The numbers don’t tell it all, but Connor Cook was not all that bad quarterbacking the Raiders in the second half. Sure, he completed last than 50 percent of his passes for only 82 yards passing, but he did lead the Raiders into the end zone for their only touchdown of the game.
Cook knew that he wasn’t going to have the best day with his throwing mechanics. His release point was inconsistent, short-arming throws and missing some tight windows by a few feet. However, he battled and had a great feel of Todd Downing’s offense, particularly in his use of the running game.
This allowed Downing to get a bit more creative in play design, knowing that he could trust Cook to run a pair of well-executed end-arounds for big gains on an aggressive Cardinals defense. He had a good rapport with wide receiver Jaydon Mickens in the second half.
Being down 17-3 at the half with absolutely no life offensively would have been hard for many young quarterbacks to handle. Cook handled adversity well on Saturday night. He didn’t play well enough to lead the Raiders to a come-from-behind victory, but he illustrated that he can game manage without his best stuff against one of the better defenses in football in their place. That has to mean something, right?