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Can Raiders’ Connor Cook make franchise history?

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Oakland Raiders quarterback Connor Cook (8) fumbles in the second half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, in Denver. The Raiders recovered the ball. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Oakland Raiders quarterback Connor Cook (8) fumbles in the second half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, in Denver. The Raiders recovered the ball. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Connor Cook will boldy go where only one man before him has gone in the storied 57-year history of the Oakland Raiders.

Come Saturday in Houston at 1:30 p.m., the 23-year-old Cook will become just the second rookie quarterback in franchise history to start a playoff game. The Raiders have played 43 postseason games in their history and the only other time a rookie started came in 1991 when Todd Marinovich was under center.

Marinovich’s fateful start against the Chiefs came in under eerily similar circumstances to Cook’s expected start against the Texans. Long before Marinovich’s career and life spun out of control, he was a rookie first-round pick out of USC filled with promise. Like Cook, Marinovich threw his first NFL pass the week before the playoffs. Like Cook, Marinovich was impressive in a Raiders loss — very impressive, throwing three touchdowns in a 27-21 loss to the Chiefs in that Dec. 22 game in ’91.

Connecting the dots of the Raiders rookie quarterbacks, Cook also gave the Raiders reason for optimism in Sunday’s crushing loss in Denver by going 14 for 21 for 150 yards and a touchdown.

But this is where Raiders fans are hoping the similarities between Marinovich and Cook come to an end.

A week after getting his feet wet in ’91, a week later Marinovich was overwhelmed by the same Chiefs defense while throwing four costly interceptions in a 10-6 loss in Kansas City in the wild card round. Marinovich went 12 for 23 for 140 yards and also fumbled once. Not included in his woeful stat line was a locker room mirror that Marinovich broke with his helmet after the loss.

How will Cook respond to the pressure of being the first rookie in NFL history to make his first career start in the playoffs? And what about the task of playing on the road against the NFL’s top-ranked defense? Can Cook become the first Raiders rookie quarterback to ever win a playoff game? It’s probably safe to say the Raiders’ best chance of winning would be for their offensive line to turn in a dominating performance, and for their defense to make some plays against Houston’s Brock Osweiler.

On the other hand, a guy who knows a couple things about quarterback play seems to think an awful lot of Connor Cook!

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Jon Becker

  • CARR4MVP (baby Al)

    Dude cook aint sorry azz mcgloin get a clue

  • CARR4MVP (baby Al)

    Infact tune in here for the game we’ll go play by play

  • CARR4MVP (baby Al)

    “Assuming “

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    I’ll take Perry Fewell coaching DB’s as the replacement for Rod Woodson. Thanks in advance!

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2017/01/05/washington-announces-joe-barry-three-other-coaches-wont-return/

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    heck yes. welcome back!!

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    I think Penn will play. I do not want to see that scrub Watson at LT !!

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    Raiders, baby!

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    Cook’s reward for helping the Raiders win the Super Bowl? being traded to Cleveland … lol

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    awesome! Use the RB’s as decoys and throw it deep to Coop & Crabs!!

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    in other words, “give me more than 5 carries” …

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    exactly.. we need Cook to be a player and not turn the ball over

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    why single out Nelson? Sean Smith is the sucker giving up big plays every week!

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    stuff the run = win the game

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    Raiders at Texans

    MDS’s take: If Derek Carr were starting, I’d definitely pick the Raiders. If Matt McGloin were starting, I’d probably pick the Raiders. But with Connor Cook starting? A rookie who has never started an NFL game? I think I’m going to have to take the Texans. I don’t have much faith in the Texans’ quarterback, Brock Osweiler, either. But the Texans’ strong defense should make life miserable for Cook in what probably won’t be a very entertaining game, unless you enjoy watching overmatched quarterbacks.

    MDS’s pick: Texans 16, Raiders 9.

    Florio’s take: The easy take is, “Connor Cook? Riiiiight.” The more complex analysis is that Brock Osweiler, re-installed as the starter after playing poorly enough to get the hook, may be worse not better for the experience of being benched. And the team may not find much motivation in the reality that a win likely means a return trip to New England, where the Texans lost 27-0 to a team that lacked Tom Brady. Throw in lingering rumors that coach Bill O’Brien could be on the way out, and the Texans become a unexpectedly shaky proposition to advance.

    Florio’s pick: Raiders 20, Texans 16.

  • eastoaklandraider

    Are run defense hasn’t been good ALL season

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    Vic Tafur ‏@VicTafur 1h1 hour ago
    No changes on #Raiders injury report. Penn didn’t practice, Joseph limited (he’s playing) and Allen didn’t practice (but packed his bag)

  • eastoaklandraider

    Some of those plays that Sean Smith has given up Reggie Nelson was supposed to be helping over the top but he jumped a shorter route looking for an interception

  • Tony Daysog

    While I wont call McGloin “sorry”, his play sure was disappointing. It looked like he got gun shy and ducked a few times.

