager Reggie McKenzie meeting with the staff and reporting to Mark Davis. How Davis reacts, given he has no history in the coach-removal business as his late father did, is anyone’s guess.

“I can’t speak for how anyone else thinks or feels,’’ Allen said. “I can only speak for me. Every day we’re trying to win a game. That’s what my focus is, that’s the only focus I can have. It would be selfish of me to think any other way.’’

Asked if the coaching staff and much of the personnel could be shipped out, Wisniewski acknowledged it was possible.

“I really don’t know what they’re thinking,’’ Wisniewski said. “I’ve got another year here so I’m going to show up to work. I don’t know who the coach is going to be, but whoever it is I’ll support ‘em and do my best to lead whatever players are still here.’’

McGloin believes there has been no snowball effect regarding concerns for the future contributing to lack of performance.

“Not in our facility. That’s stuff we can’t control and we can’t worry about that stuff,’’ McGloin said. “We have one game left, and another week of practice.’’

“That’s part of the business,’’ safety Charles Woodson said. “There are a lot of teams going through the same thing. When the season is over, what’s going to happen is going to happen.’’

Veteran linebacker Kevin Burnett tried to be philosophical.

“It’s good to be living, to have another day to come out here and play the game that I love,’’ Burnett said. “Other than that, it pretty much sucks right now. I don’t know how else to put it.’’


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • aig-raiders

    The Sad truth s we are scoring points and our team is still sucking. the sad truth is everyone wants a franchise QB but they bluntly ignore that the Franchise QB doesnt fix our issues. Phillip Rivers has playd his best Franchise QB balls the last 2 yrs and they have a losing record.

  • Tyrone Wheatley

    Yeah I can gather that from what i’ve seen. But they also backed Tom Cable and Hue Jackson.

    I think we all forget that we went 8-8 two seasons in a row. When DA came in, we went 4-12. People said oh let’s him get his system in. Another 4-12 season.

    I don’t buy that we don’t have enough talent. Sure we might not get to the playoffs with this team, but we almost did with just as bad as team few years ago.

  • Davy Jones

    I think Pryor is an intriguing prospect because of his size/speed. Matt McGloin will never be 6’4′ and be able to run that fast. But I’m at peace with the Pryor benching, because McGloin knows how to throw and Pryor kinda doesn’t, SD/Denver games excepted. The Raiders don’t have time to wait on a project that might never come around.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Don’t see him sraring down receivers, either. Actually one of his strengths.

  • Gdog

    Anybody trying to pretend that St. McGloin doesn’t throw behind his receivers on slants is either an abject liar, or just doesn’t know football. Sure you can come up with some outliers, but they are CONSTANTLY reaching behind themselves.

    And no… Pryor isn’t any better.

    The rest is just painting more lipstick on a pig.

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV

    Nope, said they had some packages for TP and that the use of them depended on the situations.

  • aig-raiders

    Papa said he paid for it vs KC so all week they practiced on him working his eyes to deceive the defense. It was a great pay by Weddle but a BS call on the review. I saw on the replay that the tip of the ball touched the ground and weddle didnt secure it with his hand beneath the ball. I will double check my dvr later today. Streater was open on that play with single cov btw.

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV

    Nah, the liar of the last 5 years is Obama.


    Yeah, that’s the rule if he doesn’t have possession going in. However, it was already a completed catch because Streater had possession of the ball before he crossed the goal line. After catching the ball he then turned and took at least two steps before crossing the plane. The ball should have been dead the instant he broke the plane.The rule you mention should not have applied on that play. The officials blew the call.

  • Gdog

    Look at his first three INTs vs KC for evidence. The fourth was simply one of the worst throws of the year by any QB.

    He stared down the receiver for his INT this week too… although the coaches film isn’t up yet…

  • marks hair

    progress… hahahahaha….:'(

  • dplunk

    lol. then how on earth can you get a closer look at someone if it depends..I quit

  • Raider O

    Focus. We are talking Raiders.


    He said didn´t know the Pryor injury,

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Remarkable effort, but I know the Raiders don’t get that call yesterday.

  • Raider O

    Another lie.

