ALAMEDA — Matt McGloin's rapid ascent from undrafted rookie free agent could lead to him becoming the regular starting quarterback for the Oakland Raiders.
McGloin threw three touchdown passes against Houston in his first career start as he led the Raiders to their first road victory of the season, earning himself serious consideration for a shot to take over the starting role from Terrelle Pryor.
Coach Dennis Allen wasn't ready to announce a decision Monday about who would start this week against Tennessee because he wants to talk to Pryor to determine the status of his injured right knee.
"I'm not sure exactly where he is physically, but I will say this, with Matt's performance, he's earned the right to be in the discussion," Allen said. "That's for sure."
Tellingly, Allen would not commit to Pryor starting Sunday if he is healthy, saying the decision will be made on what's best for the team.
"Our job as coaches is to try to do the things that we feel like give us the best opportunity to win," he said. "That's what those players in that locker room are looking for. Now, it's good to know that you have options. That's, obviously, a positive. I don't look at it as a tough situation. I look at it as a good situation."
McGloin completed 18 of 32 passes for 197 yards, with three touchdowns and no interceptions in one of the best debut starts by any rookie quarterback this season.
McGloin became the first Raider in four years to throw at least three touchdowns and no interceptions in a game and joined former Raider Todd Marinovich as the only rookies since the 1970 merger to do that in their first career start.
That helped lead the Raiders (4-6) to a 28-23 win that put them back into the thick of the race for the final AFC playoff spot. Oakland is one of seven teams in the AFC with four wins. Miami and the New York Jets are tied at 5-5 for the sixth and final playoff spot with six games to play.
"I thought he had great command of the huddle," Allen said. "I thought his presence on the field was outstanding. I thought he did a great job communicating with the sideline. When you watch him in the passing game, there wasn't a lot of unsettledness. He was calm in the pocket. He worked through his progression. He threw the ball with timing and accuracy. In particular, for the first time out and the first time starting, I thought he handled himself very well."