The Las Vegas Raiders continued their winning ways with a 16-12 victory over the New York Jets. Rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell had his ups and downs, but overall was solid and did just enough. He finished with 153 yards, with more than half of those going to star receiver Davante Adams and a touchdown.
O’Connell also threw an early interception as Jets safety Jordan Whitehead jumped in front of a pass intended for Adams. The Jets would go on to take the lead on the ensuing drive with a field goal, but the play did not keep O’Connell down.
And it was this mindset and ability to move past that which stood out to Adams. The Raiders star receiver praised O’Connell for the poise he shows, noting that he may be a rookie in terms of years in the league, but he is far from that in how he acts and carries himself.
“It was impressive, man. He’s as cool as the other side of the pillow,” Adams said after the win. “Dude is not a rookie. By years he is, but by action, and like you said, that poise that he has in those type of situations, you don’t see that often from a rookie quarterback.
“Like I said last week, the way he commands the huddle, the way he talks to us, the communication and confidence. Throw a pick down there early on in the game and the way he bounced back is impressive. So, I’m glad he is our guy.”
One of the most important things for a quarterback is to have the belief in confidence from his teammates. If a quarterback isn’t confident, and doesn’t carry himself a certain way, the team can see that and it affects everything.
Adams and other Raiders have spoken highly of O’Connell since training camp and the team obviously believes in his abilities. That poise that he shows, never getting too high or too low and bouncing back from bad plays to continue to lead the team to victories just instills confidence in everyone in all facets. The defense plays harder because they know they still have a chance and special teams know that with just one play everything can change.
It still isn’t quite clear whether or not O’Connell is the Raiders’ quarterback of the future, but he is at least proving that he belongs in the NFL, and Davante Adams and the rest of the Raiders are backing him 100 percent.