HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — First-time starting quarterbacks often have big games, but as opposing defensive coordinators acquire more video, the QBs’ weaknesses tend to be exposed.
That is Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Jarrett Stidham’s next challenge.
After passing for 365 yards and three touchdowns in his starting debut, Sunday’s 37-34 overtime loss to San Francisco 49ers, Stidham will face a Kansas City Chiefs team Saturday that has video the 49ers’ staff didn’t have the luxury of studying.
Raiders coach Josh McDaniels acknowledged Monday that Stidham might have to make some adjustments, but said the 49ers threw pretty much everything they had at him.
“They blitzed him yesterday, they disguised yesterday, and then didn’t blitz, they showed blitz and dropped it,” McDaniels said. “They did all that stuff yesterday. So he saw a lot of different things yesterday and I think did a decent job of handling most of them the right way. But yeah, the more film you have, the more chances the defense and defensive coordinators and the defensive staff has to try to disrupt you.”
Stidham threw two interceptions, but they weren’t completely his fault. The first came off a batted pass at the line of scrimmage, and the second happened when 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa bull-rushed left tackle Kolton Miller into Stidham as he was delivering the ball.
Stidham received his first career start after nine-year veteran Derek Carr was benched last week. As the Raiders move on from Carr, Stidham gave the Las Vegas brass something to think about regarding his future at that position.
Stidham can help his bargaining power with another strong performance against the Chiefs, be it with the Raiders or another team on the open market. He is in the final season of a four-year deal.
McDaniels said Stidham became a locker room favorite quickly after being traded from New England in May.
“You’re trying to compete to win a job and to play and all that, but you’re willing to take time to help others,” McDaniels said. “I think everybody has seen him do that from the minute he got here. He’s a really good person, works hard, and has been very patient, too. Obviously, he sat and watched a lot a lot of football in the few years that he’s been in the NFL. I think there are a lot of people yesterday that were happy that he had an opportunity and then made the most of his opportunity.”
Get the ball to wide receiver Davante Adams and good things tend to happen. He made two of the day’s best catches, one in the end zone in which he barely kept both feet inbounds and a 45-yarder he snagged before hitting the ground that set up a TD. Adams also got behind the Niners defense for a 60-yard TD, finishing the day with seven receptions for 153 yards. He passed Tim Brown for the Raiders’ single-season record with 1,443 receiving yards.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
The Raiders don’t know how to handle prosperity. They have lost five games after leading by double digits in the second half to set a NFL record. Las Vegas did it again Sunday, going up 24-14 early in the third quarter before the 49ers rallied. If the Raiders had been able to hold just a couple of those leads, they would be in the middle of the playoff race.
Stidham. See above.
Las Vegas’ defense has struggled all season, and multiple injuries certainly haven’t helped. Addressing the deficiencies on that side of the ball will be among the top priorities in the offseason for McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler.
RB Josh Jacobs (oblique) was injured on the first drive against the 49ers and went to the locker room, but returned to finish with 69 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries.
“There was a couple times he came out yesterday I thought they were going to tell me, ‘See you on Monday,’” McDaniels said. “And the son of a gun keeps going back in the game. So I don’t put anything past JJ.”
3 — Stidham became the third quarterback to complete at least five passes for 20-plus yards in the six seasons Kyle Shanahan has been San Francisco’s coach. The others were Buffalo’s Josh Allen and Miami’s Ryan Fitzpatrick, both in 2020.
The Raiders finish their season Saturday at home against the Chiefs, who are playing for the AFC’s top seed.
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