Pryor spelled McGloin on the Raiders’ third series of the day and, after the offense stalled under the undrafted rookie, Pryor led Oakland on a 14-play, 58-yard drive that culminated with a 41-yard Sebastian Janikowski field goal.
But as called for by the gameplan, McGloin returned to the field and Pryor to the sidelines.
The gameplan, though, did not call for the Raiders to be pinned at their own 2-yard line for McGloin’s return, nor for McGloin to throw an interception to Ed Reed that was returned to the 4-yard line.
Nor was it to have McGloin go three and out and have Marquette King’s punt blocked and returned for a touchdown to put the Raiders in a 20-3 hole on the next series before stalling at midfield on the following possession and punting again.
McGloin said leaving the game and then returning was not optimal for him, though he knew it was coming.
“Anytime you have quarterbacks coming in and out, especially in cold weather, it gets difficult sometimes,” he said after the game. “But it’s not an excuse or anything like that for the way we played.”
At halftime, many wondered if the Raiders should go exclusively with Pryor in the second half.
“I would,” offered two-time Super Bowl-winning coach Tom Flores on the team’s radio broadcast.
But McGloin returned and found a rhythm as Oakland scored on their first four possessions of the second half.
So if McGloin is the starter going forward -- the Raiders close out with three games against AFC West opponents -- what happens to Pryor, who started eight of Oakland’s first nine games and went 3-5?
“That’s something that we’ll gameplan on a week in and week out basis, where we can use him and how we can use him,” Allen said.
“Matt’s obviously going to be the starting quarterback in this game and we’ll look at each gameplan and see how we can utilize Terrelle and what skills we can use to take advantage of what the defense is doing.”
More SeaBass issues: We already knew that Janikowski was enduring his roughest season kicking field goals since 2005 -- his 2013 percentage was 11 points below his career percentage entering the season -- but he again had a costly miss on which the game turned. The left-footed Janikowski pulled his 52-yarder wide right in the first quarter from the right hashmark, his second miss from the right side this season. It essentially negated Kevin Burnett's interception and, helped with a short field, the Jets scored a touchdown three plays later for a 10-0 lead. "Those are momentum builders," Allen said, "and momentum killers. We thought field position in this game was going to be a critical factor." Janikowski has now missed eight field goal attempts this season, after missing seven the previous two seasons combined. His current season field goal percentage of 69.2 would be the third-lowest of his career (68.8 in 2000 and 66.7 in 2005).
Injuries: Three players did not finish the game for the Raiders: rookie linebacker Sio Moore (neck), defensive tackle Vance Walker (concussion) and rookie tight end Nick Kasa (concussion). Plus, the Raiders were already without three running backs in Rashad Jennings (concussion), Darren McFadden (ankle) and Jeremy Stewart (ankle/knee). Jennings took part in limited practice all week but never passed the NFL's concussion protocol. "It was kind of apparent yesterday that he wasn't going to be cleared to play," Allen said. "But it was official this morning."
Of explosive plays XIII: And now for our weekly tracking of "explosive" plays. As deemed by Allen, such a play is one that gains at least 16 yards through the air or 12 yards on the ground. The Raiders had eight such plays against the Jets: five passes and three runs, with a touchdown each way. New York had seven explosive plays: five passes and two runs, also with a touchdown each way. In 13 games, the Raiders have 94 explosive plays (67 passes, 27 runs), with eight passing TDs and four running scores. Oakland's opponents, meanwhile, now have 91 explosive plays combined, 71 passes (eight TDs) and 20 runs (two TDs).
And while Reece was playing tailback out of necessity and making his first start there this season because of injuries to Rashad Jennings, Darren McFadden and Jeremy Stewart, it raises the question: Is Reece a special player in the NFL, or simply a very good one on a bad team?
Then there’s this: Whatever the answer to the above, why has it taken the Raiders so long to figure it out and make him a feature of this offense?
“If we lose,” Reece said, “it’s irrelevant. We worked too hard to have the outcome be like this. We need ‘W’s.’ This game is about winning. It’s about production. Stats don’t matter. The numbers don’t matter unless you win, and we didn’t do it.”
But it was not for a lack of Reece.
The “matchup nightmare” who was a wide receiver in college, also had a big game starting at tailback in place of the injured McFadden last season, albeit in blowout loss to the New Orleans Saints, going for 103 yards on the ground and catching four passes for 90 yards.
Yet, Marcel Reece had been as silent as Marcel Marceau in the offense this season despite the front office thinking enough of him to sign him to a three-year contract extension in September. In the Raiders’ previous four games, Reece had a total of 20 touches. Sunday, he had 21 (19 carries and two receptions on five targets).
“That doesn’t surprise me at all,” said rookie quarterback Matt McGloin. “He does what we ask of him. He busts his tail day in and day out. He catches the ball well, runs the ball well, blocks well. He’s an all-around guy, a great guy and a great player and we’re lucky to have him [as] part of this organization.”
