Raiders-Jets matchup No. 1: McGloin vs. Wilkerson

Raiders-Jets matchup No. 1: Matt McGloin vs. Muhammad Wilkerson

Raiders-Jets matchup No. 1: McGloin vs. Wilkerson
December 7, 2013, 11:00 am
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Matt McGloin averages 2.47 seconds from snap to throw, on par with Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. (AP)

Editor’s note: This is the third part in a series that spotlights three Raiders-Jets matchups to watch Sunday, 10 a.m., at MetLife Stadium.

[MATCHUP NO. 3: Andre Holmes vs. Antonio Cromartie]

[MATCHUP NO. 2: Jason Tarver vs. Geno Smith]

Raiders QB Matt McGloin vs. Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson


Tale of the tape:

McGloin (14): 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, rookie season, Penn State
Wilkerson (96): 6-foot-4, 315 pounds, third season, Temple

Raiders quarterback Matt McGloin has started three straight games and has been sacked twice. By contrast, Terrelle Pryor was sacked 29 times in eight games.

Variables complicate this equation, especially along the offensive front. Pryor had it way worse earlier in the season, with a patchwork line that didn’t include the stalwarts that McGloin enjoys.

So there’s that.

McGloin has far less mobility and gets sacked far less because he gets the ball out fast. Really fast.

He averages 2.47 seconds from snap to throw, quick decision making that keeps defenders out of his face.

That’s Brady-like. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady averages 2.43 seconds in the pocket. Green Bay gunslinger Aaron Rogers clocks in at 2.45.

Pryor, on the other hand, is at 3.04. That number isn’t all on the line. He just doesn’t make decisions as quickly as McGloin, and he isn’t afraid to run and scramble when necessary. That will tack on time.

But McGloin’s decision making gives New York Jets pass rushers precious little time to work. That’s a good thing for the Raiders, especially with Muhammad Wilkerson collapsing pockets. He has 10 sacks, 9 hits and 21 hurries already this season, startling totals for a 3-4 defensive end.

“I feel like I get better each week and try and improve from my previous season,” Wilkerson said. “That’s always a goal for me. I think I’m doing that and I am going to try and keep doing that. I am going to try and get better these last couple of weeks to finish the season strong.”

Wilkerson is quick, powerful and mean. So is outside linebacker Calvin Pace, who has seven sacks himself. But, can they get into the backfield in 2.47 seconds? That might be tough.

“I see a guy that makes a lot of quick decisions with the football,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said. “He’s accurate and he’s very poised. I see a guy that has outstanding fundamentals and plays smart. It seems like it’s coming out quick and he knows where to go with the football.”

That’s a major factor in McGloin’s quick release. He analyzes formations well and narrows his options before the snap, which helps him get the ball out fast. That will be key against the Jets and any other team while McGloin is trying to prove himself worthy of consideration for next season’s starting spot.

“It’s an important part of the position, I always say that,” offensive coordinator Greg Olson said. “Intelligence is a big factor and important ingredient to play quarterback at this level in the National Football League. He possesses that and he’s still a rookie. That’s a good sign.”