Written by intern Jeff Weisinger
Matt McGloin was supposed to be the caretaker for the Oakland Raiders headed into the season finale after Derek Carr was injured last week. It was McGloin’s job to lead the Raiders into the playoffs with a bye week. Instead, McGloin was injured along with a few other players.
McGloin lasted one half as the Denver Broncos knocked him out with a shoulder injury in the Broncos’ 24-6 win over Oakland today. With the loss and the Kansas City Chiefs’ 37-27 win at the San Diego Chargers, the Raiders lost their chance on a AFC West crown.
They fall to the fifth-seed in the AFC playoffs, lining them up for a wild card game at the AFC South champion Houston Texans next week. The loss of Carr heading into the playoffs seems to have taken its toll on the Raiders. They’ve been outscored 35-6 since Carr went down in the fourth quarter against the Colts last Saturday.
Oakland struggled throughout the entire game on every side of the ball. McGloin couldn’t get anything going, completing just 6-of-11 passes for just 21 yards in his first start in three years. Rookie Connor Cook took over for McGloin in the final seconds of the first half and for the rest of the game, but couldn’t get the Raiders offense moving either, going just 14-for-21 through the air for 150 yards and a touchdown.
McGloin seemed to have moments where he should have gotten the passing game moving, however he missed an open Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree at various moments throughout the first half.
Cook’s first career NFL touchdown pass to Cooper went for 32 yards in the third quarter, capping a quick three-play drive with just over six minutes left to help the Raiders avoid a shutout.
The run game was just as non-existent for Oakland as they totaled just 57 yards on the ground with rookie DeAndre Washington leading the team with 43 yards on seven carries. No running back or receiver earned more than 50 yards on the day. Crabtree came close, catching five passes for 47 yards.
The biggest disappointment was from the Raiders defense that was originally thought to be able to carry the load for Oakland’s playoff run. Instead, they fell flat, allowing Denver to gain 349 yards of total offense. It was as if the Broncos were heading to the playoffs over the Raiders.
Denver scored on their opening drive, capping their nine-play drive on a 14-yard touchdown pass from QB Trevor Siemian to Demarius Thomas. Siemian finished the day throwing for 206 with a touchdown and an interception.
The Raiders end the year with a 12-4 record, their first winning record since 2002. This is just the second time since the Raiders return to Oakland in 1995 that they finished 12-4 (2000).