Raiders-Chargers matchup No. 1: McGloin vs. Weddle

Raiders-Chargers matchup No. 1: Matt McGloin vs. Eric Weddle

Raiders-Chargers matchup No. 1: McGloin vs. Weddle
December 21, 2013, 3:45 pm
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The Raiders need rookie Matt McGloin to be near perfect to beat the Chargers, who can score with the very best. (USATSI)

Editor’s note: This is the final part in a series that spotlights three Raiders-Chargers matchups to watch Sunday, 1:25 p.m., at Qualcomm Stadium.

Raiders QB Matt McGloin vs. Chargers FS Eric Weddle

Tale of the tape:

McGloin (14): 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, rookie season, Penn State
Weddle (32): 5-foot-11, 200 pounds, sixth season, Utah

Raiders quarterback Matt McGloin has compiled some quality play, rookie mistakes and some quarterbacking traits on film for all to see. The undrafted rookie has largely impressed over five starts, but defensive coordinators are starting to poke holes in his armor.

The Kansas City Chiefs identified McGloin’s tendency to make pre-snap decisions, find a receiver and let him make a play. McGloin’s routine was used against him, and Chiefs defenders said following his eyes helped secure four interceptions including a pick-six.

[RELATED: Raiders-Chargers matchup No. 2: Sims vs. Matthews]

Such is life for a young quarterback adjusting to NFL football.

“You have to be able to adjust and change some things up,” Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said. “As teams scout you, they identify some tendencies and you have to be able to throw some tendency breakers in there and change some things up. Matt, really, when he’s gone in there, I know he had a tough game last week, but he’s done some really good things. But he’s young. All quarterbacks make mistakes.

“It’s all part of the growing process. You go back, you look at it, you make the corrections that you need to make and hopefully you see improvement this week.”

The Raiders need McGloin to be near perfect to beat the Chargers, who can score with the very best. McGloin can use the scouting report against the opponent by changing things up. A simple pump fake could work wonders. Occasionally looking off a receiver could provide the change up he needs.

[RELATED: Raiders-Chargers matchup No. 3: Adams vs. Allen]

“You have to be aware of that,” offensive coordinator Greg Olson said. “I think that the game, as he’s finding out, is a lot faster at the NFL level. There are some lessons, some very hard lessons learned in that game for him and for all of our young players. I think anytime you’re in a rookie season in the National Football League there are going to be some hard lessons learned. We’re trying to eliminate those, and he will learn from them.”

Chargers free safety Eric Weddle hopes McGloin sticks to old habits. Weddle is the master of baiting quarterbacks into bad throws that end up as interceptions. McGloin desperately needs to avoid them. The Raiders have moved the ball well of late and scored with frequency, but turnovers have taken them out of games.

McGloin generally knows why he makes mistakes. That doesn’t mean he accepts them. He’s harder on himself than anyone else could be, especially in games. The stress doesn’t take him out of the moment, which is a positive step that coaches believe helps him learn quickly.

“I think that’s one of his qualities that people admire,” Olson said. “He is hard on himself but I think he does have the ability to move on to the next play. That’s a good quality to have, Often times before he gets to the sideline he’s very aware of the mistake that’s been made. He’s quick to make adjustments. I don’t think it affects him really moving forward.”