Week 17 was supposed to be a stepping-stone for quarterback Matt McGloin and the Oakland Raiders, but it slowly turned into a reevaluation of their approach entering the playoffs. Their 24-6 loss to the Denver Broncos had fans concerned about their quarterback situation moving forward, but it appears the organization has shed some light on the situation.
Upon their loss, the Raiders dropped down to No. 5 in the AFC and lost out on their division title. With the Kansas City Chiefs defeating the San Diego Chargers 37-27, they clinched the AFC West and a first-round bye.
With the regular season complete, the Raiders head to NRG Stadium to face off against the Houston Texans in the Wild Card round. Those familiar with these two teams understand they faced off earlier this season, with the Raiders coming out on top by a score of 27-20 victory in Mexico City.
The takeaway from the Week 17 contest provides a change of mind for not only McGloin and Connor Cook, but also the entire organization. It appears as though the Raiders will move on with their rookie quarterback, via Ian Rapoport of NFL Network:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 3, 2017
This drastic change comes just a week before their first playoff game since 2002. While the Raiders captured their first winning record since 2002 and finished the season with a record of 12-4, their outlook now is considerably different than with Derek Carr.
However, the Raiders now move on without Carr, with the components of a great team in tact outside of their starting quarterback.
Before McGloin was replaced by a substitution, he went 6-for-11, for 21 yards and no touchdowns. While facing a formidable Broncos’ pass rush, McGloin seemed to struggle, settling for short passes.
On the other hand, Cook went 14-for-21, with 150 yards, one touchdown and one interception in his 32 snaps on Sunday. He showed a certain poise, while adjusting to his new role as the starting quarterback.
Behind a dominant offensive line that allowed the fewest sacks this season, Cook and the Raiders have a week to prepare and gel with one another, in order to move onto the AFC Divisional round.