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Raiders tragic flaws at quarterback again exposed by Chiefs

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Thearon W. Henderson

Different quarterback, same result. The Raiders faced the Chiefs today for the second time this season. Last time it was Terrelle Pryor who turned the ball over three times. This time it was Matt McGloin turning the ball over five times. And just for good measure, Pryor had a turnover in this game as well.

Pryor and McGloin are two very different quarterbacks on the field. But facing the Chiefs, they suffered from very similar problems.

When Pryor faced them, he was sacked nine times and threw three interceptions. They had him so rattled in the first three quarters that he was fleeing clean pockets late as well as putting up ill-advised and poorly thrown passes which turned a once close game into a route. That was the beginning of Pryor's downfall after having shown progress in the weeks leading up to that game.

McGloin started out behind after a 50-yard kickoff return to start the game followed up by a 49-yard touchdown on one play. Then after falling down 14-3, he only exacerbated the problem by trying to force a pass to a receiver who wasn't open resulting in his first interception to Eric Berry which was returned 47 yards for the score.

McGloin continued to push the ball down field, and the result was a combination of turnovers and touchdowns. He would make two more bad throws which were into traffic and across his body. He added a tipped ball for an interception, and a fumbled snap in the shadow of his own endzone.

"It's a high risk, high reward," McGloin said of passing across his body. "I did it with a touchdown earlier, scrambling to my left and threw a touchdown. It's high risk, high reward, it's a cardinal rule at the quarterback position that you don't do it but still some guys do it. It's gonna be a big play or it's gonna be a bad one."

McGloin brought the Raiders back to within 4 points at 35-31 but due in part to his mistakes, that was as close as they would get. McGloin would add two more interceptions and Pryor would have one as well in limited snaps.

I asked McGloin about this gunslinger mentality and his answer was very telling.

"I mean, as a quarterback, it's your job to protect the football, but at the same time it's your job to throw touchdown passes and throw first downs and complete passes downfield," said McGloin. "I'm gonna throw the ball. I'm gonna take my chances, I'm gonna try to get yardage and get completions in big chunks. That's the way I play the quarterback position, that's the way a lot of guys play the quarterback position."

This mentality kept the Raiders in this game and also cost them the game. Very much like Pryor's attitude with regard to using his athletic abilities to extend plays. Pryor held onto the ball too long and the sacks he took put the Raiders in holes they couldn't dig out of. McGloin surprisingly wasn't sacked once in this game but he took too many chances with ill-advised throws.

What it comes down to is decision-making. That's one of the major flaws in both of the Raiders' young, raw quarterbacks. It is the reason most are saying the Raiders quarterback of the future may not be on the team right now.

Dennis Allen following the game said McGloin will be the starter again next week and I expect he will be the starter the remainder of the season. The undrafted rookie has two more games to show if he can find the high rewards and eliminate the higher risks from his game.