QB Josh McCown, New York Jets
HT: 6-4, WT: 220, Born: 7-4-1979, College: Sam Houston State, Drafted: Round 3
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Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full ADP list]Overall: J Starks (169), J White (170), Josh McCown (171), D Walker (172), J Jones (173)
Position: A Smith (151-QB22), J Manziel (161-QB23), Josh McCown (171 - QB24), E Manuel (202-QB25), J Locker (207-QB26)
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Josh McCown was one of the hottest quarterbacks in the NFL in 2013 after taking over for an injured Jay Cutler in Chicago. Over the final nine games of the season McCown's passer rating of 109 was second to only Nick Foles, higher than Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, and Drew Brees. It was a career year for the previous journeyman McCown and he earned a new contract and chance to start in Tampa Bay. With similarly-sized targets Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans, McCown has a close reproduction of the weapons he flourished with in Chicago. At his best, McCown is a fearless downfield thrower, which fits well with Jackson and Evans.
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2013 Game Summaries
Week 7 - When McCown came into the game, no one expected much. The Bears were struggling on offense and McCown wasn’t exactly a hot commodity this summer when teams were looking for a backup. Yet on his first snap after Jay Cutler went down, when the pocket collapsed, McCown took off and dove forward for an 11 yard gain. It wasn’t the smartest play, but he wasn’t going to just roll over either. McCown had just one other possession in the first half, and it was to take a knee so they could go into the locker room. In the second half though, McCown came out and led his team down the field. He looked a little tentative at times, and held on to the ball too long a couple times, but the Bears were able to get into field goal range where Robbie Gould missed his first kick of the season – a 34 yarder just a bit to the right of the goal post. On the next series, McCown completed two quick passes for 30 yards, including a nice 22 yard catch and run to Alshon Jeffery. On the third play of the drive, Matt Forte took an inside handoff 50 yards untouched for a score and the dogfight was on. On the next series, McCown began by scrambling after being flushed out of the pocket. This time he slid for a 13 yard gain. Two plays later, he laid a perfect pass to Alshon Jeffery down the right side of the field for a big 28 yard gain. Brandon Meriweather helped with an unnecessary roughness penalty that sent Jeffery to the sideline but the Bears were able to punch it in at the start of the 4th quarter to tie the game again. Jeffery was back for the next series and McCown found him on a nice 20 yard pass down the right side again. Matt Forte was able to get the Bears down into scoring position, but the drive stalled and they had to settle for a field goal. With under 7:00 minutes to play, McCown hit two big passes in a row – a 28 yard catch and run to Brandon Marshall where Marshall was able to get great separation on his break and run away from the defense. On the next play, McCown hit Alshon Jeffery on a deep post. The defender went for the big hit rather than the tackle though, and Jeffery was able to avoid the impact and run for a big 35 yard gain. McCown hit Earl Bennett for a TD pass on the next play but it was called back for an illegal formation. After Brandon Marshall was pounded by Meriweather in the end zone, McCown found Martellus Bennett for the first time of the day for a TD that gave the Bears a short lead. It was for nothing though as the defense gave up another score and McCown ended the game with two check down passes and a sack as time expired.