  • GreatWhiteRaider

    Merry Christmas everybody, I’ll preface this by fessing up; I LOVE Chucky, I really do. I bought a sun visor because of him, I still have my Nike Raider pullover I bought from the Raider image in 1999 cuz that was the same one he wore. Watching him in his pewter hoist the VL Trophy still ranks as one of the worst days in my life….just awful on so many levels. Anyways….

    Where I was going with that is that as much as it gets me jacked to idea that the prodigal son is returning… (I mean, who didn’t think watching him light the torch while everybody chanted CHUCKY CHUCKY CHUCKY wasn’t the greatest thing to happen in a long time?) but equally, I dunno….once you go into the broadcast booth, do your QB show and start shooting your Hooters commercials…..I know he’s not a wrong answer, but I’m not convinced he’s the solution either.

    I think the Raiders definitely need some quality, leaders infused into the organization. Inexperienced owner, GM, HC, DC….These guys need help cuz their inexperience is showing…..badly. And after the way Al (respect, RIP) ran things and then the way MD ran the PR guy out of town, I think we need to create some stability and professionalism.

    Even though it’s been frustrating to see what’s happened this year, and both Reggie and DA have merited being fired for some of the poor decisions they’ve made. I think the franchise will be in better condition going forward if we let this play out one more year.

  • Gdog

    Why, there’s one game left… what happens if he sucks? We lose?

  • TrevJo

    McGloin’s o-line was still a mess when he had his best game against Houston. Neither guy had a good supporting cast but Pryor at least had an opportunity against the jailbreaks to demonstrate some saavy in a bad situation
    The Pryor supporters kept telling us that he was the only one who could survive in this offense because of his mobility. Instead of proving that to be true, Pryor he ran around taking 15 yard losses and handled adversity poorly. Don’t buy into Pryor’s excuses that he failed because “his guys” weren’t
    out there. He still failed to do his part.

    If you think Allen wanted Pryor to fail then you are the one who is not being honest. Allen is on the hot seat now and that is not where he wanted to be. Unfortunately for him the team played like the low-budget roster that it is… Pryor and McGloin both included.

  • aig-raiders

    Bro, you’re just in denial. The throws are not always perfect but my frickin DVR showed clearly Holmes had his palms facing up vs facing back to the ball….why he didnt catch that frickin ball in the end zone.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Didn’t you just use the term ‘outlyer’? It’s not a constant problem.

  • severeraiderz

    That’s including the game in Cle when Campbell went down and the int game in KC with Boller and Palmer off the street skewing the numbers

  • my opinion

    how often does roethlisberger read a d and immedeatly fire one in there. hes made his name doing exactly what pryor was without the rushing yards.
    not a prototype qb thats it. wouldnt mgloin throwing 4picks should have been 5 be not being able to read a d.. how about 6wks in and a full season in practice and he cant run no huddle, in your eyes hes dumb right?

  • FourMoreYears

    You think we’ll be in better condition moving forward if we draft poorly and underutilize our talent again?

  • The ball can hit the ground now and still be a catch; the Bert Emmanuel rule.
    It was called correctly, both on the field and in the review.

  • Gdog

    Ok fine… it only cost us one game.

    But are you pretending St. McGloin throws great slant patterns too?

    My gawd…

  • FourMoreYears

    Progress, the greatest lie of them all.


    Well, only 3 lies?

  • 2romes

    A quick fix to sophistication at QB is what you saw in MCG. Coach stated they wanted to run the same plays with Pryor or MCG out their. You must have some special meter that picks up a sophistication level from the sideline.

  • aig-raiders

    in the 3 wins with TP, we avg 14.67 points given up. With MM, we gave up 23 vs Tex and won. In all our other losses, we gave up an avg of 29.33 points. Sorry but no franchise QB is going to score 30 per week to win us games. I know you FC QB guys wont like to hear this but it’s a fact.

  • Gdog

    Denial that St. McGloin is horrible at slant patterns?

    Pass the popcorn, the projectionist is here!! They hardly ever catch the ball without having to reach back… watch the games sometime.


    The most of the politicians (if not all) are liars, don´t stop on only ONE of them.

