Raiders make a bold move to bench Jimmy Garoppolo and start Aidan O’Connell at QB

Jimmy Garoppolo

The Las Vegas Raiders have decided to shake things up on offense after a disappointing 3-5 start to the season. The team announced on Tuesday that they will bench veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and start rookie Aidan O’Connell in their next game against the New York Giants.

Jimmy Garoppolo

Garoppolo’s struggles and injuries

Garoppolo, who was acquired by the Raiders in a trade with the San Francisco 49ers in March, has failed to live up to the expectations of his four-year, $137.5 million contract. He has thrown for 1,782 yards, 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions in eight games, with a passer rating of 82.4. He has also been sacked 23 times and fumbled six times, losing three of them.

Garoppolo’s performance has been hampered by injuries as well. He suffered a concussion in Week 7 against the Detroit Lions, which forced him to miss the second half of the game. He was cleared to play in Week 8 against the Los Angeles Chargers, but he aggravated his injury and had to leave the game in the fourth quarter. He was ruled out for Week 9 and placed in the concussion protocol.

O’Connell’s opportunity and potential

O’Connell, a fourth-round pick from Purdue, will get his first career start on Sunday against the Giants. He has appeared in two games this season, completing 12 of 18 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown. He led the Raiders to a touchdown drive in the final minutes of the game against the Chargers, but it was not enough to avoid a 27-24 loss.

O’Connell is a promising young quarterback who impressed the Raiders with his arm strength, accuracy and poise in the preseason. He threw for 598 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions in four games, earning the backup job over veteran Brian Hoyer. He also showed his mobility and toughness, rushing for 54 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.

O’Connell played for three seasons at Purdue, where he threw for 3,136 yards, 28 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 18 games. He led the Boilermakers to a 4-2 record as a starter in 2020, including a win over Iowa and a close loss to Northwestern. He was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week twice and earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors.

Raiders’ expectations and reactions

The Raiders are hoping that O’Connell can provide a spark to their offense, which ranks 19th in the league in scoring (22.9 points per game) and 23rd in total yards (335.9 yards per game). They are also looking for more consistency and efficiency from their passing game, which ranks 18th in yards per attempt (7.1) and 25th in completion percentage (61.4).

The Raiders’ players and coaches have expressed their support and confidence in O’Connell, while also thanking Garoppolo for his contributions. Head coach Josh McDaniels said that O’Connell has earned the opportunity to start and that he believes he can help the team win games. He also praised Garoppolo for his professionalism and leadership, saying that he will remain an important part of the team.

Wide receiver Henry Ruggs III said that he is excited to play with O’Connell, who he described as a talented and fearless quarterback. He said that O’Connell has shown great chemistry with the receivers and that he expects him to make big plays down the field. He also said that Garoppolo has been a great mentor and friend to him and that he wishes him a speedy recovery.

The Raiders will face a tough challenge against the Giants, who have won three of their last four games and boast a strong defense that ranks ninth in points allowed (20.6 per game) and 11th in yards allowed (339.8 per game). The Raiders will need O’Connell to play well and avoid mistakes if they want to snap their two-game losing streak and stay alive in the playoff race.

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

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