Oakland Raiders: 5 players who helped themselves after Rams game

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 19: Johnny Holton
OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 19: Johnny Holton /
4 of 5
GLENDALE, AZ – AUGUST 12: Quarterback Connor Cook
GLENDALE, AZ – AUGUST 12: Quarterback Connor Cook /

Connor Cook. 2. player. 28. . Quarterback. Michigan State Spartans

After averaging less than four yards per attempt against the Arizona Cardinals last week, Raiders backup quarterback Connor Cook played well enough on Saturday to bring the battle between him and EJ Manuel back to life. Cook had a great 11-play drive that gave the Raiders the lead, while Manuel was all sorts of awful.

Manuel has more natural talent than Cook, but Cook has led the Raiders into the end zone twice this preseason to Manuel’s zero. Cook completed nine of 15 passes for 83 yards and a touchdown. His yards per attempt of 5.5 was better, as was his quarterback rating of 97.4.

While Cook wasn’t as electric as Raiders starting quarterback Derek Carr, he showed that he can keep his team in the game and play with poise from behind. Cook rarely had the ball sail on him. Everything that came out of Manuel’s hands was high and virtually uncatchable.

Many thought Manuel had locked up the No. 2 quarterback job in Oakland behind Carr. However, his horrendous performance on Saturday coupled with the great night from Cook has made this into an interesting quarterback battle heading into preseason Week 3 versus the Dallas Cowboys.