Las Vegas Raiders fans got what they wanted with rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell getting the start in Week 4 against the Los Angeles Chargers. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the dynamic debut that many were hoping for as the Raiders lost 24-17.
O’Connell had three turnovers, including an interception when Las Vegas was in a position to tie the game late in the fourth quarter. Though it was his first start, head coach Josh McDaniels wants to see the quarterback do a better job of protecting the ball.
“He’ll be the first one to understand that there are things that he could do better,” McDaniels said in his October 1 postgame press conference. “Playing quarterback in our league starts with taking care of the football. … I thought he adapted to the game a little bit as it went on, and we’ll take every opportunity to learn from the mistakes that we made as a team, and I’m sure he will also as a quarterback and try to get better from it.”
O’Connell was playing in relief of Jimmy Garoppolo, who was ruled out due to a concussion. The Raiders decided to start the rookie over 15-year veteran Brian Hoyer. He finished with 238 passing yards, a rushing touchdown, an interception and two fumbles lost.
Aidan O’Connell Talks Late-Game Interception
The Raiders had a rough start to the game and were down 24-7 at halftime. The defense shut out the Chargers in the second half and the team was able to get the score within seven. They were able to drive down to the Chargers’ goalline when Aidan O’Connell threw an interception to Asante Samuel Jr. on first down.
The Raiders never got the ball back and lost. O’Connell discussed what he saw on the final play that led him to throw it.
“It was a look I saw in practice and coach did a good job of preparing me I just got to do a better job of executing,” O’Connell said in his October 1 postgame press conference.
The Raiders had plenty of time to try and run the ball with running back Josh Jacobs but decided to put the game in O’Connell’s hands. It turned out the rookie quarterback wasn’t quite ready yet.
Davante Adams at a Loss for Words
Star wide receiver Davante Adams had to head to the locker room in the first half with a shoulder injury but was able to tough things out and return to the game. He finished with eight catches for 75 yards and secured the catch that put the Raiders in position to tie the game in the fourth quarter.
He’s been frustrated with the team’s struggles early in the season and now he’s running out of things to say.
“I don’t know what to say. We have to play better … we have a pretty talented roster,” Adams said after the loss, per Vic Tafur of The Athletic. “We have to be more urgent.”
The Raiders are 1-3 and haven’t looked good in any game this season. The offense has yet to score more than 18 points in a game. The Raiders’ next three games are against mediocre Green bay Packers, New England Patriots and Chicago Bears teams. If they can’t win at least one of those games, it’s going to be a long season.