How McG Led the Raiders on Their TD Drive

In Oakland this past week, the Raiders were battling the Titans. With ineffective offenses on both sides, the game went into the 4th quarter with only one TD being score and a 13-12 Titans lead. The Raiders had scored only 12 points on 4 Jankiowski Field Goals, but he also missed two (48, 32).

The Titans would score another Field goal on their first possession in the 4th quarter to go up 4 points, 16-12.

With 8:52 left in the 4th quarter, the Raiders desperately needed something good to happen on offense. And that's when McGloin came through and led the Raiders on a 5 play, 75 yard drive to score their sole TD of the day that would take the lead 19-16. It would be a short-lived lead, because Fitzpatrick would lead the Titans on his own clutch drive that would win the game.

McGloin finished 19/32, 260 yards, 1 TD, 1 int, 82.8 rating.

His splits :

1st half : 8/17, 105, 0 TD, 1 Int

2nd Half : 11/15, 155, 1 TD, 0 Int

Here's a look at how McGloin did it.

The Cutups of the final Drive : VIDEO

And now the Play breakdowns :

Play 1

1-10-OAK 25 (8:34) M.McGloin pass deep right to R.Streater to OAK 44 for 19 yards (M.Griffin)


Raiders line up with 21 Personnel and the Titans are in man coverage. With Mastrud staying in to block, his coverage (LB #53 Brown) drops into a single middle zone to try to take away quick throws.

On the right side, Holmes runs a fly route to clear out that side and threaten the single deep safety (Griffin). The two backs will release into the flat, pulling coverage up, which leaves WR #80 Streater one-on-one against CB #20 Verner in the middle of the field.

Streater takes in inside release against the off-coverage and then runs a deep slant. Streater sells the vertical and gets Verner to bail right as Streater get into his break. The pattern is great and the execution is equally good. At the same time that Streater gets into his break, the other WR #18 Holmes is also making a break (a little fake out-cut before breaking upfield); this timing is important; it keeps the opposite side CB #30 McCourty to turn his back on the play. As McCourty follows Holmes upfield, he vacates the area that Streater is running into.

Streater is running wide open and there's a big Run After Catch clearing in front of him. All McGloin has to do is deliver the ball on time.

And McG sees it.

Unfortunately, the pass protection lets him down.

The Titans bring a 5-man pressure. The Raiders keep Mastrud in to block, so they have 6-on-5. But that still means there are some one-on-ones.

Just as McG is loading up to make the throw to Streater, OLB #56 Ayers breaks thru on RT Pashos (it looks like Old Friend Kam Wimbley's Dip Move). Pashos is beaten, but he recovers enough to push Ayers to the ground. It prevents the sack, but Ayers is able to disrupt the throw, by affect McG's feet.

While a play like this might have caused Pryor to break contain and run, McG stays calm and simply steps up in the pocket. The timing of the play is broken, but Streater is still open (just not as open as he was before). McG reloads and makes the throw. Not quite sure about Verner's make up speed, he makes a safe throw away from the defender and the 6'2" Streater extends for it and makes the catch.

Play 2

1-10-OAK 44 (8:08) (Shotgun) R.Jennings up the middle to OAK 45 for 1 yard (Team)


Because the Raiders always have to have an inside run for no yards, they will run a counter play with a FB lead.

Marcel Reece is the FB and Jennings is the RB.

They key here will be the FB lead on DE #99 Casey. Now, this design is already problematic. I love Marcel Reece as much as the next Raiders' fan, but he's not a great blocker. When he's asked to do BOB (Back on Backer) blocks, he's iffy and so asking him to get any kind of movement against a DE? Not going to happen.

And that's what we see. Casey steps into the backfield and blows up Reece. Jennings is following his lead and so has nowhere to go. Jennings does manage to fight for 1 yard, but that's it.

Notice that this play also does not account for LB #53 Brown. So even if Reece does clear a lane, Jennings will go head-to-head into Brown.

Play 3

2-9-OAK 45 (7:34) (Shotgun) M.McGloin pass short left to R.Streater to TEN 42 for 13 yards (M.Griffin)


21 Personnel with a Bunch Formation to the left. That bunch has Streater, Mastrud, and Reece.

The Titans are in man coverage with a single safety.

The Raider will run a pair of crossing routes. Streater/Reece on outbreaking routes and Holmes/Mastrud in the middle with a drag and vertical.

Titans will have S #33 Griffin covering WR Streater and CB #20 Verner on FB Reece (who was a former WR). The mismatch for the Raiders is obviously Streater on Griffin and this is where the ball will go. Streater will run a Deep-Corner route; with Griffin in off-coverage and bailing, Streater will be wide open on his break. Reece runs a quick out into the flat to draw Verner. That gives lots of open space for Streater and no one around to potentially undercut that throw. Again, all McG has to do is deliver the ball on time.

But again, the pass protection lets him down.

As Streater makes his break, McG can clearly see how open it is.

The Titans initially bring a 5 man pressure. When Jennings stays in to block, his coverage is free to rush the passer. It has the look and feel of a delayed blitz. So, effectively on this play, the Titans bring two linebackers : Brown and Ayers.

Ayers uses that Dip Move on Khalif Barnes and gets thru similar to Play #1 against Pashos. Ayers doesn't get a sack, but he does disrupt McG's feet and force him to step up into the pocket. But because of the blitz, the pocket is crumbling and LB #55 Brown is coming free.

