Las Vegas Raiders: 2023 NFL Quarterback Controversy?

2023 NFL Quarterback Controversy. Why there might be a quarterback controversy with the Las Vegas Raiders in 2023/24.

By Senior Airman Megan Estrada -, Public Domain,

Aidan O'Connell had his second good game in the 2023 NFL preseason. On Saturday, the Las Vegas Raiders defeated the Los Angeles Rams 34-17. O'Connell was 11 for 18 in the game, he threw for two touchdowns, and he didn't throw an interception. Among the five QBs that appeared in the game, O'Connell had the best passer rating, even though Jimmy Garoppolo played. Garoppolo is the QB1 for the Raiders but you have to wonder if there might be a QB controversy brewing in the desert.

The game on August 19th was a good follow-up for O'Connell to his first preseason game. Incidentally, of the five quarterbacks that appeared in Las Vegas's Week 1 game in the preseason, O'Connell had the best passer rating in that game too (117.8).

According to the ESPN depth chart for the Las Vegas Raiders, O'Connell is the team's QB3. However, the way he has looked, it would not be surprising to see him as the QB2 on opening day. Levi Damien, a writer at RaidersWire, headlined on Saturday after the game: "Raiders Rookie QB Aidan O'Connell continues strong case to back up Jimmy Garoppolo" (Aug. 19, 2023). For sure, Brian Hoyer, the current QB2 who is 37 years old, won't be holding off a shiny rookie. Vegas, we can assume, will make O'Connell their QB2 based on his play in the preseason.

Betting odds on O'Connell to win Offensive ROY

O'Connell is 100 to 1 with Unibet for Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. For him to compete for that award, a lot has to go right for him. Mainly, he would have to keep playing well and do it in the regular season. At present, that looks improbable simply because it's hard to picture Vegas awarding him starts.

The quarterback position in Vegas has to be considered Garoppolo's to lose. Teams that are trying to compete just don't take chances on rookie quarterbacks until the veteran gets injured or slumps.

Garoppolo will be 32 years old this season. If he does lose starts in 2023/24, then it would likely be due to injury as opposed to a dip in form. He has never been a savior of a quarterback but he has been very dependable over the years. Yet, he has struggled to stay off of the injury report in recent seasons.

When it comes to betting on O'Connell for Offensive Rookie of the Year, bettors, at this point, should only be aware of his betting odds. They are really long at 100 to 1 with Unibet. However, he's basically blocked from the award so long as he is the team's QB3.

Final Thoughts: Keep O'Connell in Mind

But if you are reading news in the future and learn that he is being promoted to QB2 then you want to start looking at Garoppolo's situation and the Vegas situation. If they are losing and/or if Jimmy G isn't playing well, then Vegas might go to O'Connell. You'll want to stay on top of the news affecting his chances of playing as well as his betting odds for NFL awards.

Further reading: NFL Most Interceptions 2023