Kubiak must decide between Keenum and Schaub

Kubiak must decide between Keenum and Schaub
November 18, 2013, 3:26 am
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Oakland Raiders' Rashad Jennings breaks away for an 80-yard touchdown run during the second half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, in Houston. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

(APWF)

HOUSTON (AP) The Houston Texans extended a franchise record by losing their eighth straight game on Sunday to the Oakland Raiders.

And now they also have a quarterback controversy to go along with it.

Undrafted free agent rookie Matt McGloin threw three touchdown passes in his first NFL start to lead Oakland to a 28-23 victory in coach Gary Kubiak's return from a mini-stroke.

Kubiak wasn't on the sideline, instead coaching upstairs from the booth on doctor's orders two weeks after collapsing at halftime of Houston's game against Indianapolis.

He benched Case Keenum for Matt Schaub with Houston trailing by 11 points. Houston cut the lead with two field goals in the fourth quarter and had a chance to take the lead late. But Schaub's pass to Andre Johnson on fourth down from the 8 was broken up in the end zone.

Kubiak replaced Keenum with Schaub after Houston's first three drives of the second half all ended in punts. Schaub struggled early this season and hadn't played since Oct. 13, after he was benched following an injury.

''I knew that Matt could get done some of the things that I wanted to get done real fast and to give us a chance to win,'' Kubiak said of the change. ''So that's why I did it.''

Keenum threw for 170 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Schaub had 155 yards passing.

Kubiak wouldn't say who'd start next week. The home fans seemed to have a very clear opinion on the issue Sunday. They booed so loudly when Schaub entered the game that Houston had to change to a silent count because they couldn't hear.

Schaub was glad to get another chance to prove himself and talked about how much it would mean to regain his job.

''That's why I am here,'' he said. ''It means a great deal to me.''

Keenum was disappointed that he was pulled.

''It was tough,'' he said. ''It wasn't fun, I'd rather play, but I want what is best for this team. Today Matt was that toward the end.''

Five things to know about the Raiders-Texans game:

QUARTERBACK CONTROVERSY PART II: The Raiders could also have a quarterback controversy brewing after McGloin's performance. Terrelle Pryor has thrown just five touchdown passes in his eight starts this season and McGloin had three on Sunday. Raiders coach Dennis Allen wouldn't say who will start when Pryor, who has a sprained knee, is healthy. But he did rave about McGloin's work.

''For a kid that's an undrafted free agent, that came in here, was a fourth arm for camp, to come and perform in this type of environment ... was outstanding,'' Allen said.

UPSET ANDRE: Johnson and Schaub were yelling at each other on the field after Houston's last offensive play and the screaming match continued on the sideline, a clear indication of the frustration on a disappointing team that was supposed to contend for a Super Bowl. Johnson said the argument came because he ''messed up'' and didn't finish the play and that they talked things out after the game.

He has a long-term contract and has always said he wanted to finish his career here. But after the game when asked if he wanted to remain with the team in the future, it seemed that he might be growing weary of playing for Houston.

''I'm under contract, so I have to play my contract out,'' he said. ''I can't do anything about that.''

JENNINGS HAS BIG DAY: Rashad Jennings, who was filling in for the injured Darren McFadden, extended Oakland's lead to 28-17 when he plowed over D.J. Swearinger and rumbled 80 yards for a touchdown with 2:26 left in the third quarter. It was the longest run of his career and he finished with a career-best 150 yards rushing.

VIEW FROM ABOVE: Kubiak wasn't happy about coaching from the booth on Sunday.

''I didn't like being up there, but if that's what they want me to do, that's what I'll do,'' he said.

He added that it was strange to be in the booth and away from the emotions on the sideline. Looking down at his team from above, he thought the Texans looked tired and is looking for ways to change that.

''It may be more mental than it is physical,'' Kubiak said. ''I know it's a tough time, but I have to find a way to get them upbeat and moving quicker.''

MARTIN'S RETURN: Houston tied it at 14 when Keshawn Martin let a punt bounce off the grass and his chest before scooping it up and dashing 87 yards for a touchdown about three minutes before halftime. It was the longest punt return for a score in franchise history and his first career punt return touchdown.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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