Especially when his deceptive speed was on display in outrunning the Jets’ secondary on a power run up the gut.
“It was a routine run,” Reece claimed. “The O-line stepped up and did a great job and made my job easy.”
The touchdown, the longest run against the Jets’ top-ranked rush defense this season, got the Raiders to within 20-10 on the second play of the second half. Things were looking up.
Oakland’s defense, though, could not hold up, and the offense and special teams – Sebastian Janikowski missed another field-goal try, this one from 52 yards, and the Jets took advantage of the short field to score a touchdown three plays later, and the Jets blocked a Marquette King punt for a TD – had just enough misfires to keep the game out of reach.
Reece could not put his finger on when the game flipped, though.
“If I could put a finger on it, he said, “I would have changed it.”
That task, invariably, falls to coach Dennis Allen.
“The big run was a huge run and a huge play in the football game,” Allen said. “I thought, overall, he did a nice job of running the football. I’ll have to go back and look and see exactly how well he played. But I thought, overall, he did a nice job.”
Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but then again, as Reece said, it doesn’t matter much without a victory, right?
But it was actually part of coach Dennis Allen's game plan.
Pryor, who completed 2 of 5 passes for 20 yards and picked up 4 yards rushing on three attempts, did not play again as McGloin found somewhat of a rhythm in the second half.
Still, while McGloin knew the game plan, it did not mean he was happy with it, as his body language suggested in his media conference following the Raiders' 37-27 loss to the New York Jets.
“I've been through it before in college,” the undrafted rookie said.
“Anytime you have quarterbacks coming in and out, especially in cold weather, it gets difficult sometimes. But it's not an excuse or anything like that for the way we played.”
McGloin had a passer rating of 91.5 after completing 18 of 31 for 245 yards with two touchdowns. He threw an interception inside the Raiders' 12-yard line, though, that resulted in a Jets field goal.
Pryor was long gone by the time the locker room opened, but a teammate had an opinion.
“It was good to see him back out there,” said receiver Rod Streater. “He brings a lot to the table.
“We knew we had a few packages for Pryor. He was a factor.”
Said Allen: “Obviously, he was able to move the ball down the field for us and get us a field goal on that drive, which was a positive. And then, as we went back with Matt, we really had something going there in the second half offensively. We had some rhythm, some flow and we were able to score some points, so we just kind of stuck with what we were doing.”
If only the Raiders' defense could have held serve, right?
Still, Allen said there was never any thought of re-inserting Pryor, despite the way he moved the offense in his lone series. It was his first game action since Nov. 10, here at MetLife Stadium, against the New York Giants.
“Not after watching the way we played in the second half offensively,” Allen said. “We moved the ball down the field and converted third downs, and were able to score points, so we weren't going to change anything there.”
Then a crack showed itself as the Raiders allowed a late score in a last-minute loss to the Tennessee Titans.
And Sunday, basically the whole building came tumbling down in a mess of a 37-27 loss to the heretofore offensively challenged New York Jets. How bad was the Raiders’ defense against that sudden model of efficiency, rookie quarterback Geno Smith?
“We allowed him to be sort of great today,” offered 16th-year veteran Charles Woodson.
“That’s as embarrassing a game that I’ve ever been a part of.”
Really, not much else needed to be said.
Consider: the Jets had scored a combined 20 points in their three most recent games -- all losses -- and had 46 in their previous four, yet dropped a season-high 37 points on the Raiders.
Smith, who had been benched at halftime of the 23-3 loss to the Miami Dolphins a week earlier and had committed the most turnovers of any quarterback in the NFL, had his usual gaffe, throwing a first-quarter interception. But he finished with 219 yards passing in completing 16 of 25 passes, and rebounded from that pick with a 25-yard touchdown pass to give the Jets a 10-0 lead with 3:17 to play in the first quarter. It was his first TD pass since Oct. 20.
Entering Sunday, Smith had a total QB Rating of 8.8 since Week 7, the worst in the NFL. And he merely toyed with the Raiders, especially in the second half, when he racked up 47 of his 50 rushing yards.
“That was huge,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said of Smith’s rushing ability. “He made some big runs. If (Oakland is) going to play certain coverages and you notice it, you can make those big plays.”
It was not as if the Jets dominated the stat sheet; they merely imposed their will and demoralized the Raiders. That was more than enough when the Raiders, for the second game in a row, seemingly forgot how to tackle.
Oakland's defense simply could not get off the field as the Jets converted five-of-their-first-six third-down conversions in the second half.
"I wish I had the answer to that," admitted Raiders coach Dennis Allen.
Plus, the Jets were only forced to punt twice, and the second came with 31 seconds to play in a game whose outcome was already decided.