Week 9 - Most people expected Green Bay to give backup QB Josh McCown a nightmare in this game. Yet McCown came into the game poised and ready to play. He worked most of the game from the shotgun, didn’t try to do too much, and worked his progressions well, finding the open receiver when he needed to and in one case, taking off for a big run when he couldn’t find anyone open. Right out of the gate, McCown came out throwing. He hit Brandon Marshall on a square in for 12 yards and two plays later, found Marshall again on a crossing route for a 19 yard catch and run. In fact, the first six plays of the game were pass attempts, and after a short four yard run from Matt Forte, McCown faced a heavy blitz from the Packers on 3rd and 6. McCown hung tough, stepped up and lofted a pass deep down the right side of the field where Brandon Marshall was working one-on-one. Marshall was held, yet still managed to come up with a great catch and put the Bears up right off of the opening drive. In the second quarter, McCown wanted to go deep, but the receivers were covered well. After going through his progressions, he found Matt Forte open over the middle and dumped the ball to him for a nice 30 yard catch and run. Two plays later McCown found Martellus Bennett on a medium crossing route, and hit him in stride. The big tight end rumbled 27 yards down to the one yard line, and Matt Forte scored two plays later. On the final drive of the first half, McCown took the Bears from their own one yard line all the way down the field before the drive stalled on the Green Bay six. On a key 3rd and 9 though, McCown took off around the left end after the play broke down and time was running out. McCown cocked his arm to throw it, but thought better, pulled it down and scrambled up the field for a bit 20 yard gain that gave the Bears 1st and goal from the six. They eventually settled for a field goal just before the half. In the second half, the Bears were a bit more conservative, running the ball with Forte a lot more than passing with McCown but they eventually fell behind and the Bears had to come back. On the final drive of the third quarter, McCown drove them down the field again, giving them first and goal at the six yard line. After a near miss attempt to Brandon Marshall, McCown found Alshon Jeffery working one-on-one to the right side of the end zone and hit him with a strike, throwing the ball high enough for Jeffery to go up and come down with it. In the 4th quarter, McCown managed to stay clean, not forcing the ball into coverage and happy to take what the defense gave him. He took the Bears on a long sustained drive from their 11 yard line, driving them 80 yards and chewing up almost nine minutes of game time, including the two minute warning and all three of Green Bay’s time outs. The Robbie Gould field goal sealed the win for McCown and the Bears.
Week 10 - Josh McCown came in for the final series of the game because Jay Cutler was hurting and ineffective. McCown didn’t take a single snap with the first team this week, but stepped in and led the team down the field for a touchdown and put them in position to tie the game and send it to overtime. McCown’s first pass fell short of Earl Bennett but his second pass connected for a nice 8 yard catch and run. However, the Lions were flagged for a helmet to helmet hit on McCown on the play and that added another 15 yards. McCown wasn’t rattled, though and kept the team moving despite strong pressure from the Lions. McCown didn’t blink an eye when Alshon Jeffery went out of bounds just short of the first down on 3rd and 13. He lined up on 4th and 1 and hit Brandon Marshall on a quick slant for a big 15 yard gain. He hit Jeffery on the next play with a 13 yard come-back, where Jeffery was able to get out of bounds and stop the clock after getting the first down. On 3rd and 6 from the Detroit 11, McCown was under pressure, but stepped up and rifled a pass to the left side where Brandon Marshall was working one-on-one. Marshall out—muscled his defender to gain position and made the catch to bring the Bears to within two points. However, the Bears had two chances to convert for two points and the game ended with that touchdown drive.
Week 11 - Josh McCown faced a pretty tough situation this week against the Ravens. The field conditions were terrible and the wind and rain had a huge impact when the ball was in the air. In fact, the Bears didn’t even attempt a pass in the third quarter. But McCown showed poise and kept things simple; staying close until the 4th quarter when he really came alive and helped the Bears win the game in overtime. Through three quarters of play, McCown stayed clean, keeping the offense simple and not throwing any interceptions. He finished the first half with just 84 yards passing. In the 4th quarter and overtime though, McCown really came through for the Bears. He opened the quarter with a nice 15 yard catch and run to Alshon Jeffery on 3rd and 6. It was a crossing route and the defense lost track of him in the bunch formation. McCown hit Brandon Marshall on the next play with a perfect 15 yard square out where Marshall kept his toes in bounds and made the big catch. Two plays later, he hit Jeffery on a 15 yard curl that could have been a bigger gain but Jeffery slipped as he turned to break up field and lost his footing. Three plays later on 2nd and 11, McCown dumped it to Matt Forte when the deeper receivers were covered. Forte got great down-field blocking and powered his way into the end zone after breaking 3 tackles and dragging a defender with him. In overtime, McCown hit Jeffery on a key 3rd and 9 – it was the same crossing route that the Ravens blew in the 4th quarter and again Jeffery was wide open for a 15 yard catch and run. On the next play, McCown had great protection and hit Martellus Bennett as he broke straight up the right hash mark for a big 44 yard gain. McCown threw it high where the big 6’8” TE was able to use his size and athleticism to come down with a big catch, setting up the game winning field goal.
