The Las Vegas Raiders have looked great in their first two preseason outings and racked up another solid win when they beat the Los Angeles Rams 34-17.
Josh McDaniels decided to give his starters some run in order to prepare for the upcoming 2023 season, but it was once again the backups that delivered the win for Las Vegas. Aidan O’Connell in particular has been one of the Raiders’ brightest spots, and he followed up his impressive NFL debut with another one as he recorded 163 passing yards and two touchdowns.
O’Connell has shown poise and accuracy from the pocket, delivering timely throws to receivers and keeping the chains moving. The rookie has drawn rave reviews from the coaches and his teammates, and now fans are getting a chance to see what he can do when he’s out on the field.
The Raiders went into the fourth quarter leading the Rams 27-17 but had a chance to put them away when they marched all the way to the red zone. From there, O’Connell found Kristian Wilkerson for a sweet touchdown via NFL:
A dime from Aidan O’Connell + a toe drag from Kristian Wilkerson = a @Raiders TD.
— NFL (@NFL) August 20, 2023
Even with pressure bearing down on him, O’Connell doesn’t panic and is able to find the throwing window to deliver the pass to Wilkerson who does well to stay inbounds deep in the end zone. It’s the kind of play that the coaching staff will happily show in the film room on what to do in that situation.
O’Connell has looked like the clear favorite to win the backup quarterback position over veteran Brian Hoyer and his second preseason example is another strong argument for his case. Although the Raiders are certainly hoping that Jimmy Garoppolo can stay healthy in 2023, they’ve got a little insurance in O’Connell who looks the part of an NFL signal caller.
Rich Gannon has high praise for Aidan O’Connell
O’Connell’s short NFL career has gotten off to as great of a start as anyone could have imagined and is even drawing praise from people like Rich Gannon.
After O’Connell’s debut against the San Francisco 49ers, Gannon explained what makes the rookie such a great quarterback and how he’s looking forward to seeing him develop.