Raiders vs Vikings 2023 Week 14: Studs and Duds

The Las Vegas Raiders put on one of their worst displays in team history as they were shut out at home by the Minnesota Vikings. Here are the studs and duds from a terrible loss in Week 14. 

Minnesota Vikings v Las Vegas Raiders
Minnesota Vikings v Las Vegas Raiders / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
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Raiders Dud – Aidan O’Connell

For a few weeks now we have had rookie quarterback Aidan O'Connell in both the stud and dud category but this week he is firmly entrenched as perhaps the dud of the week. It was not all his fault as the offensive line struggled mightily but O'Connell finished the day going 21 for 32 for 171 yards and no touchdowns.

 We knew that his lack of mobility was always going to be a concern, but it was a glaring issue against a Minnesota team that likes to bring pressure. There were several times where O'Connell was blitzed and he either did not feel the pressure coming or simply did not have the athleticism to escape from the pocket and extend plays.

It got to the point where fans were openly calling for Jimmy Garoppolo to play because, despite his passing struggles, he has been able to make several plays with his feet this season including a game-winning scramble against the Broncos in week one.

Despite all these struggles and issues on offense, O'Connell still had a chance to redeem himself as the Raiders got the ball with just under 2 minutes to go and one time out. They needed just a field goal to tie things up or of course a touchdown to win it, but instead he threw a terrible interception on the first play of that drive and the game was over. It was the perfect cap for a performance that doesn’t look that bad on paper but was horrible to watch.

If anyone had any doubts about O’Connell not being the long-term answer in Las Vegas, then this game should have been the final nail in that coffin. We still think that he will be a very good backup for this Raiders team and will help whoever they bring in the offseason by competing, but his ceiling appears to be a career backup and not a starter.

O’Connell gets his chance for revenge against the chargers in a few days and it's likely that the Raiders will continue to roll with him over Garoppolo so the latter’s injury guarantee does not kick in. At this point, Raider fans should hope that the team sticks with O'Connell for the rest of the season as he can lead the team to a top five pick in the draft.