Oakland Raiders’ Toughest Roster Decisions After Preseason Week 4

Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio is faced with some tough roster decisions when finalizing the 53-man roster for the September 5 deadline.

You can overlook the score in Thursday night's 31-21 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 4 of the preseason, which mostly featured reserves battling for a job. Del Rio looked for players capable of adding depth to his starting unit.

Some of the potential backups made the decisions easy, for better or worse, while others put themselves in contention for expanded roles.

Here are some of the issues Del Rio must tackle within the next 24-to-36 hours.


Matt McGloin vs. Christian Ponder

The competition between Matt McGloin and Christian Ponder became a one-sided battle as the weeks progressed.

McGloin outplayed Ponder in three of the four preseason games and put an exclamation point on the debate Thursday night against the Seahawks.

Both quarterbacks had to work with a subpar offensive line, but McGloin still managed to move the ball up and down the field. He did much more with less in comparison to Ponder.

McGloin (16-24, 186 yards, 2 TDs) displayed skill and poise despite his sieve of an offensive line. Ponder, (7-11, 99 yards) a former first-round draft pick with mobility, failed to overcome a poor performance from the same poor line protection.

The Raiders must avoid the Mark Sanchez effect.

The New York Jets kept 40-year old quarterback Mark Brunell as Sanchez' primary backup between the 2010-11 seasons. The players knew Brunell would never overtake Sanchez, which meant that there was no pressure on the starter to perform with such complete job safety.

Ponder isn’t 40 years old, but he’s barely fit to hang onto the No. 3 spot and doesn’t present a threat to Carr’s job. There’s nothing more motivating than someone right behind yo...

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