After a victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the annual Hall of Fame Game, we finally have some new football to discuss. Of course, it is only the preseason, but there is still plenty of stuff to analyze in the passing game. As it is just an exhibition, starting quarterback Derek Carr was not playing in this one. Instead, the focus shifted to those striving for his backup job. First in line was former New England Patriots draft pick, Jarrett Stidham.
Jarrett Stidham starts
While it is far too early in the offseason, it appears that Stidham may be in the lead for the backup job. After all, he has spent time with head coach Josh McDaniels while in New England, and he got the starting job in Thursday’s game.
He would finish the game with eight completions on fifteen attempts for 96 yards while also adding a twelve-yard rushing touchdown. Overall, Stidham didn’t do anything overly impressive, but he was efficient. With a limited playbook in the preseason, he was given many easy completions and he took advantage.
Nick Mullens and Chase Garbers
Known as a “Raider Killer,” Nick Mullens is now a member of the Silver and Black. In his first game action with the team, he went eight for 11 with 72 yards passing. Once again, the playbook is always extremely dialed back in the preseason, so much of his production came on screen passes. However, his tendency to panic under pressure was evident at points.
In the case of Chase Garbers, this was his first NFL game. An undrafted rookie from Cal, Garbers came into the game aggressive as he clearly wasn’t afraid to challenge the Jaguars in the intermediate levels of the field. He would finish four for six for 35 yards.
What did we learn?
In a way, not all that much. It was expected that Stidham would have a leg up on the other two, and that was proven correct. With time already spent in the system, he just looked far more comfortable. Furthermore, he has much more physical talent than the other two as well.
With three more preseason games to go, there is definitely a chance that either Mullens or Garbers could gain ground on Stidham. The best chance fans will have to see what these two have is if they are able to start in any of the next three games. Seeing them with improved surrounding talent will be key.
Regardless, the Raiders appear set at quarterback. After all, if Carr were to miss any amount of game action, it would be catastrophic for the Vegas offense. In that scenario, however, Stidham appears to have enough experience to be functional.
*Top Photo: Getty Images