OAKLAND – Raiders backup quarterback Matt McGloin had taken three snaps entering Saturday. It was a failed series against Carolina after starter Derek Carr dislocated his finger.
Two runs and an incomplete pass where he go smashed as he threw. That was it this season. There’s no reason to play a backup with an MVP candidate in the starting lineup.
The Raiders need McGloin now. Carr fractured his right fibula in Saturday’s victory over Indianapolis. He will have surgery Sunday and will be out indefinitely.
McGloin will start next week’s game against the Denver Broncos, and will likely lead the Raiders into the postseason.
He wrapped up Saturday’s win. While he didn’t score, a key third-down pass to Amari Cooper iced victory and ended the surging Colts’ comeback attempt.
He’ll need to make several big plays moving forward, even if the Raiders become increasingly reliant on their hulking offensive line and productive running game.
McGloin is supremely confident in his ability to play well and win football games. He made six starts and played seven games as a rookie in 2013, and has been Carr’s backup ever since.
Now he steps into a bright spotlight, leading a 12-3 team currently one of the AFC’s top seeds.
“I’m ready to go,” McGloin said. I feel great, and it has been great working with Derek Carr the past few years and seeing what he has done on the field and trying to learn from that.
“I know this team, these guys around me, this staff and this organization will do a great job of helping me out and embracing me. We’ll just make sure we’ll continue to move in the right direction.”
McGloin prepares each week as if he’s going to start a game, and will have the benefit of a full week’s prep before facing the Broncos. Carr takes virtually every first-team practice snap, so McGloin doesn’t have a ton of experience working with the starting lineup. Those guys must build chemistry over the next few weeks to get him as ready as possible for big games ahead.
“I’m excited to see what he’s going to do,” Cooper said. “I’m just excited to go out there and be able to work whatever to help him come back and play in games.
“The biggest thing about him that sticks out is just, he’s a competitor. He wants to win. He prepares as if he wants to win.”
McGloin is good friends with Carr after working with him these past three years, and certainly felt for him after the injury. It knocked wind out of the entire Raiders roster, leaving many saying Saturday’s win felt like a loss.
The Raiders have to rebound after absorbing this haymaker and continue playing well.
“This is a great group of guys. They are focused,” McGloin said. “They are focused on winning and continuing to improve and try to do great things. These guys are going to stay focused and I think tonight was an example of that. They kept focused on the goal to win, and we went out there and stayed poised and calm. That is going to be our mindset moving forward and just go in and play as hard as we can.”