(Photo by iSports Times)
When Oakland Raiders rookie quarterback Connor Cook substituted current second-stringer Matt McGloin in the third quarter of a Week 17 road matchup against the Denver Broncos after McGloin injured his shoulder, with McGloin having completed just six of eleven passes for a barely noticeable 21 yards, the Raiders not only downgraded but became anything but mistake-free.
Cook got himself sacked twice, threw an interception, and lost a fumble despite throwing one touchdown pass with his team down 24-0 in the third quarter. Still, with only six points coming from him and the Broncos, Cook’s play not only affirmed Denver’s elitism on defense but made it look better than it already was.
Denver allowed 18.6 points per game this season, including 17.9 points per game at home. With Cook’s six points appearing the second half only, based on averages, he would have caused Denver to allow just 12 points for the full game.
According to Raiders fans (and likely Skip Bayless), however, it was okay. He was inexperienced and playing his first game against an elite defense. Even idiots who never cared about the Raiders made proclamations like “Cook is more talented [than Brock Osweiler and Tom Savage]” and that the Houston Texans “will be lucky to beat a [third] string [quarterback].”
Except, in a talent-first league where a second-year seventh-rounder named Trevor Siemian unseats first-rounder Paxton Lynch and then first-stringer Mark Sanchez, fourth-round rookie like Dak Prescott (a player drafted after Cook) is a second-stringer before Tony Romo gets hurt; second-year sixth-rounder, David Fales, unseats second-stringer Jimmy Clausen, a rookie third-rounder named Russell Wilson beats out then second-stringer Tarvaris Jackson and first-stringer Matt Flynn, and undrafted rookie Brian Hoyer played directly behind Tom Brady, we should have known that Cook was untalented from the beginning.
He was not even good enough to unseat a player (McGloin) that failed to beat out a washed up veteran like Matt Schaub in Oakland. Schaub is so horrible that he not only lost his job to a second-round rookie, Derek Carr but has thrown three touchdowns versus six interceptions in his last six games with at least one pass attempt.
Let us not forget that Cook plays for an organization that drafted Tyler Wilson in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft and cut him before he ended up only appearing on the team’s practice squad, a rare transaction for a fourth-round rookie.
But when his preseason showed that he worsened not only after his senior and junior years at Michigan State, Cook should be thankful that the Raiders chose not to cut him the same way they cut Wilson.
In comparison to his junior year, he completed his passes at a rate that was 2 percent worse (56.1 percent) and threw one fewer yard per attempt (7.7) as a senior. In four NFL preseason games against second and third-string players, Cook completed just 55.4% of his passes for 368 yards and threw three interceptions but no touchdowns.
I understand that Osweiler has been a horrible thrower in 2016 and a fragile-minded player that caved under contractual pressure and worsened more after feeling slighted by the Broncos in 2015.
But repeatedly, everyone keeps failing to realize that football is a unison sport that requires a team to outscore its opponent while lowering its opponent’s scoring total. With Houston having a defense that allowed just 1.9 more points than Denver’s (20.5), beaten a team that beat Oakland twice, Kansas City, and being 7-1 at home, to not assume that Cook and the Raiders were going to struggle was the equivalent of not taking showers.
Cook was already going to be without Donald Penn at left tackle, and that helped Texans pass rusher Jadaveon Clowney intercept Cook in the first quarter and set up the offense to take advantage of another Raider flaw.
Oakland’s defense allowed averages of 24.1 points and 375.1 yards in the regular season (with and without cornerback D.J. Hayden). With Lamar Miller returning along with his average of 90.1 yards from scrimmage, he used his strengths and followed his coaches’ game plan against Oakland’s weaknesses and ran for a two-yard touchdown in the series after Clowney’s pick. Osweiler added more by completing 75 percent of his eighteen passes for 146 yards and throwing a touchdown pass to DeAndre Hopkins with 1:24 remaining in the first half.
Such a performance should have been no surprise as he already completed 66.7 percent of his passes versus Oakland in Week 11 in their Mexico City matchup. With the Texans’ improving offense, Cook’s ten of fourteen passes being incompletions and an interception, and a 20-7 halftime lead, déjà vu was destiny for the Silver and Black.
In the second half, Cook only had fourteen more completions out of thirty-one pass attempts and made things worse by throwing two more interceptions despite throwing one touchdown pass with the Raiders down 7-27 with 8:14 left in the fourth quarter. The Raiders never made it any better by allowing Osweiler to run for a touchdown and running back Jonathan Grimes to run for 28 of his 30 yards on three carries in the same period.
It is easy to ridicule Osweiler, and the Texans, for unimpressive play. But when the ridiculing comes from people in a country who they think they are so good at the onset, it makes me wonder if we should listen to them at all.
According to the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) Test, the U.S. scores higher than any other developed country in confidence level, a level so high that it was increasingly disproportionate to an area that we should be better in, math. Out of thirty-five countries participating in the PISA test, Americans ranked 31st.
When such people are a product of that kind of educational outcome, and more than likely supported Cook and the Raiders, they were going to skip basic statistics that made the Raiders and Cook look so horrible while ignoring statistical strengths of the Texans. Let us not forget that Osweiler’s struggles accelerated the schadenfreude of these low-lives. With that combined with these people’s unwarranted self-esteem levels, they might as well have called themselves Skip Bayless and confidently predicted a Texans playoff forfeiture.
