Jarrett Stidham struggles as Raiders lose to Chiefs in Week 18 blowout

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Stidham struggles as Raiders lose to Chiefs in Week 18 blowout originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Jarrett Stidham played pretty well in his first career NFL start last week despite his team losing to the San Francisco 49ers.

Unfortunately for Stidham, he was unable to build on that positive momentum in Saturday's Week 18 regular season finale versus the Kansas City Chiefs at Allegiant Stadium.

The Chiefs cruised to a 31-13 victory to clinch the AFC's No. 1 seed and a playoff bye with a 14-3 record. The Raiders fell to 6-11 for a third-place finish in the AFC West division.

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After leading the offense to a field goal on its first drive, Stidham threw an interception in Raiders territory on the team's second possession.

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The Raiders drove deep down the field on their third possession, and instead of kicking another field goal, head coach Josh McDaniels decided to leave his offense out there for fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line. Stidham's pass intended for wide receiver Davante Adams fell incomplete.

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Stidham didn't fare any better on the Raiders' next drive. He was strip sacked on Las Vegas' 38-yard line and Kansas City recovered. The Chiefs kicked a field goal on their ensuing possession and went into halftime leading 24-6.

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The Raiders didn't score their first touchdown until there was 6:37 remaining in the fourth quarter. Stidham made a fantastic pass to wide receiver Hunter Renfrow for an 11-yard score on third down.

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Stidham completed 22 of 36 pass attempts for 219 yards with one touchdown, one interception and two fumbles (one lost). He also led the Raiders in rushing with 50 yards on seven carries. Stidham was sacked six times, too.

The Raiders have an interesting decision to make at quarterback during the offseason. They benched starter Derek Carr for the final two games to see what Stidham could do as QB1. Stidham was decent, but nothing earth-shattering, either. If the Raiders trade Carr over the next few months, they'll probably need to make an upgrade over Stidham to compete in a very competitive AFC West during the 2023 season.