  • CARR4MVP (baby Al)

    Nelson has closed games out for us numerous time. I dont get these posts

  • CARR4MVP (baby Al)

    Hollas>McGloin

  • Tony Daysog

    Yeah . . . well, let’s see . . Holly Roller . . . Sea of hands . . . yeah, with the Raiders, there always a chance at winning. (But, we are asking a lot here, with Cook at QB: it is what it is).

  • eastoaklandraider

    Anytime Sean Smith gets matched up against a quick fast wide receiver it’s a mismatch and Reggie Nelson needs to give him help over the top Nelson failed to do that on many occasions and Smith looks very bad for it, not to absolve Smith from any blame because he’s definitely not playing up to par for the contract we signed him to.

  • Tony Daysog

    ” if Cook has a tremendous playoff run” . . let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. The only players that count this weekend are named Osemele, Penn and Hudson: eveything depends on them controlling the point of attack. it’s that simple: let’s not **rely** on Cook or hope he has a cape or something. Cook just needs to hand the ball off and, when passing, not make mistakes. Let’s not worry about him having a “tremendous” game. He just needs to show up, and let Osemele, Penn, and Hudson do their thing.

  • Aussie Raider

    Clowney punked our o-line last time if we can’t stop him we’re done.

  • Tony Daysog

    I think you’re right: he actually looks more like a safety. I wodner if the Raiders will switch Smith to safety in the future.

  • Tony Daysog

    There seems to be something incredibly immature (to say the least) about Aldon Smith. IMO: maybe the Raiders trade him for a late first round pick? Inredibly great talent . . . but if he can’t keep it together, then maybe it’s best jsut to move on and not risk disrupting the great chemistry that’s there.

  • Tony Daysog

    Thinking out loud: when Jeff Hostetler filled in for Simms and took them to a SB win, was Hostetler considered “exceptional” by any stretch of the imagination? I know he was fast — but other than that, I cant recall anythng special about Hsotetler when he was with the Giants. Maybe that’s the way to imagine Cook’s role this weekend: just be so so or “good enough”: just sit back and let Penn, Osemele, and Hudson take over and, if they dont, well, we gave it our best shot.

  • Carl weathers

    So has Aldon Smith been reinstated for NEXT year or is Goodell still dragging his feet?

  • CARR4MVP (baby Al)

    CSNAuthentic
    CSNAuthentic – Verified account ‏@CSNAuthentic

    Tiger Woods ‘heartbroken’ about Derek Carr’s injury, pulling for #Raiders in #NFLPlayoffs http://bit.ly/2hXBOib #NFL

  • CARR4MVP (baby Al)
  • nrwillick

    Case won’t be heard again until I think March 15th.

  • inonewordraider

    Pillagingjust4fun.com if interested

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    GM Raiders!!!!!! tomorrow is the big day, we ready ??

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    Will Cook make history?
    Most likely not but go Raiders!

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    YES!
    GO RAIDERS!!!!

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    Don’t think so.
    Cook has never started a game let alone a playoff game.
    The guy has physical talents though.

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    True.

  • marks hair

    You should just go to the pillagingjustforfun blog. This place is a ghost town.

  • CARR4MVP (baby Al)

    44m44 minutes ago
    Scott Bair ‏@BairCSN
    Khalil Mack, Kelechi Osemele represent Raiders on AP All-Pro first team. https://twitter.com/AP_NFL/status/817419956384124934

  • CARR4MVP (baby Al)

    Pro Football HOF ‏@ProFootballHOF
    Happy Birthday to Hall of Fame DE Howie Long! Long was selected to 8 Pro Bowls and won Super Bowl XVIII during his career w/ the @RAIDERS.

  • CARR4MVP (baby Al)

    Cook doubters will eat crow tomorrow

  • idahoraiderfan33

    Mack, Ose and King All Pro!! I would argue that Carr should be on that list, but wont.

  • idahoraiderfan33

    I not doubting him, he has legit talent..
    I am excited to see what he can do though..

  • idahoraiderfan33

    When do we know who wins COY, MVP, etc,etc

  • idahoraiderfan33

    Cook = 280 yards 2 TDs 1 pick

    RAIDERS win

  • idahoraiderfan33

    It don’t looking promising for Penn?! Crap!!

  • CARR4MVP (baby Al)

    24-10 Raiders

  • idahoraiderfan33

    BOOM!!

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    Raiders legend John Madden likes seeing the Raiders in the playoffs, regardless of how their championship chances changed with Derek Carr’s injury.

    “It’s good to see them back and have them back,” Madden told Sirius XM NFL Radio on Friday. “They’re on the right road.”

    A lot of hubub has been made, and reasonably so, of Carr’s seemingly season-ending broken fibula suffered on Christmas Eve. But Madden said that didn’t negate the Raiders’ success this season.

    “You still won 12 games,” Madden said. “I talked to (Raiders owner) Mark Davis about that the other night — that you can’t lose sight of the job that your team did, that coaches did, that the organization did, and then how well those players played.”

    Clearly Madden is impressed with the jobs GM Reggie McKenzie and coach Jack Del Rio have done.

    “There are certain teams in the NFL that football is good with they’re good,” Madden said. “Obviously they haven’t been there, but I think the Raiders are one of them.”

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)