This was thought to be likely, and now it’s confirmed to be true. The Oakland Raiders’ starting quarterback for their wild card game at NRG Stadium on Saturday afternoon is Connor Cook.
Cook, a rookie fourth round draft choice out of Michigan State, was a polarizing prospect leading up to the 2016 NFL Draft. Many pundits questioned Cook’s personality and/or leadership traits; whether that caused him to fall to the fourth round or not is anyone’s guess.
In any event, Cook hadn’t even dressed for a Raiders game this season prior to last week’s regular season finale; he was forced into the QB2 role due to Derek Carr’s season-ending injury. Then, when Matt McGloin went down with an injury of his own, Cook was pressed into action against a fearsome Broncos defense. Now the Raiders will be asking Cook to become the first QB in the history of the NFL to make his first career start in the postseason. No pressure there.
I suppose this is where I should trumpet the decided advantage this gives the Texans. Try as I might, however, and recognizing every game is unique, I shall not do so. Don’t forget the last time we felt reasonably optimistic about the Texans facing a rookie third-string quarterback. The game still has to be played, and the Raiders aren’t about to roll over.