In Connor Cook’s first NFL playoff start (which also happened to be his first career start, period), the former Michigan State quarterback and 2016 fourth-round Raiders draft pick was not very good. He threw for 161 yards on 18-for-45 passing, averaged just 3.6 yards per throw, and finished the game with a passer rating of 30.0. He was never going to be as good as injured MVP candidate Derek Carr, especially against the Texans’ top-ranked defense, and his receivers didn’t do him any favors by dropping passes all night; Michael Crabtree, who should have been a boon for the rookie QB, exited in the second half to be evaluated for a concussion.
But Cook wasn’t just worse than Carr or original Carr-backup Matt McGloin, who went down with a shoulder injury in Week 17, would have been. He was a human punch line, providing endless fodder for snarky jokes in his team’s 27–14 loss. Here are some possible Cook-based headlines to look for in tomorrow’s sports pages:
- Connor Cook-ed in First Ever Start
- Not Enough Cook-s in the Kitchen for the Raiders
- Connor and the Raiders Not Invited to the Playoffs’ Second-Round Cook Out
- Connor Not Cook-ing With Gas in Playoff Debut
- No Home Cook-ed Meal for Connor and the Raiders in Houston
- Raiders Don’t Like What Connor Cook-s Up in Matchup Against Texans
- Raiders Quarterback Tastes a Bit Over Cook-ed, Says Oakland Fans
- Do You Smell What Connor Is Cook-ing? (It’s a Playoff Defeat)
- Cook Proves to be a Con(nor) Artist in Wild-Card Game Against Texans
- Connor Hoped to Cook Texans, Couldn’t Even Start Fire
- Texans Defense Does the Cook-ing Against Connor and the Raiders
- Connor and the Raiders Offense Cook Up a Stinker
- Raiders’ Goose Gets Cook-ed in Houston
Connor Cook is not the best NFL quarterback, but he’s definitely the best one for headlines.