Raiders Clean House
On the night of Halloween, the official Twitter/X of the Las Vegas Raiders announced that head coach Josh McDaniels was relieved of his duties. Along with McDaniels, general manager Dave Ziegler and offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi were also fired.
It was the news many Raider fans were awaiting after a horrific Monday Night loss against the Detroit Lions. McDaniel’s tenure as the Raiders head coach did not last two full seasons. In a season and a half, McDaniels and the Raiders won only nine games while losing 16.
After several viral videos of Raider fans haggling with owner Mark Davis to fire McDaniels, it looks like those fans have got their wish.
Jimmy Garropolo and Brian Hoyer’s Dreadful Play
A big part of McDaniel’s era was the Raiders embracing the “Patriot’s way.” This meant the Raiders would sign several former Patriot players. The list of signings would include quarterbacks Jimmy Garropolo and Brian Hoyer.
So far, Garropolo has played six games for the Raiders, missing two games due to concussion and back injuries. In those six games, Garropolo has played far from superior. In half of those games, Garropolo has fallen short of 200 passing yards and has thrown for more interceptions (9) than touchdowns (7).
In Hoyer’s first game as a starter for the Raiders against the Bears, Hoyer had a completion percentage of 53.1%, 129 passing yards, and two interceptions. It was so rough that Hoyer did not finish the game, and O’Connell was inserted late into the 4th quarter.
After several poor performances from Garropolo and Hoyer, the Raiders are left without a choice but to name rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell the starter.
During the pre-season, O’Connell showed potential to be a star. The 4th round rookie threw for over 482 passing yards, with a 69% completion percentage, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions. The Raiders fan base was excited and believed the Raiders had found a gem in the 4th round.
Small Glipsesof Regular Season O’Connell
O’Connell’s first taste of regular season football came against the division rival, the Los Angeles Chargers. This game is known as the Khalil Mack game. The former Raiders linebacker finished the game with a total of 6 sacks. Falling only one sack short of tying Derrick Thomas’s record of 7 sacks in a game.
O’Connell struggled in his first game as a starter. He completed 24 out of 39 passes (61.5%), passed for 238 yards, and threw the game-losing interception in the red zone. He also had fumbling issues, as he fumbled the ball twice. Despite the several flaws in his performance,
O’Connell did rush for a touchdown and almost led the Raiders to a 17-point comeback. Raider fans wanted to see more.
After Hoyer’s week 7 benching against the Chicago Bears, Raider Nation got another glimpse of the rookie QB. In his limited amount of snaps, O’Connell’s performance improved. O’Connell made 10 out of his 13 throws (76.9%), 75 passing yards, and had his first passing touchdown of his career.
Now that Jimmy Garropolo is benched and both McDaniels and Lombardi are gone. It will be a true testament if O’Connell can be the gem many Raider fans in the pre-season claimed he would be.
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