Raiders HC Josh McDaniels makes Raiders depth chart

Three Burning Questions Ahead Of Week 18

The Las Vegas Raiders are coming off of one of their most competitive and entertaining matchups of the 2022 season. Against the top-ranked San Francisco 49ers’ defense, Jarrett Stidham and Co. proved they can still turn heads. While the season may be lost, the Raiders have a prime opportunity to play spoiler against a vicious Kansas City Chiefs squad. Whatever the future may hold, there are still plenty of question marks ahead of Saturday’s matchup. Though no question might seem bigger than that concerning head coach Josh McDaniels, let’s take a look.

Is Jarrett Stidham the answer at quarterback for the Raiders?

The Raiders will almost certainly evaluate all quarterback options heading into the offseason. One of those options is Jarrett Stidham. The Auburn product is a Josh McDaniels favorite and led the Raiders to a toe-to-toe contest against the NFL’s nastiest defense. In his first start, Stidham threw for 365 yards and three touchdowns while completing 67 percent of his throws. He also tallied two interceptions, but still managed to impress. If Stidham stays hot against a division rival who’s currently fighting for a first-round bye, Dave Ziegler and the Raiders’ brass will have a lot to think about. It’s still possible that a rookie quarterback will don the Silver and Black in 2023. However, if Stidham can keep the club competitive, it isn’t unlikely that he’ll have a shot at succeeding Derek Carr.

Who’s coming back to the Raiders’ defense next year?

After injuries to almost every level of the Raiders’ defensive unit, many guys are receiving needed opportunities. Denzel Perryman, Rock Ya-Sin, and Jayon Brown are just a few injured Raiders heading into free agency this offseason. This opens the door for guys such as Tyler Hall and Luke Masterson to play their way into the team’s future. With Patrick Mahomes coming to town, the Raiders have an opportunity to evaluate their future on defense. From top to bottom, the Vegas front office will be eyeing ways to improve the unit in 2023. Week 18 could be a big step towards rounding out a more solid group for the future of the franchise.

Can Josh McDaniels bounce back?

The question fans have been asking themselves all season seems to revolve around McDaniels. The Raiders were left stunned in Kansas City after McDaniels coached them out of a 17-point lead in Week 5. With the opportunity to end the season on a positive note and play spoiler, the Raiders need to tackle an impossible task. They must coach to the level of Andy Reid. In 2022, the club has had no trouble building leads. The headache comes when the third quarter begins and the opposing points begin to stack. If McDaniels wants to ease the minds of Raider Nation, it starts with proving he can be a viable coach in the future. If the Raiders can coach themselves into a competitive outing, there could be a glimmer of hope heading into 2023.

*Top Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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