McGloin, Raiders extend Texans' losing skid

MoiseKapenda Bower, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

HOUSTON -- There was a game ball presentation awaiting Oakland Raiders undrafted rookie quarterback Matt McGloin when he entered the visiting locker room Sunday, a reward for a job remarkably well done.
McGloin tossed three touchdown passes in his first career start and the Raiders withstood a late Houston Texans rally keyed by an unexpected quarterback change during their 28-23 victory at Reliant Stadium.
Demoted Texans quarterback Matt Schaub replaced starter Case Keenum in the second half and led a pair of scoring drives. But his fourth-down pass to wide receiver Andre Johnson fell incomplete in the end zone with 1:10 remaining as the Texans (2-8) dropped their eighth consecutive game.
Oakland (4-6) earned its first road win.
McGloin completed 18 of 32 for 197 yards and matched the single-game record for scoring passes by an undrafted free agent. He was a three-year starter at Penn State after walking on with the Nittany Lions, and was filling in for injured starter Terrelle Pryor.
"I have been in that situation before, and you have to perform," McGloin said. "You have to make the most of the reps you get and make the most of your opportunity."
Raiders coach Dennis Allen was non-committal on whether McGloin would replace Pryor.
"I'm going to enjoy this win, all right?" Allen said. "We're going to go back and evaluate."
McGloin opted out of the discussion.
"That's really not my decision," McGloin said. "That's something you're going to have to ask coach Allen, but we'll see."
The Texans handed the Raiders a 14-0 lead by once again gift-wrapping early turnovers, including the first interception thrown by Keenum.
McGloin parlayed a fumble by Texans tight end Garrett Graham into a 5-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Denarius Moore and a 7-0 lead before his 16-yard strike to wide receiver Rod Streater doubled the lead after linebacker Nick Roach picked off Keenum. Both Oakland drives originated at the Houston 16.
Momentum swung once Houston ceased with the miscues. The Texans' defense limited the Raiders to one first down over the final six Oakland drives of the first half.
Houston rallied with an 87-yard Keshawn Martin punt return for a touchdown and a dazzling 42-yard touchdown pass from Keenum to Graham after Keenum avoided the rush of Raiders defensive end Lamarr Houston. The Texans led 17-14 at intermission.
McGloin engineered a five-play, 73-yard drive capped by his 26-yard touchdown pass to tight end Mychal Rivera that followed a holding penalty. Rashad Jennings added an 80-yard touchdown run that showcased both his bruising running style and open-field speed and upped the Oakland lead to 28-17 with 2:26 left in the third quarter.
"Our red-zone efficiency, both offensively and defensively, really was a critical factor in the game," Allen said. "They were 0-for-3 in the red zone as far as scoring touchdowns, we were 3-for-3 in scoring touchdowns."
Fans booed when Keenum was pulled in favor of Schaub late in the third quarter. Schaub, the source of constant ridicule from Texans fans, lost his job via injury but did not reclaim it once he was healthy.
Keenum performed exceptionally in the first half of all four of his starts, but his inability to lead the offense to second-half success was playing out yet again. After completing just two passes for 16 yards in the third quarter, Keenum was yanked and, on the second possession of his disenchanted return, Schaub led the Texans on a scoring drive.
"I was disappointed in the reaction of the crowd, but it is what it is," Texans left guard Wade Smith said. "We are here to play and (Schaub) came in and gave us a chance to win."
The Texans ultimately fell short.
"What was happening was we had to make a lot of changes from a protection standpoint to handle some of the things they were doing," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. "Trying to create some tempo ... and it made it very tough on Case, in my opinion, being a younger player.
"I knew that Matt could get done some of the things that I wanted to get done, real fast, and give us a chance to win the football game. So that's why I did it."
NOTES: With Texans QB Case Keenum opposing Raiders QB Matt McGloin, it marked the first time that two undrafted quarterbacks started the same game since Dec. 4, 2011. On that date, Tyler Palko led the Kansas City Chiefs to a 10-3 victory over Caleb Hanie and the Chicago Bears. ... McGloin recorded his first career touchdown pass in the first quarter, a 5-yard strike to WR Denarius Moore. ... With his 87-yard touchdown return in the second quarter, Keshawn Martin produced the longest punt return in Texans history.