Raiders News: Jarrett Stidham Focused On Week 18 Matchup Against Chiefs Versus Offseason

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The Las Vegas Raiders were officially eliminated from playoff contention after losing to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 17, though they did get a breakout performance from Jarrett Stidham.

Prior to the matchup, head coach Josh McDaniels made the controversial decision to bench Derek Carr in favor of Stidham, though that might have been the correct decision after all. In his first career NFL start, Stidham completed 23 of 34 passes for 365 yards and three touchdowns. He also showed off some of his mobility, rushing seven times for 34 yards.

With a performance like that, it seems like Stidham has a future in the league though there is some uncertainty as he is set to become a free agent in the offseason. Regardless of this fact, Stidham remains focused on the Raiders’ Week 18 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs.

“I mean I’m just focused on this week, focused on – we have I guess really three and a half days left of the season, four days of the season left and that’s really all I’m focused on, doing the best that I can for the guys in the locker room, doing what my role is, what my job is. That’s all I can really do right now and just try and give my best effort the next four days and leave it all out there on the field on Saturday.”

The Chiefs have historically owned the Raiders when the two teams match up, though most of the games came with Carr under center. It’s a momentous ask for Stidham to try and keep pace with Patrick Mahomes, who is having an MVP-caliber season, though he seems unfazed given the adversity he already faced in his first game as a starter.

Stidham did well to move the ball around and find his playmakers, particularly Davante Adams, who exploded for 153 yards and two touchdowns on seven receptions. The fourth-year quarterback also has a strong running mate in Josh Jacobs, who has been one of the best backs in the NFL during the 2022 season.

While it might seem improbable for Stidham to lead the Silver and Black to a win over their division rival, another strong individual performance would force the Raiders front office to seriously consider his candidacy for the starting job in the 2023 season. The long-term answer at quarterback seems murky right now, but Stidham has definitely put himself on the radar, and it’ll be interesting to see how he performs in the regular season finale.

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