Ex-Patriots QB Jarrett Stidham impresses in first NFL start vs. 49ers

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How ex-Pats QB Jarrett Stidham fared in first NFL start originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Is it officially the Jarrett Stidham era in Las Vegas?

With Raiders quarterback Derek Carr benched, the former New England Patriots quarterback made his first NFL start Sunday vs. the San Francisco 49ers. He took advantage of the opportunity with an impressive performance.

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Stidham, originally selected by the Patriots in the fourth round of the 2019 draft, gave the Raiders a chance to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Auburn product started off red-hot, completing 11 of his 14 passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns in the first half.

His third touchdown pass of the day came at the beginning of the third quarter. He joined Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes as the only two QBs to throw for three passing TDs in a game this season against the Niners' vaunted defense.

Stidham forced overtime with a clutch drive late in the fourth quarter. San Francisco kicker Robbie Gould missed what would have been the game-winning field goal at the end of regulation. But to start OT, Stidham threw an interception that allowed Gould to make up for his mishap and seal the 49ers' 37-34 victory.

Despite that costly miscue, Stidham's otherwise encouraging performance will get people talking. The 26-year-old finished 23-of-34 with 365 passing yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions for a 108.1 rating.

Here were his top highlights:

Stidham wasted little time making his presence felt. He opened the scoring with a 24-yard touchdown pass to tight end Darren Waller.

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His second TD of the day was a dime to superstar wideout Davante Adams, who made a spectacular grab in the back corner of the end zone.

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Stidham started the second half with another touchdown to Adams. This time, he rolled out to his left and found Adams, who took it the rest of the way for a 60-yard TD.

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The Raiders needed to score a touchdown on the two-minute drill for a chance to force overtime. They did just that, thanks in large part to Stidham's 45-yarder to Adams, who somehow made this ridiculous catch.

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Running back Josh Jacobs sent the game to OT with a rushing touchdown shortly after the Adams grab, but the Raiders couldn't finish the job.

Still, there's no doubt Stidham played well enough to leave some Patriots fans wondering what could have been had he been given a chance to start over Cam Newton back in 2020.