Osweiler got $72 million for a reason, and when he got playing time in Denver and Houston while Cook never got meaningful playing time in practice or a game in Week 17, it actually shows that Osweiler has something that Cook and many Americans do not have: talent. It takes talent to average 4.4 yards per rush at quarterback, complete 59 percent of your passes, and have a better touchdown-to-interception ratio than Peyton Manning in 2015, something Cook never has done and will never do.
It takes no talent to study both teams because when all you need is basic research skills and common sense, there is and was no point in believing in the Raiders playing with Cook. Unfortunately, this moment will happen again, because when confidence in the U.S. is what only matters and nothing more than a disguise and misnomer for delusion, there is no point in listening to that person. After all, when people cannot differentiate being confident from being delusional, they are not even worthy enough to be called either adjective because, ultimately, they are something that they will never admit to being, just plain stupid.
Patriots Addresses Filming, Say Video Crew Filmed Sideline During Browns-Bengals Game
The New England Patriots are explaining themselves after a story hit the news wire, sparking a league investigation, saying that the team had filmed that their production crew inappropriately filmed the field and sideline during Sunday’s game between the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals.
According to ESPN, the Patriots’ crew was credentialed by the Browns to shoot video for a Patriots web series called “Do Your Job,” but the Patriots did not inform the Bengals or the NFL, which they called “an unintended oversight”, and led to the controversy that has dominated NFL headlines on Monday.
“The sole purpose of the filming was to provide an illustration of an advance scout at work on the road,” the Patriots said in an official statement. “There was no intention of using footage for any other purpose.”
The Patriots went on to say that the production crew, which included independent contractors who shot the video, is not part of the team’s football operation.
The NFL is currently investigating the incident and has a copy of the video, although they have not commented on the incident as of yet.
“They 100% know. All of our scouts, all of our video people and everything, they know what that is,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick told WEEI on Monday (h/t ESPN). “Again, I have nothing to do with the TV production shows and stuff like that. I have no idea what they do. Or what their projects are and everything else.
“As I understand it, they were videotaping him, trying to show kind of what an advance scout does, or something Iike that, I don’t know. You’ll have to wait to see the show I guess and see how it’s presented.”
The Patriots and videotaping isn’t something new, as they were punished by the NFL for videotaping the New York Jets’ defensive playcalls on the sideline during a 2007 game at Giants Stadium, a game in which they won, and an incident dubbed “Spygate”. The 2007 fiasco ended up costing the Patriots a 1st round draft pick in 2008, a $500,000 fine for Belichick and the team was orderd to pay $250,000 for the incident.
The Bengals, who flagged media relations and Bengals security staff after observing a videographer shooting the sidelines, play the Patriots this Sunday.
Browns’ Baker Mayfield Rips Training Staff Over OBJ Injury
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield is spouting off at the mouth again, and is taking aim at his own organization, specifically for the way that the training staff handled the injury of Browns’ superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr..
“I’d say that it wasn’t handled right,” Mayfield said, according to ESPN’s Jake Trotter. “He’s not able to run as well as he … should be able to, as well as he knows. And that’s frustrating for him. You can sense some of his frustration, where that comes from. It wasn’t handled the right way, in our training room. It is what it is. His not 100% is still good enough for us.”
Beckham reportedly has a sports hernia injury and is weighing offseason surgery to correct the issue that has been hampering him since training camp.
“I don’t really know,” Beckham said. “You have to ask the doctors if you have a chance to interview them. I really don’t know what to tell you.”
“I think it could’ve been addressed earlier on,” Mayfield said. “Looking back on it, obviously, hindsight is 20/20, he probably would’ve missed the first two [games]. One or two. Just based on the fact that it was during training camp. It is what it is. We’re here right now. It’s too late to do that. He’s fighting through pain; he’s playing through pain. That shows you the type of guy he is.”
Mayfield took to Twitter to issue an apology for his comments.
Those people within our building know my intentions and where I am coming from. I truly believe that and I apologize to those that don’t deserve the backlash…. today was a good team win. On to the next one.
— Baker Mayfield (@bakermayfield) December 8, 2019
Eagles’ Doug Pederson Upset After Loss to Dolphins
The Philadelphia Eagles are reeling after another loss, this time to the “tanking” Miami Dolphins, and yet another blow to their playoff hopes and chances to take the division crown.
The Eagles entered halftime with a comfortable lead only to see it evaporate in the second half with the Dolphins passing game and trick plays propelling them to an improbable 37-31 victory in Miami on Sunday.
Eagles’ head coach Doug Pederson wasn’t too thrilled with how things played out, especially after their strong start, saying he was “disgusted” and “angry”, mostly at himself, for the game.
During a radio interview with 94WIP in Philadelphia on Monday, Pederson said the Eagles “self-destructed” adding that they were now a “long shot” to make the playoffs after falling to 5-7 on the season.
“I’m disgusted, I’m mad, I’m angry and I’m probably more so mad at myself,” Pederson said (h/t ESPN). “Our discipline, our consistency, the lack of that that showed up in this football game, that’s on me. That’s on me. And that’s why I’m disappointed. I felt like and I think most people felt like we were the better football team.”
Pederson believes that the struggling Dolphins played harder than his team did on Sunday.
“That’s why I’m disappointed in that. They wanted this a little more than we did and they made the plays and we didn’t,” he said, also crediting the Miami staff for how well coached the Dolphins were.
Pederson was also miffed about the 10 penalties that the team drew.
“Having watched [the tape] again this morning, it’s not who we are, it’s not who I am as a coach, it’s not how we teach things,” Pederson said. “It starts with me and I have to fix things this week heading into the Giants game.”
The Eagles will now look to snap a three-game losing stream next Monday night when they play host to the New York Giants.
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