What do you get when you combine Halloween and the Las Vegas Raiders? Oddly enough, you get an entire regime swap that also happens to include a change under center. Within a few hours of being named interim head coach upon Josh McDaniels’ firing, Antonio Pierce told insiders he was leaning towards rookie Aidan O’Connell as the team’s starting quarterback moving forward.
“He’s our best QB,” a source close to the situation informed NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
That’s quite the compliment for the rookie signal caller – or, would be, had quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Brian Hoyer not been the ones to set the bar.
With five and a half games under his belt, Garoppolo leads the NFL in interceptions with nine. 40 quarterbacks league-wide have a higher QB rating than the first-year Raiders quarterback (78.1). Among QBs with at least 100 passing attempts, Garoppolo ranks 18th in completion percentage (65.5%) and 42nd in ‘big time throw’ percentage (1.1% – the lowest among all quarterbacks with at least one big time throw recorded).
What’s truly impressive about these analytics is Garoppolo is doing this while having an average time to throw of 2.84 seconds, which ranks 11th-highest among signal callers with at least 100 passes thrown. At least Brian Hoyer has an excuse with his 2.26 average time to throw; the eighth-lowest among all 59 quarterbacks to take a snap this season.
Aidan O’Connell is the best quarterback on the Las Vegas Raiders – That isn’t saying much
Prior to Week 8’s contest against the Lions, Brian Hoyer held the title of QB2 on the Raiders. Numbers wise, Hoyer didn’t fare much better than Garoppolo – worse, in fact.
The 38-year-old is responsible for the seventh-lowest passer rating out of all 59 quarterbacks who have taken a snap under center this year (50.8), logging a completion percentage of 54.8% (10th-lowest among those same 59 QBs).
The positive in Hoyer’s game is his 6.5% ‘big time throw’ percentage; the fourth-highest among signal callers who have started at least one contest.
If you’re wondering, ‘big time throws’ are throws defined as having “excellent ball placement and timing” by Pro Football Focus. These are generally passes into tight windows.
Did any of those numbers impress you? You aren’t alone – they didn’t impress Antonio Pierce, either, which is why Aidan O’Connell will be the Raiders’ new QB1.