Truly, it looked as though the defense was simply worn down and a lack of quality depth was exposed -- again.
“I do think the defense is worn down,” Allen added. “But we’ve got to go out and tackle ... we’ve got three more football games, and we’ve got to tackle better. We've got to do the things that we have to do to be able to get off the field.”
Then is it a matter of scheme, or talent? Probably a combination of both.
“We were like the Bad News Bears out there today,” Woodson said. “Defensively, we went out there and basically peed down our legs.”
And it was cold out.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A few thoughts on the Oakland Raiders' 37-27 loss to the New York Jets:
What it means: Try as they might to dismiss the gravity of the situation, the Raiders have now lost 13 straight games in the Eastern time zone, dating to Dec. 6, 2009, while getting outscored by a combined 416-225, and they are a combined 5-30 three time zones away since Dec. 15, 2002. And Oakland's defense allowed a heretofore struggling Jets offense -- New York had scored a combined 20 points in its previous three games -- to get on track to score a season high in points, while a blocked punt for a touchdown also helped the Jets. It was the Raiders' fifth defeat in six games.
Stock watch: Rising -- Marcel Reece. The purported “matchup nightmare” showed exactly why and how he garnered that moniker as the Pro Bowl fullback started at tailback, with Rashad Jennings, Darren McFadden and Jeremy Stewart all injured and inactive, and broke off a career-long 63-yard touchdown run. He finished with 123 yards rushing on 19 carries to become the first player to rush for 100 yards against the Jets this season, He also had two receptions for 38 yards.
A familiar face: The last time Terrelle Pryor saw the field, it was this field ... on Nov. 10 ... against the New York Giants. Ineffectiveness and injury sent Pryor to the sidelines and put Matt McGloin under center. But Pryor had one series in this game, after two ineffective series by McGloin, and moved the offense to the tune of five first downs and a field goal. It was the only action he saw, though.
Defense sans a D: Oakland's defense, having last played on Thanksgiving Day, should have been fresher, right? Alas, poor tackling reared its ugly head again and the third-down defense was atrocious. The Jets converted seven of their first 12 third-down conversions, which contributed to the Raiders' defense tiring late and contributing to the poor tackling.
What's next: The Raiders (4-9) play host to the Kansas City Chiefs (10-3) in only their second home game since Nov. 4. It will be the first of three straight games against AFC West opponents to close the season. On Oct. 13, the Raiders jumped to a 7-0 lead that would have been 10-0 were it not for a missed Sebastian Janikowski field goal. The then-undefeated Chiefs sacked Pryor nine times in a 24-7 Kansas City victory.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- In an effort to jump-start their offense, the Oakland Raiders replaced quarterback Matt McGloin with Terrelle Pryor late in the first quarter of Sunday's game against the New York Jets.
Oakland, which specifically is looking to improve its running game, faced a 10-0 deficit when it switched from McGloin to the more mobile Pryor.
McGloin, however, came back into the game in the second quarter.
Pryor last played on Nov. 10, here at MetLife Stadium, against the New York Giants, before losing his job to McGloin thanks in equal part to injury (a sprained right knee) and ineffectiveness (he has thrown eight interceptions since his last touchdown pass).
McGloin was three of four passing for 28 yards before giving way to Pryor.
As such, the Raiders will be without all three running backs from that loss to the Cowboys as Jennings, Darren McFadden (ankle) and Jeremy Stewart (ankle/knee) are all inactive.
Fullback Marcel Reece is expected to move over to tailback and Taiwan Jones, who converted from running back to cornerback this season, should spell Reece.
Following are the Raiders' inactives: SS Tyvon Branch, RG Mike Brisiel, RB Darren McFadden, WR Denarius Moore, RB Jeremy Stewart, RB Rashad Jennings, OL Lamar Mady.
The Raiders also waived defensive lineman Brian Sanford while signing cornerback Chance Casey and safety Shelton Johnson from the practice squad.
The Raiders initially listed Maiava (ribs/calf) and Young (neck) as two of the seven players ruled out for Sunday’s game at the New York Jets, but with the two now off the 53-man roster, Oakland has two options for the 46-man game-day roster.
Maiava, who was expected to compete for a starting position at weak-side linebacker, endured an injury-plagued season, appearing in nine games and had 25 tackles, nine solo. He started one game.
Young appeared in 12 games and had one start at strong safety. He had 26 tackles (19 solo, six on special teams) with 2.5 sacks to lead the secondary, an interception and two passes defended. He was injured in the Raiders’ Thanksgiving Day loss at the Dallas Cowboys and he left the locker room wearing a neck brace.
While Casey and Johnson were both undrafted free agents signed out of Baylor and Wisconsin, respectively, McFadden spent most of the 2012 season on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ practice squad and appeared in one game.
