OAKLAND -- By looking at the final score, you would never have guessed that the Oakland Raiders held a 13-10 lead over the Los Angeles Rams at half time Monday night at the Coliseum. Despite a one-sided final score, there were plenty of positives to take away for the Raiders, including the play of veteran tight end, Jared Cook.
Quarterback Derek Carr went to Cook early and often, helping the 31-year-old tie his career-high with nine receptions and set a new career-high with 180 receiving yards.
“Jared Cook came up huge today,” coach Jon Gruden said. “The nature of their coverages allowed us to get the ball to our tight ends and backs. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get more out of it.”
Los Angeles stymied the Raiders wideouts, holding Amari Cooper, Jordy Nelson and Seth Roberts to a combined 43 yards on five total catches. With the perimeter covered, Cook ran down the middle of the field and inflicted damage.
“We knew going into the game they were going to play a lot of man [coverage], so we knew we had matchups all across the board,” Cook said.
Carr targeted the 6-foot-5 tight end 12 times on the evening, including a 45-yard strike in the team’s opening drive that led to the Raiders only touchdown. Cook not only held onto the ball, but it took two and sometimes three Rams defenders to drag him down.
You can’t expect Cook to haul in 60 percent of the Oakland’s passing yards on a regular basis, but he’s proven over his 10-year NFL career to be a reliable offensive weapon. Monday against the Rams, he was a major bright spot.