(KRON) The Raiders can clinch the AFC West title and a first-round bye with either a win at Denver on Sunday or a Kansas City loss in San Diego.
If Oakland loses and the Chiefs win, the Raiders will open the playoffs at AFC South champion Houston on wild-card weekend.
“We’re up for the challenge,” running back Latavius Murray said. “I know Matt is. We’re not going to change anything. We’re going to go out and execute and do what we do.”
They will just have to do it with Matt McGloin under center instead of Derek Carr.
The Raiders believed enough in McGloin to place a second-round tender on him as a restricted free agent this past offseason, but he has had little time on the field since his rookie season in 2013.
While McGloin has thrown just 55 passes since making six starts late that year and Carr was mentioned as a possible MVP candidate with 28 TD passes, 3,933 yards passing and only six interceptions this season, the Raiders don’t expect much to change with how the offense is run.
The players say both quarterbacks have similar approaches and work ethics, with the biggest difference being in their language.
“They’re both great guys,” backup quarterback Connor Cook said. “I would just say the only thing is McGloin probably swears a little bit more than Derek. That’s the main difference.”
While Carr has been bred for the NFL ever since David was the No. 1 overall pick by Houston in 2002, McGloin had to walk on at Penn State before becoming a starter in college, was undrafted in the NFL, and has spent most of his four years as a backup.
McGloin uses those perceived slights as motivation to succeed where others thought he couldn’t.
“It’s almost like he lives for being that underdog, and that’s what fuels him,” said tight end Mychal Rivera, who played when McGloin started in 2013. “And it’s brilliant. We’re going to rally behind him.”
McGloin steps into a much better situation this year than he did three years ago when he replaced an injured Terrelle Pryor at quarterback for an Oakland team on the way to a 4-12 record.
TMZ spotted Derek Carr hanging out with Raiders’ owner Mark Davis,
Derek Carr Recovers From Fibula Fracture With Mark Davis At His Side (PHOTO) https://t.co/wwd22vISGK
— TMZ Sports (@TMZ_Sports) December 28, 2016