In Matt McGloin's three games as the starter for the Raiders, he has been sacked just twice. Both of those sacks came compliments of the NFL's current Defensive Player of the Year, J.J. Watt in Houston. That will be nothing compared to what he will face Sunday when the Raiders travel to New York to take on the Jets.
The Raiders have been shorthanded along the offensive line the entire season. This includes the last three games. The only difference with McGloin as opposed to Terrelle Pryor is McGloin has gotten the ball out of his hand at an average of about 2.5 seconds. That may not be fast enough this Sunday.
Sunday they face arguably the best 3-4 defensive end in the league - Muhammad Wilkerson. He leads all 3-4 defensive ends with 10 sacks. Actually, to be accurate, he is tied for the lead. Who does he share that with but none other than J.J. Watt.
"He's strong," Said Dennis Allen of Wilkerson. "When you watch him, they play him at a multitude of positions. They'll play him at end; they'll play him inside at nose. They change up where they put him so it's hard to really identify exactly where he's going to be on every play. He was a big, physical athlete that had some pass rush ability but also had the ability to anchor against the run. We thought he was a talented player when he came out and obviously he's proving that right now."
There is one scary difference between when the Raiders faced J.J. Watt three weeks ago and facing Wilkerson this Sunday - this time the man trying to stand in his way will be Lucas Nix.
Starting right guard, Mike Brisiel has been ruled out for Sunday's game which means on the bulk of rushes by Wilkerson, it will be Nix attempting to stop him.
Nix is widely considered one of the worst offensive guards in the NFL. According to Pro Football Focus, he is literally THE worst in the NFL with a bullet. He has allowed five sacks this season from the left guard position and has among the worst run blocking grades as well.
The Jets know this and will be using their best player to attack the Raiders weakest link all day. They lead the league in run defense, in part because of the play of Wilkerson, but you can bet he smells blood in the water and a chance to rack up some more sacks.
"I feel like I get better each week and try and improve from my previous season," said Wilkerson. "That's always a goal for me. I think I'm doing that and I am going to try and keep doing that. I am going to try and get better these last couple of weeks to finish the season strong."
"We always have confidence in ourselves and amongst each other. We can do a better job of creating turnovers and trying to make something happen for the team; pick up a fumble and score or take an interception to the house for a touchdown. As a defense we're talented and we can do a little better."
The Raiders have another option in Andre Gurode but are opting for Nix instead. Gurode has not performed well this season either but overall has been better than Nix. Although that isn't saying much.
The bright side, if you want to see it that way, is Matt McGloin and the Raiders have had a long week to try and figure out how to keep him from getting killed by Wilkerson and company.
"A lot of looks," said McGloin of the Jets defense. "They're going to play a lot of coverage's, a lot of different fronts. They have a great blitz package. We definitely have our work cut out for us, but fortunately we had that weekend off, so we were able to get an early jump on them watching film. . . it's good to learn how to protect them and know where your hot [route]s are and things like that."
I would expect to see a lot of play action in this game for the Raiders with the running back staying at home to help block when he isn't attempting to find a crease on that top rated Jets run defense.