photos via San Jose Mercury
By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
OAKLAND — Terrelle Pryor will start over Matt McGloin in the Raiders’ final home game of the season against the Denver Broncos Sunday, head coach Dennis Allen announced Monday during his weekly press conference per CSNBayArea.com’s Raiders Insider, Scott Bair.
Both Pryor and McGloin were notified of Allen’s decision earlier Monday morning.
“We got a chance to see Matt McGloin for six games,” Allen said. “I liked a lot of things that I saw in Matt. It’s been a while since we’ve gotten an opportunity to see Terrelle in a game and I want to get him in the game and get another opportunity to evaluate him.”
McGloin’s three-touchdown performance in a 28-23 victory over the Houston Texans in Week 11 gave Oakland a glimpse of a possible answer at the quarterback position, but McGloin played up-and-down to a 1-5 record while Oakland (4-11) lost five straight games including a 56-31 home drubbing to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 15 in which he threw four interceptions.
McGloin finished 20-for-36 for 206 yards and an interception in Oakland’s 26-13 loss in San Diego Sunday and it was clear that Oakland had seen enough.
Pryor goes back under center and should get a long look against the Broncos. Pryor played well against Denver back in Week 3, completing 19-for-28 passes for 281 yards, a touchdown with a career-high, 112.4 passer rating.
Denver (12-3) is coming into Oakland looking to wrap up the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye in the AFC Playoffs. Denver wrapped up the AFC West with their 37-13 victory in Houston, coupled with Kansas City’s 23-7 loss to Indianapolis at Arrowhead.
Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning threw for 400 yards and four touchdowns, while breaking Tom Brady’s NFL-record 50 touchdown passes set in 2007, sending the down-trodden Texans to their 13th straight loss in the process. Manning threw the record-breaking touchdown to tight end Julius Thomas on a 25-yard pass in the fourth quarter, his third touchdown pass of the quarter.
In a season where he most likely collect his fifth league MVP award, Manning has a chance to set another record Sunday.
With a league-leading 5,211 yards passing this year, Manning needs 265 yards to surpass New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees’ NFL-record 5,476 set in 2011.
Manning loves to spread the ball around and with four targets with at least 10 touchdowns like wide receivers Demaryius Thomas (86 catches, 1,377 yards, 12 TDs), Eric Decker (83 catches, 1,261 yards, 10 TDs), Wes Welker (73 catches, 778 yards, 10 TDs), and the previously mentioned tight end Thomas (60 catches, 752 yards, 12 TDs), its almost a safe bet that Manning breaks the record against the Raiders.