On Thanksgiving, the Oakland Raiders will face the Dallas Cowboys. It is the perfect chance for the offense to get into gear. Dallas ranks at the bottom of the league in both rush and pass defense. Matt McGloin will make his third start for the Raiders, looking to capitalize on his opportunity.
In the first two games McGloin started, he faced the best pass defense in the league in the Houston Texans and another top ten pass defense in the Tennessee Titans. He had success in both games throwing four total touchdowns, three against the Texans. Now, on paper, he will face a much easier opponent Thursday. The Cowboys rank 31st in the NFL allowing 298.5 passing yards per game. They are not much better against the run allowing 133.6 yards per game which is good for 30th in the league. This is a game the Raiders have to get the offense moving.
Oakland has averaged 347 total yards in the two games McGloin has started. The issue in the loss to the Titans was the offenses' inability to score touchdowns. They converted all three of their redzone trips into touchdowns against the Texans, but failed to score any redzone touchdowns against the Titans in two trips. Kicker Sebastian Janikowski also missed a field goal adding to the botched opportunities. In the game with Dallas, the Raiders must convert those redzone opportunities because the Cowboys offense is far better than both the Titans and Texans.
With the Cowboys defense vulnerable, the Raiders will want to run the ball with running back Rashad Jennings. He has been terrific with his chances this year. It is a possibility that the Raiders will get Darren McFadden back Thursday as well. Even if McFadden is available, Jennings should be the lead back. He has combined for more than 100 yards rushing and receiving five times this season. The offense has a tendency to go away from Jennings, but he must be a huge factor in the game plan. Raiders head coach Dennis Allen is hopeful that left tackle Jared Veldheer can play this week, which would be a massive boost to all facets of the offense.
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