Well, it finally happened: Las Vegas Raiders signal-caller Derek Carr was benched and is now out for the rest of the year. The nine-year NFL veteran from Fresno State will sit out the remaining games of the 2022â€“23 NFL season, according to Josh McDaniels, who announced the news earlier today in a press conference. McDaniels made it clear that they need to evaluate the other quarterbacks, but we all know that isn’t the main reason for the benching. The “Carr has run out of gas,” and it is time to move on. In his stead, former New England Patriots quarterback Jarrett Stidham will start the remainder of the season (two games).
Additionally, Stidham and Chase Garbers were named by McDaniels as the new starter and backup duo, respectively. So, let’s analyze what the new starting quarterback for the Silver and Black has to offer during these last two games.
Raiders moving ahead with Jarrett Stidham as the new starter
Stidham hasn’t played much while he’s been in the NFL, though. Let’s be honest here: Stidham isn’t exactly an upgrade over Carr. There are way too many unknowns for that to even be a consideration. Nevertheless, let’s talk about the player Stidham was before joining the NFL. When Stidham graduated from high school, 247Sports rated him as a four-star dual-threat quarterback prospect. He was the 38th best player in the nation and the seventh top prospect to come out of Texas. Stidham concluded his college career with more than 7,000 all-purpose yards and more than 50 touchdowns, according to Sports Reference.
The Patriots then chose him in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. For two years, Stidham served as a backup for the Patriots. Then in the 2022 offseason, McDaniels acquired him to serve as Carr’s backup. And now he has the chance to play and show off his talent. It should also be noted that this won’t be meaningless football, as the postseason is still a possibility.
The San Francisco 49ers, as well as Raiders fans, should expect the unexpected from Stidham this Sunday. With the exception of preseason games, Stidham doesn’t have a lot of game footage. Stidham shared snaps with several quarterbacks during the preseason. There wasn’t much to scrutinize about him, but his capacity to extend plays was notable. Great at moving outside and around the pocket to lengthen plays, Stidham is an excellent athlete.
Against the 49ers, McDaniels must be shrewd and have a fairly conservative gameplan. Because things will get ugly if he tries to hand Stidham the keys to the offense against the best defense in the league. After nine years of mediocrity, it will be wonderful to see someone else under center for the Raiders. There’s no doubt that fans are wishing Stidham the best of luck in these next two games. He’s going to need it on Sunday, truthfully speaking.
Let’s see if he can impress general manager Dave Ziegler, owner Mark Davis, and McDaniels.
*Top Photo: NBC Sports/Boston