Raiders at Chiefs 2023 Week 16: Studs and Duds

The Las Vegas Raiders played the role of the Grinch as they ruined Christmas in Kansas City. Here are the Studs and Duds from a huge Week 16 win over the hated Chiefs. 

Dec 25, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Jack Jones (18) returns an
Dec 25, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Jack Jones (18) returns an / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
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Dud - Raiders Offense and Aidan O’Connell

The Raiders offense this season has been one of the worst in the NFL. With the exception of the 63 point outburst against the Chargers and a big game against the Giants, the offense has struggled to score even 20 points in a game. We knew that the Raiders would not want to get into a shootout with the Chiefs considering the offense they had but we definitely did not expect this level of struggle from Aidan O’Connell and the passing game. 

O’Connell had one of the worst performances in Raiders history by a quarterback as he completed just nine passes for 62 yards. It got to the point where the Raiders completely removed O’Connell from the game plan and leaned heavily on Zamir White instead. The young quarterback was under pressure for much of the game and he did well not to make any costly mistakes, but he left several opportunities on the field to scramble for first downs or complete simple passes to extend drives. 

His receivers did not do him any favors as both Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow dropped passes over the middle which could have been big plays or drive extenders for the offense. However, we can’t put the blame solely on their shoulders as O’Connell was simply off target for much of the day. The only positive thing we can say about his performance is that he did not turn the ball over despite being under a significant amount of pressure.

We talked earlier in this article about how the Raiders should keep both Patrick Graham and Antonio Pierce, but in order for this team to truly succeed they need an upgrade at offensive coordinator and quarterback. We know that the offense was in a tough spot with a rookie QB playing in a tough environment, but we wanted to see more creativity and an effort to get the ball to Davante Adams. Hopefully the Raiders are able to get the QB they need this offseason and bring in a more experienced coordinator to run this offense. Perhaps Antonio Pierce can use his connections from his playing days to attract the right candidate. 

Things should be a bit easier the next two weeks for the offense as the Colts and Broncos are bottom five scoring defenses but we have seen enough to know that the Bo Hardegree and Aidan O’Connell partnership is not the future. It may be enough to make a playoff push this year but major changes are needed in 2024.