Rookie quarterback to start in Raiders-Texans playoff game


Matt McGloin had been the option for the Raiders, but his injury in Week 17 has opened the door for rookie Connor Cook to make his first National Football League start. With Carr out with a broken fibula and back Matt McGloin dealing with a shoulder injury, the Raiders must now rely on rookie Connor Cook to help them keep their season alive. Savage supplanted the ineffective Osweiler against the Jacksonville Jaguars on December 18.

Cook will be the third starting quarterback in three weeks, after MVP candidate Carr broke his leg against the Colts on December 24. Del Rio said that's not a concern.

This isn't the first time Osweiler and O'Brien have gotten into it this season. "I think when you watch the tape the way we do and show our players in the morning, I think they'll come away with confidence of what it can be".

Osweiler was so bad during the regular season that his lofty contract couldn't even stop him from getting benched. "I think I handled it much better this time than previously".

Osweiler said anything said during the game "stays between us" and whatever was said preceded a half that saw Osweiler lead three scoring drives without turning the ball over. The Texans will be starting Brock Osweiler, who has been arguably the least consistent and least affective quarterback all year. In that game, he passed for three touchdowns and 197 yards with a 105.9 rating.

However, if the Raiders win, Cook can technically say he's the first quarterback to win his first career start in the postseason.

"(I'm) gonna go out there and have fun, just let it all hang out", said Oakland's rookie quarterback. "That defense is pretty good and I thought, overall, he did a pretty solid job for a tough set of circumstances".

The challenge ahead for both teams is to make the best of the given roster components.

Pretty much anybody can get yards against the Raiders' defense, of course, which Osweiler & Co. did that after a slow start in that 27-20 Raiders victory in Mexico City on November 21. Side note: the Texan only has 15 passing touchdowns in 2016. No matter the quarterback, the Texans will need greater red-zone proficiency to produce positive results. Wide receivers Cooper (shoulder) and Michael Crabtree (ankle) have been limited in practice, as has Osemele, while Penn has yet to practice through Thursday. Now it's Connor's job to cook up a new Raiders recipe for success. But that isn't necessarily the measure for success at quarterback.

Interesting to note that Alabama was the third rated defense in the country that season and the Houston Texans have the NFL's number one rated defense this season. "For the first time to be out there, in a crucial situation, that's big".

While at Michigan State, Cook won more games than any quarterback in program history, going 34-5 in his career while leading the Spartans to two Big Ten championship game wins, victories in the Rose and Cotton bowls and a 23-2 mark against Big Ten opponents. "It's a great opportunity".