|Date of game: 11/17/2013
Recap: Houston vs. Oakland
Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Matt McGloin threw for 197 yards and three touchdowns in his first NFL start, and the Oakland defense came up with a late goal-line stand as the Raiders held off the reeling Houston Texans, 28-23, at Reliant Stadium.
McGloin, making the start in place of an injured Terrelle Pryor, completed 18- of-32 passes. Rashad Jennings racked up 150 rushing yards, including an 80- yard TD scamper late in the third quarter that gave Oakland (4-6) a 28-17 advantage.
Matt Schaub replaced an ineffective Case Keenum under center on Houston's next series and guided the Texans (2-8) on a pair of scoring drives that Randy Bullock capped with field goals of 26 and 30 yards, respectively, to bring Houston within five with just over eight minutes left in the fourth.
After the teams exchanged three-and-outs, Houston forced another Oakland punt and Schaub found Andre Johnson for 22 yards two plays later to move Houston to the Oakland 35.
Ben Tate touched the ball on the next four plays to get Houston to the 2-yard line, but the Texans running back was stuffed for a 1-yard loss on 3rd-and-1 from the two.
After a false start penalty left Houston facing a do-or-die 4th-and-7, Schaub's pass to the end zone was batted away, and the Raiders ran out the remainder of the clock to escape with the victory.
"We played great today," McGloin said. "What can you say about the defense there in the end? That's one of the big reasons why we won the game obviously. I'm really happy about that."
Rod Streater and Mychal Rivera each added a touchdown grab for Oakland, which had lost its last eight road games since a victory in Kansas City on Oct. 28 of last year.
Keenum completed 13-of-24 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown with one interception, but was removed after the Texans went three-and-out on their first three possessions of the second half.
"It's a business, and the business is the game, and the game is producing and playing well," Keenum said. "I wasn't the best thing for the team at that point, I guess."
Schaub finished 12-of-25 for 155 yards in relief, while Garrett Graham caught seven passes for a game-high 136 yards and a score for the Texans, who dropped their eighth straight game despite the return of head coach Gary Kubiak.
Kubiak, who suffered a mini-stroke during halftime of Houston's Week 9 loss to Indianapolis, called offensive plays from the press box.
"I didn't like being up there, but if that's what they want me to do, that's what I'll do," Kubiak said of coaching from the press box. "You don't feel emotion up there and stuff."
The Texans turned the ball over deep in their own territory on two of their first three possessions and the Raiders found the end zone after each miscue to build a 14-0 lead before the end of the first quarter.
Graham was stripped by Charles Woodson at the end of a 10-yard grab on Houston's third play from scrimmage and Phillip Adams returned the fumble 26 yards to the Houston 16.
McGloin's first NFL touchdown gave Oakland the lead six plays later, as he found Denarius Moore on a quick slant for a 5-yard score and a 7-0 edge.
"I was more anxious to get going and things like that," McGloin said of his first start. "But things really couldn't have started any better for us getting the ball in that position and then going and scoring."
Houston went three-and-out on its second touch and Nick Roach picked off Keenum's next pass on the first play of the Texans' third drive to give Oakland possession at the Houston 16.
McGloin made good on the turnover on the next play, firing a 16-yard scoring strike to Streater to make it 14-0 with 3:45 left in the opening frame.
Keenum got Houston on the board early in the second with a quick 4-play series that he capped with 42-yard touchdown pass to Graham.
Keenum faked a run on the play, rolled right, and slipped through a tackle before catching his balance along the sideline and heaving a deep ball for Graham, who hauled in the score in the front of the end zone to make it 14-7 just over three minutes into the second.
Houston's special teams unit came up with a big play later in the frame to even the score, as Keshawn Martin returned a punt 87 yards for a touchdown.
Martin fumbled the ball briefly when a short-hop handcuffed him as he tried to field the punt, but the speedy return man calmly scooped up the ball and weaved his way down the middle of the field for his first career punt return touchdown.
After Oakland went three-and-out on its next possession, Bullock buried a 51- yard field goal to send Houston into halftime with a 17-14 edge.
Following an exchange of punts to open the second half, McGloin led the Raiders on a 5-play, 73-yard scoring drive, culminating in a 26-yard TD pass to Rivera that put the Raiders on top, 21-17, with 8:13 left in the third.
Oakland then forced back-to-back three-and-outs from Houston before Jennings took a direct snap out of the Wildcat and surged 80 yards off the left side, as he ran over safety D.J. Swearinger and galloped down the sideline to make it 28-17 in favor of Oakland late in the third.Game Notes
McGloin's three TD passes were the most by an Oakland quarterback this season
... Houston's eight-game losing streak is the longest in franchise history ...
Johnson finished with a game-high 10 catches for 116 yards ... Tate totaled 88
yards on 19 totes ... Streater caught six passes for a team-high 84 yards ...
Houston finished a woeful 2-for-16 on third-down efficiency.