Week 12 - Josh McCown was under constant pressure from the St. Louis front four, but he hung tough and delivered some key throws in this game. He was frequently pressured and had to step out of the pocket, or scamper before making a throw to an open guy, only to be pounded to the turf after he let go of the ball. He had a couple incompletions on the day where the defense hit him as he threw the ball, and it fell short of the intended receiver. The fumble late in the 4th quarter was another case where the defense beat the offensive line and was able to chop the ball out of his hands as he went to throw it. In general though, McCown kept the offense moving and worked the short and medium passes to perfection, setting a franchise record with 36 completions in a single game. In the first quarter, McCown had a series of short, crisp passes that were completed for minimal gains, but kept the chains moving. On Chicago’s second series (the first ended in a fumble on the first carry), McCown capped the drive with a one yard TD pass to Martellus Bennett. Bennett was working one-on-one on the left side, ran to the one yard line, turned around and the ball was there. Bennett out-muscled the smaller defender to push the ball across the goal line, giving Chicago their first TD of the game. McCown opened the second quarter with a shot dump to Matt Forte on 3rd and 2. Forte made the first defender miss, and broke the ball up field for a big 12 yard gain. It was his longest pass of the day to that point. On the next series, after McCown was flagged for intentional grounding, the Bears faced 3rd and 22. McCown threw a jump-ball down the left sideline to Brandon Marshall and it was intercepted. However, the Rams were flagged for Illegal contact and the Bears were given another chance. Several plays later, the Bears faced 3rd and 2, and the Rams blitzed. McCown rolled out and as being chased, but flipped the ball to Brandon Marshall in between three defenders for an 11 yard gain and a 1st down. On the next play, McCown threw a perfect pass to Martellus Bennett on a crossing route. McCown dropped the ball over the line-backers, in front of the safety and Bennett made the catch in stride, tearing up the defense for a big 37 yard gain. The drive led to 2nd and goal from the 3 – where Marshall lined up on the left side, cut across the goal line toward the middle, then suddenly wheeled and broke back to the Pylon. McCown hit him on his outside shoulder, where the defender had no chance to make the play and Marshall had Chicago’s second TD of the game. In the third, McCown continued to work the short and medium passing game, before hitting Brandon Marshall on back to back 20+ yard completions. The first was a deep crossing route where Marshall was able to go up big and make the catch. The second was a broken play where McCown was under pressure, scrambled, directed Marshall to the open field and then hit him in stride for a 23 yard catch and run. However, the drive ended shortly after that and Chicago wasn’t able to score. In the 4th quarter, McCown completed all 12 of his first 12 passes, including three back-to-back-back plays to Earl Bennett just before the two minute warning. However, his 13th pass was a short slant to Alshon Jeffery and it was picked off when the defender jumped the route, essentially ending the game for Chicago.
