NFL Rumors: Raiders raked over coals for botching QB situation
It was the backup bowl between the Las Vegas Raiders and Chicago Bears in Week 7 as Josh McDaniels started longtime veteran backup Brian Hoyer in place of the injured Jimmy Garoppolo. The Bears, meanwhile, turned to rookie Tyson Bagent with Justin Fields out of action.
Of course, it was the Bears who prevailed resoundingly on the scoreboard, notching a 30-12 win. But one could argue that their process given the circumstances also won out over the Raiders as well.
As Tashan Reed of The Athletic (subscription required) noted after the loss, McDaniels and the Raiders coaching staff erred entirely by starting Hoyer over rookie Aidan O'Connell. Rather than giving the Purdue product another opportunity as the starting quarterback -- he started on Oct. 1 in a loss to the Chargers -- the head coach went with the veteran he was familiar with from his time in New England. He also doubled down on that decision after the game.
“I just made the decision to go with the veteran and try to go out there and play a solid game,” McDaniels said, via Reed at The Athletic. “I’m not going to second-guess that.”
But he should second-guess that. Garoppolo isn't the future. Hoyer certainly isn't the future. In fact, Hoyer had been 0-12 in his starts since his last win in 2016 when he made the start in Week 7. Now he's 0-13 over the past seven years or so.
The Raiders currently don't have a long-term future set at quarterback right now. There is no guarantee that O'Connell is not part of that... but they won't know that unless they give them opportunities. It's a small, small chance he could be a 25-year-old diamond in the rough that could offer answers for the future, something they should know is not the case with Hoyer (and probably Jimmy G as well).
Not giving O'Connell an obvious opportunity in this spot was a horrendous blunder on the Raiders part. And if Garoppolo should miss any more time, fans should be hoping it's not a mistake the organization repeats.