Having Jared Cook come alive in recent weeks in the passing game has been the best part of the Raiders’ season of late. He has been the security blanket that Derek Carr has always wanted. Frankly, Cook has never played better ball than he has with the 2017 Raiders. His transition to Todd Downing’s offense took some time, but is definitely bring out the best in him.
Cook has a few very favorable matchups in the passing game for the Raiders. Not having Dont’a Hightower available seriously hurts the Patriots in pass defense at the linebacker position. David Harris is better at stopping the run than the pass as he is in the twilight of his career. Though he can make plays, Kyle Van Noy could get picked to pieces by well-designed passion concepts by Downing.
Could Cook have a 100-yard receiving game? That is not out of the realm of possibility. Frankly, unless Amari Cooper catches a 45-yard bomb from Carr, it might be Cook who leads the Raiders in receiving in this game. Throwing the ball on the outside will be rough for Carr, given who the Patriots play at cornerback.
While the offense will go as Marshawn Lynch goes in the running game, one could argue that Cook is just as valuable in the passing game for the Raiders versus New England. We’re looking at favorable matchups for him. He could have seven catches for 85 yards and a touchdown versus this underwhelming Patriots defense.