The timing of the play is broken again, but there's still a chance with Streater. While the defender is closing, Streater is also curling his route, keeping some distance from Griffin. But at this time, Reece has turned up and that brings Verner up into the play. The window is shrinking and an underthrow could be a Vernor INT.

As the pressure closes in on McG, he makes the smart throw, to where only his WR can make a play. It's away from Griffin and it's also up high away from Verner.

Streater lays out and makes a great catch for the 2nd time this drive.

Play 4

1-10-TEN 42 (6:59) M. McCants reports as eligible receiver. M.McGloin pass short right to R.Jennings to TEN 27 for 15 yards (Z.Brown)


Raiders have a heavy package this time. Technically it's 12 Personnel, but one of those TEs is actually OT #73 Matt McCants.

The Titans drop into Cover-3 zone (4 under) and the Raiders run a nice Zone beater play.

What's remarkable about this play is that there are two solid targets available and the reaction of the defense to the one receiver is what gives the other one so much space to run into.

The Raiders have their two WRs on the right side, #80 Streater on the outside and #19 Butler in the slot. They will run double slants that will attack the deep seams of the zones.

Play Action to RB Jennings (who was fairly effective this game) holds the two LBs (Brown and Fokou), which leaves the deep section of the two inside zones wide open. With Griffin dropping extra deep (not sure why), that leaves a deep middle wide open for WR Brice Butler.

With Butler so wide open, those two LBs are in full turn-and-burn mode; they have turned their backs to the line of scrimmage and are sprinting full speed to try to catch up to deep middle. This makes that deep throw a little riskier; it also gives the underneath throw a better chance for run-after-catch yards because the defenders are all running away.

On time and on target, McG had a big gain to Butler, but he takes the safe throw to Jennings and still gets a nice result.

A Side note to McGloin's throw to Jennings. It's an accurate throw that shows that McGloin was reading the defense as he was making it. Typically on these types of throws, the QB would throw it to the outside shoulder, letting the RB catch and then turn to the sideline for his run after catch. But in this case, the Flat zone defender (#31 Pollard) had peeled off Streater and was now dropping down towards Jennings from the outside. If McG leads Jennings to the outside, he could be setting him up for a big Pollard Hit.

Instead McGloin throws it to the inside, letting Jennings grab and square up to the inside, as the LBs were vacating; this lets him run away from Pollard and into the middle gap. It's a small thing that can go unnoticed, but I'm sure Jennings is very grateful for it.

Play 5

1-10-TEN 27 (6:17) (Shotgun) M.McGloin pass deep left to M.Reece for 27 yards, TOUCHDOWN


Raiders are in 21 Personnel and spread the field in a 3x1 formation. TE Mastrud is split wide right. On the left, FB Reece is split wide left and the two WRs Andre Holmes and Brice Butler are in the slot(s).

The Titans have man coverage and LB #55 Brown is on Reece on the boundary, which should be a mismatch for the Raiders. Reece is technically a FB, but he's a former WR from UW and made the conversion in the pros; he has WR skills with his hands, his route-running, and his tracking of the ball in the air. We'll see that on this play.

The Raiders will clear out and isolate Reece on Brown. Butler will run a skinny post which will hold the single deep safety and Holmes will run an underneath route. This gives Reece the entire edge of the field to work Brown. And that's what he does.

Reece will run a fade, but has a Sluggo-action to it; at about 10 yards depth, Reece fakes the in-cut and then breaks deep. Brown doesn't bit, but it does get Brown on Reece's hip. That cut also gets Brown to take a line that's further inside. This helps Reece alot, by giving him lots of room to work with between himself and the boundary.

At about the 15 yard line, Reece and Brown are close together and Brown has great position. But since Reece has so much room to the outside, at the 10 yard line, he can fade away to the pylon. Brown can't react and this creates about 2 yards of separation between them, which is just enough for the perfect throw. (It also looks like Reece gets away with a little bit of a push off with his right hand).

Meanwhile, McGloin's pass protection is letting him down again.

Similar to before, the Titans bring 5, but when Jennings stays in to block, they bring 6.

This time, there are multiple failures along the offensive line. LG #76 Lucas Nix gets destroyed by #99 Casey. Casey is able to get both hands on Nix's shoulder pads and easily toss him aside. Meanwhile, LB #56 Ayers gets past RT Tony Pashos again, but this time completely free. Not to be outdone, LT Khalif Barnes also lets his man (DE #91 Morgan) bullrush him and crush the pocket.

McG stays in there, faces the 3 oncoming rushers, and makes the beautiful TD throw.


It was a really impressive drive. Excluding that terrible running play, each play was executed very well.

And even more impressive--and what can be lost in realtime--is how McGloin and his receivers made things happen out of what were really broken plays.

The Titans were being very aggressive with their man coverage (3 times), allowing them to bring extra rushers against the Raiders' poor offensive line.

Raiders' fans have grown used to Pryor turning a broken play into a big run. But with defenses adjusting to his running tendencies, those plays have been fewer. McGloin did a similar thing. When there was a breakdown, instead of tucking and running, McGloin found a safe place in the pocket and kept his eye on his receivers.

We're used to saying how Pryor used his feet to make a play; but McGloin ALSO "used his feet" to make a play. But this time, he used his feet to shuffle up into the pocket and get into position to make a throw downfield. It's interesting to say that b/c Pryor would often break contain and keep his eyes downfield for something, but he would rarely find it. I wonder if it's because his field-vision is not quite as good as McGloin's or if the WRs/coverage was different so there weren't open receivers? Still, it's quite noticeable how McG made those plays when needed.

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