"Obviously, you go into a game and you have a game plan," Allen said this week. "You have some things that you have designed to do within the game and then, really, the game dictates a lot of times what you end up doing.
"We'd like to see Terrelle at some point again and give him another opportunity and continue to evaluate him. The biggest thing is, we want to utilize the guys and do the things we feel like gives us the best chance to have success offensively, defensively, in the kicking game. If we feel like he gives us an advantage, then we'll try to use him."
How's that for being committed to being non-committal?
Here's the thing, though -- while many of Pryor's supporters are screaming that he should get a chance to see what he can do now that the offensive line is relatively healthy and stable, the unreliability of the O-line at the beginning of the season is what opened the door for Pryor and his running game in the first place.
Simply put, his mobility made him the best choice and chance for success behind a leaky line.
Consider: According to the Associated Press, Pryor and Matt Flynn, in his only start, were sacked once every 8.2 dropbacks. McGloin, meanwhile, has been sacked twice on 109 attempts. Twice.
And yet, while Pryor has thrown eight interceptions since his last touchdown, he still has a higher completion percentage than Matt McGloin (58.9-56.9).
But what the Raiders lose in mobility with McGloin under center, they gain in pocket presence.
"I see a guy that makes a lot of quick decisions with the football," Jets coach Rex Ryan said in a conference call this week. "He's accurate and he's very poised. I see a guy that has outstanding fundamentals and plays smart. It seems like it's coming out quick and he knows where to go with the football."
McGloin has compiled a quarterback rating of 84.6 in completing 62 of 109 passes for 799 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. He has two yards rushing on seven attempts.
Pryor's QB rating is 69.0 with 132 completions in 224 attempts for 1,559 yards, five TDs and 10 INTs. He has also rushed for 504 yards, including his record 93-yard touchdown run against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The last time Pryor spoke to reporters, after McGloin and the Raiders beat the Houston Texans, Pryor insisted he was not frustrated, though his body language told a different story.
"It doesn't frustrate me," he said at the time. "That's just the game. It happens. Other guys play well. You get hurt, other guys play well, why not continue with it?
"I don't blame coach. I'm a team player."
Then has McGloin separated himself from Pryor in his three starts, at Houston, against the Tennessee Titans and at the Dallas Cowboys?
"I don't know if you would say that, I just think that right now that [McGloin] is continuing to improve," Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson said. "Again, we always talk about the opportunity. He was given an opportunity when Terelle got hurt and he's running with it right now."
And yet, no one in the building is convinced -- yet -- that the quarterback of the future is already in said building, hence the need to see Pryor again at some point in the last quarter of the season.
Especially with some intriguing quarterback candidates in the next NFL draft, from Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater to Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel to Fresno State's Derek Carr to Alabama's A.J. McCarron.
And if the draft were held today, the Raiders would pick seventh overall.
"Obviously there are some decisions we have to have made here, but right now we're just trying to win games," Olson said. "[What's] on the mind of every coach and every player is, 'How are we going to win the game this Sunday?'
"And if Terrelle can help us win the game this Sunday and we feel like he can help us win, then we'll give him a chance to get evaluated. That's where we're at right now as far as that position goes."
Also ruled out: receiver Denarius Moore (who will miss his third straight game with a shoulder injury), right guard Mike Brisiel, running back Jeremy Stewart, linebacker Kaluka Maiava and safety Usama Young.
As such, the Raiders already have seven “inactive” players for Sunday, though Maiava tweeted he has been placed on season-ending injured reserve, which would open up a roster spot.
And while defensive end Jason Hunter practiced fully Friday and was listed as probable after missing the previous two games with a foot injury, it's the Raiders' running game that has the most questions.
Rashad Jennings -- who was concussed late against the Cowboys and missed the last four games of the 2012 season after suffering a concussion while he was with the Jacksonville Jaguars -- is questionable, putting the Raiders' running game in flux.
Jennings has yet to clear the NFL's concussion protocol tests, so he's been limited in practice all week.
“We've really got the rest of today and tomorrow,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said Friday. “So we'll see how he's feeling tomorrow.”
Taiwan Jones, who made the conversion from tailback to cornerback this offseason, took snaps at running back this week. And fullback Marcel Reece has played the role in the past.
Allen said this week he would probably go with a running back “by committee” if Jennings, McFadden and Stewart were all unable to play against the Jets. Also, Lucas Nix will replace Brisiel at right guard.
Here is the Raiders' status report for Sunday:
Out: SS Tyvon Branch (ankle), RG Mike Brisiel (ankle/knee), LB Kaluka Maiava (ribs/calf), RB Darren McFadden (ankle), WR Denarius Moore (shoulder), RB Jeremy Stewart (ankle/knee), S Usama Young (neck)
Questionable: LB Miles Burris (toe), RB Rashad Jennings (concussion)
Probable: DE Jason Hunter (foot), RT Menelik Watson (illness)