Las Vegas Raiders Start Rookie Quarterback in Place of Benched Veteran
The Las Vegas Raiders have made a significant change to their starting lineup, benching veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in favor of rookie backup Aidan O’Connell. The decision comes as the Raiders (3-5) prepare to host the New York Giants (2-6) on Sunday.
This isn’t the first time O’Connell has been given the starting nod this season. He previously started in Week 4 in a losing effort against the Los Angeles Chargers when Garoppolo sustained a concussion in Week 3.
The decision to bench Garoppolo was announced just hours after the Raiders fired head coach Josh McDaniels, who was relieved of his duties midway through his second season in Las Vegas. This move marked a significant shake-up for the team.
Garoppolo, who had a 3-3 record as a starter this season, had struggled with injuries in recent years but had shown success in his previous stints with the San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots. However, his performance this season, which included a passer rating of 78.1 and a QBR rating of 35.2, ranked him at the bottom of the league.
O’Connell, who was drafted by the Raiders in the fourth round out of Purdue in the 2023 NFL Draft, will have another opportunity to prove himself as he takes over the starting role. It’s a bold move by the Raiders, who are looking for a fresh approach after parting ways with McDaniels and offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi.
In the wake of these changes, team owner Mark Davis made the decision to fire general manager Dave Ziegler as well. With the appointment of Antonio Pierce as interim head coach and the promotion of Bo Hardegree to offensive coordinator, the Raiders are hoping to turn their fortunes around.
The upcoming matchup between the Raiders and the Giants is anticipated to be a low-scoring affair, as both teams have struggled on the offensive end. With the Raiders being a slight favorite at -1.5, it’s clear that the team remains confident in their ability to perform despite the recent changes.
Overall, the decision to bench Garoppolo and start O’Connell represents a significant shift in the Raiders’ strategy as they aim to revitalize their season and foster a winning culture once again.