The Raiders Still Have a Chance with Matt McGloinDecember 30, 2016
Unfortunately for the Raiders, their young starting quarterback Derek Carr suffered a broken leg during Sunday’s game with the Indianapolis Colts. Analysts around the country have counted them out of the playoffs despite the fact that they have performed fantastically throughout the season. Carr has certainly exceeded expectations for this season, but it’s way too early to count out Oakland. Plenty of teams in the past have found success with a backup quarterback in the playoffs. For me, one team that bears a striking resemblance to the Raiders is the 1972 Miami Dolphins. In Week 5 of the regular season, the team’s starting quarterback, Bob Griese, went down with a broken leg. So, the 38-year old backup quarterback, Earl Morrall, took over. Morrall led the team through the AFC Championship game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and guess what? He went undefeated in that span of time. With help from one of the best offensive lines in the league, the “No-Name” Defense which was best in the league (Named by Hall of Fame coach Tom Landry due to the fact that he had never heard of most of the defensive players), and behind the greatest backfield the NFL has ever seen (Larry Csonka, Mercury Morris, and Jim Kiick), the Dolphins went forward and won every game with their backup quarterback.
If you look at the Raiders, their situation currently is quite similar. When comparing Offensive lines, the Raiders currently have the second best one in the league right now (falling only behind the phenomenal Dallas O-line). Their defense is an extremely capable one, including superstars like Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin. Thirdly, although their backfield isn’t nearly as good as that of the ‘72 Dolphins, they still have a few powerful weapons in Latavius Murray and Jalen Richard. Matt McGloin has weapons at his disposal and gets a nice practice game before the playoffs against one of the toughest defenses in the NFL when the Raiders head into Mile High on Sunday to take on the Broncos. If the Raiders win (or if the Chiefs lose to the Chargers), then they get a first round bye, giving them more time to develop McGloin. If Oakland loses, then it is still a fantastic learning experience for the quarterback, who most likely won’t have to face anything that challenging throughout most of the playoffs (until he gets to Foxboro, because Bill Belichick always has a plan to counter anything he has the chance of coming across). But with that said, even if the Raiders get the wild card instead of the first round bye, they have been fantastic on the road this season, only losing one game by just a field goal in San Diego. Without Derek Carr, it might be difficult for the Raiders going forward, but they still have a good chance. They have plenty of weapons to help out a quarterback, especially after playing what’s essentially a practice game against one of the greatest defenses. Don’t count out Oakland yet.
Written by Rick Wronski