ALAMEDA –- The Raiders regularly used screen plays on third down against the Denver Broncos in the second half. They didn’t generate great success, but ultimately produced the game-deciding touchdown.
Quarterback Derek Carr faked a screen pass to Amari Cooper on 3rd-and-15 early in the fourth quarter, and the entire Broncos coverage unit bit. It sucked in cornerbacks and safeties, leaving tight end Mychal Rivera wide open over the top for an easy 16-yard score.
It was a creative play call coming out of a timeout, set up perfectly by countering recent tendencies. Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave dialed up the play call, but refused to take credit for the masterstroke.
“It was a terrific call by (backup quarterback) Matt McGloin,” Musgrave said on Thursday. “Matt and Mychal made the call during the timeout right there at the end.”
McGloin extensively preps each week in case Derek Carr gets hurt, so he knows the offensive game plan as well as anyone. He follows action closely, and made the suggestion along with Rivera, who thought the fake screen would set him free down the season.
Apparently that wasn’t McGloin’s only contribution.
“Even on the initial touchdown, was really Matt McGloin and other guys talking about Seth’s double move,” Musgrave said.
That’s slot receiver Seth Roberts, who used a double move to get open and secure an 11-yard touchdown catch to open the second half.
Musgrave’s decision to share credit for quality play calls shows a lack of ego and a willingness to include player input to make play calls that help the Raiders win football games. McGloin wasn’t available to the press during Thursday’s media window.
“I have terrific support and synergy on the sideline,” Musgrave said. “Everybody’s headed in the same direction.”