Week 13 - Josh McCown had a solid game for the Bears, despite the fact that they eventually lost the game. McCown continued to do a fantastic job filling in for Jay Cutler, making solid throws, keeping the offense moving and taking advantage of big plays when they were available. The Vikings frequently blitzed and with a little extra help blocking, McCown was able to find the open man, making several nice throws when he had time. However, he and the Bears couldn’t consistently convert on third down, and the 2 of 11 rate eventually cost them the game. The opening drive of the game ended with a tipped pass on 3rd and 1. The second drive died on 3rd and 9 with a pass that was just out of reach of Martellus Bennett. The third drive ended with a 16 yard catch and run on 3rd and 18. At least Chicago was able to get three points on that drive. Both the fourth and fifth drive ended in similar fashion, with another field goal giving them six points for the half. In the third quarter, McCown made some big-time throws to Alshon Jeffery, leading to two big scores and finally putting the Bears up by 10 going into the 4th quarter. The passes were solid throws, and Jeffery is clearly a solid talent who made great catches both times. McCown threw a beautiful stove-pipe type pass to Matt Forte late in the third as well, where the defender had no chance despite solid coverage and Forte was able haul in the pass for a 26 yard gain. However, in the 4th quarter, the conversions began to fall short again. McCown missed a short slant to Brandon Marshall on 3rd and 4. On the next series, he tried to shovel pass to Matt Forte to avoid a sack, and the ball was tipped back to Kyle Long who was then stripped, giving the Vikings the ball deep in Chicago territory. On the next series, McCown didn’t attempt a pass and the Bears were stopped twice needing only 1 yard for the first down. After a big return from Devin Hester with the game tied, McCown took a sack to start the desperation drive and the Bears elected to try a 66 yard field goal rather than risk throwing a long bomb. In overtime, Chicago’s first possession ended with a sack and strip, where McCown had the ball knocked out of his hands on 3rd and 11. On the final possession of the game, Matt Forte carried them into position, but Robbie Gould couldn’t come up with the game winning field goal. McCown’s lack of overall success was probably due to the strong pressure from the Vikings from the edge and from the blitz. Yet the Bears turned in a ton of points and had some great plays in the third quarter, only to come up short in the end and lose the game.
Week 14 - Josh McCown took full advantage of a battered Dallas defense, and basically picked the Cowboys apart the entire game. McCown took what the Cowboys were giving him, avoided the pressure with smart check downs, and pushed the ball deep every time the Cowboys tried to stack the box against the run. On their only drive of the first quarter, McCown found Earl Bennett all alone in the end zone on third and goal from the four. Bennett lined up in the slot, ran into the end zone and turned around. The Dallas defense completely ignored him, and there wasn’t a Cowboy within 3 yards of him when he made the touchdown catch. On Chicago’s next drive, McCown led them down the field and again faced a key third and goal from the seven yard line. McCown dropped back to pass, but when the defense also dropped into coverage, McCown stepped up in the pocket, and then slipped through the lineup the middle. He scampered seven yards, slipping one tackle before diving into the end zone, taking a hard hit but holding on to the ball for the touchdown run. McCown led the Bears to a field goal on the next drive, and took over Chicago’s final possession of the first half with less than a minute to play. McCown completed three of his first four passes, and with 17 seconds to go, had Chicago at the Dallas 25 yard line. McCown basically threw a jump ball to Alshon Jeffery in the back right corner of the end zone. Jeffery put his big arms up, and made a great catch over two defenders, getting both feet into the end zone as he came down, giving Chicago a 24-14 lead at the half. To open the second half, McCown led the Bears to another field goal, and had them knocking on the door again with their second possession. With second and goal from the four yard line, McCown faked the end around to Alshon Jeffery and then rolled out to his right. When the defense came up to pressure him, he flipped the ball to Matt Forte in the flat and Forte was able to power his way into the end zone for McCown’s 3rd TD pass. McCown hit Brandon Marshall on a short square in for the two point conversion as well, putting the Bears up by 21 points. But McCown wasn’t done yet. On the opening play of the 4th quarter, he hit Brandon Marshall over the middle on a 22 yard square in. The Cowboys were flagged for unnecessary roughness and on the next play, sent a strong blitz, trying desperately to prevent another score. But McCown was calm and swung the ball out to Michael Bush in the right flat. With blockers in front and the defense behind him, Bush rumbled 17 yards for the touchdown, giving McCown his best game of the season. Up 42-14, Chicago just ran the ball for the rest of the game, and the Bears came out with a big victory on a cold Monday night.
Week 16 - McCown came into the game during garbage time and basically handed the ball off to Michael Bush for the final eight minutes of the game. He only attempted passes when the Bears were facing passing down and distance. He completed two of his passes for 20 yards.