  • Raider O

    TP: 3 wins
    MM: 1 win

    Both QBs are not franchise QBs.

  • jtdxyz

    Agree with everything except last sentence!

  • aig-raiders

    not at what I am reading here…

    Any forward pass becomes incomplete and ball is dead if:

    (a) Pass hits the ground or goes out of bounds.


  • GreatWhiteRaider

    totally not, if both Reggie and DA get whacked they’ll have merited it in a few areas. But I just see an endless parade of coaches and players and it needs to stop. For all there short comings to date, at least I can see what Reggie and DA are trying to do. You can’t make a convincing argument either way that they should be retained or fired…..so on that basis, instead of another tear down with a new regime…give them one more year.

  • aig-raiders

    you’re smoking crack again.

  • Davy Jones

    Look, McGloin>Pryor, I’ll give you that. But in his last five games, McGloin has thrown 5 TDs and 8 INTs and averaged 253 yards a game. In Pryor’s worst five games, he threw for 1 TD and 8 INTS, and averaged 168 yards passing BUT, Pryor also averaged 65 yards a game rushing and rushed for 2 TDs in that stretch. So statistically speaking the two are closer than you’d care to admit. 2TDs and 22 yards per game difference. If Pryor is bad, what does it say about McGloin if his production isn’t significantly different?

  • aig-raiders

    amazing how you guys look at wins and losses as so black and white simple and credit the QB. I have analyzed a bunch of WLs and my conclusion is that a QB, D, or ST can lose the game for you. But 99% of the time, you need all three to cooperate for you to win the frickin game. The points given up pretty much sums up my conclusion.

  • FourMoreYears

    I can too make a convincing argument that they need to be fired. Just turn on your TV next Sunday.

  • Davy Jones

    Anyway, McGloin is still garbage. I like the kid, and hope that he proves me wrong. But if you think he already HAS proved he’s not garbage, let me tell you: it takes a lot of spin to put a shine on 5tds/8ints over five games.

  • Gdog

    I want what you are smoking if you think St. McGloin puts the ball on the numbers on slant patterns. Good gawd, you sycophant…

  • Def lost both Dallas and ten games and didn’t help much at all the other games Mcgloin started

  • Raider O

    I know MM is a better passer than TP, but TP can get 1st downs and TDs with his legs, which helps our defense.
    Both QBs are not franchise QBs.

  • Gdog

    No merry Christmas with the Raiders, but “The Three Wise Men” wil give us our best present (Jan. the 6th) Chucky will be named as the new HC.

  • GreatWhiteRaider

    lol – yeah I shouldn’t laugh, it wont’ be pretty. But at this point, my focus is on the draft.

  • aig-raiders

    bro, i dont have time to pull up the numbers but I am pretty certain we have more first downs with MM back there vs TP. Maybe I will do it later today. I love stats and how it relates to the game as you probably already know.

  • Gdog

    Psstt… running doesn’t count if you are a QB in these here parts. Get with the program!!

  • GG

    When the Eagles hired their OL coach to be DC, their defense went backwards. When they hired a new DC, it improved. That whole 3 year process a percentage of their defensive roster stayed the same, tho there were additions/subtractions.

    The entire Raiders roster from Hue’s last year to Allen’s first year didn’t change that much, and the team went backwards. And the roster from Allen’s first year to second year changed a great deal — improved greatly in terms of talent on Defense — but the defense hasn’t drastically improved.

    The key criticism of Allen is the conservatism on offense, and the lack of progress on defense — even after getting an infusion of talent.

    But it’s clear that better coaching would have taken the same players this year and made them perform far better. Allen is okay, but not a wunderkind. Still I wouldn’t be upset if he stayed on another year.

    But cannot scapegoat Allen for the entire mess, otherwise not solving the problem. Problem is still Reggie. He’s just not that good as a GM. He’s made a ton of blunders already noted previously.

    There’s no way you can drag Allen over the coals, no way Reggie can throw him under the bus. Reggie has fubar’d so much. I do like some things he’s done. But the GM spot is not a position you can have someone learning at. Cost you dearly. You need someone who IMMEDIATELY has a midas touch.