Oakland Raiders v. New York Jets: A Few Week Two X-Factors

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Taiwan Jones
OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Taiwan Jones /
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Oakland Raiders

Josh McCown

There are a lot of different words and phrases you can use to describe McCown and a lot of them wouldn’t necessarily be incorrect. Words like, journeyman. Career backup. Underwhelming. Preferable to Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg – but just barely. Golden Ticket to next year’s number one overall pick – you get the point.

The truth of the matter though, is that McCown has stuck around in this league as long as he has – fifteen years – not because he’s a pretty face, but because he has some modicum of talent. The breadth and depth of that talent can be discussed and debated, but the fact is, you don’t necessarily survive a decade and a half in the league if you can’t play just a little bit.

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McCown has had some truly awful games over his lengthy career – which is reflected in his 18-43 career mark as a starter. But he’s also had a few games here and there where he’s been pretty decent.

Just a few years back (2013) in fact, McCown went 3-2 as Chicago’s starter, completing 67 percent of his passes for 1,829 yards, and 13 touchdowns against just one interception.

But after parlaying that into a lucrative deal with Tampa, he went back to being Josh McCown and went 1-10 as the starter, completing 56 percent of his passes for 2,206 yards and 11 touchdowns against 14 interceptions.

The point though, is that McCown is as capable as any other quarterback in the league of getting into a rhythm and being able to put up some solid numbers. If he’s comfortable and has time, McCown can make some plays. And he has.
Which makes it double important for the Raiders to not let him get comfortable. To not let him settle into a rhythm. The defense needs to hit him early and often, get – and keep – him on the run all day long.

If the defense allows him to operate freely and from a clean pocket, he could very well make them pay for it.