Sports Out West

Raiders preseason Game 1: 3 winners and losers

AP Photo /Marcio Jose Sanchez

Preseason scores are as meaningless as Madden games, but there are jobs at stake. Which Oakland Raiders bettered or worsened their stock in the opener against the Dallas Cowboys?

Winner: Matt McGloin

So much for practice fodder.

McGloin was added as an undrafted free agent from Penn State with the intention of giving the other quarterbacks on the roster a breather. But he displaced 2013 fourth round pick Tyler Wilson as the third-stringer in training camp and showed poise in the pocket when inserted in the exhibition after halftime. McClain’s night was highlighted by a 30-yard scoring strike to Brice Butler, and at this rate he may force the Raiders to keep four quarterbacks.

Loser: Tracy Porter

Super Bowl XLIV hero or not, the NFL is a “what have you done lately” league, and Porter was injured and benched last year with the Denver Broncos.

Now expected to start with the Raiders, Porter had an embarrassing lapse against Dez Bryant in the first quarter when the cornerback jammed the receiver but was tossed aside en route to a 26-yard gain. It was just one play, but the veteran needs to remember D.J. Hayden is right behind him.

Winner: Rashad Jennings

When Maurice Jones-Drew was knocked out for the season in 2012 (in Oakland nonetheless), Jennings was expected to fit seamlessly into the feature back role for the Jacksonville Jaguars. To fans’ dismay, he battled injuries and never averaged over four yards per rush for the rest of the campaign.

Now with the Raiders, Jennings is competing to be Darren McFadden’s primary backup, and his chippy nine-carry, 39-yard effort reminded coaches why he should win that job.

Loser: Chris Kluwe

After penning a story about preseason job competition on SI.com earlier in the day, Kluwe didn’t get a punt attempt until the end of the third quarter, and it was a 36-yard dud. Rival Marquette King was handed the next opportunity and placed a 50-yard boot inside the Cowboys’ 20.

At least Kluwe knows this isn’t over.

Winner: Brice Butler

Butler, a seventh round selection this year, is no lock to make the team, but his impact on offense in the game will give him a chance to survive.

He only made two catches, but in the third, Butler caught an intermediate toss across the middle and maneuvered his way into a 40-yard play. Four snaps later, Butler hauled in McGloin’s rainbow for six, snagging the ball with his outstretched fingertips. You can’t teach that.

Loser: Terrelle Pryor

Pryor actually looked pretty good, remaining a lethal force with his legs and throwing confidently like his times at Ohio State. But after orchestrating a second quarter 88-yard drive, the third-year pro forced a flat pass across his body into traffic and was unsurprisingly intercepted. Preseason is the time to work these things out, but offensive coordinator Greg Olson must be concerned with Pryor’s reliability after that careless toss. 

Photo Credit: Marcio Sanchez / Associated Press

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Rui Thomas

Rui Thomas is an NFL and NBA aficionado whose credits include Yahoo! Sports, FanNation, GoldenGateSports and Radiosurvivor.com. He also owns the Theruination.net. Rui grew up an obsessive fan of the Sacramento Kings and Oakland Raiders, but he sympathizes with every West Coast team.