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QB Luke McCown - New Orleans Saints

6-3, 212Born: 7-12-1981College: Louisiana TechDrafted: Round 4

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2015 Week 3 vs CAR (31 / 38 / 310 / 0 / 1 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)

McCown was efficient on his opening series against Carolina, completing six of seven passes mostly underneath the defense while spreading it around to four different offensive targets. The drive lagged in the red zone, however, and New Orleans settled for a field goal. McCown continued his high-percentage passing on the second drive, completing eight of eight passes before proceeding to ride the legs of Mark Ingram in the red zone for a much-needed touchdown. A series of penalties forced New Orleans into suboptimal down-and-distance on their third offensive possession of the first half, but McCown came within a yard of moving the chains with a 20 yard seam route to Ben Watson. They opted to punt from there. Overall, McCown's efficient short passing with only one incompletion led New Orleans to dominate time of possession in the first half, recording only three drives for 10 points that proved good enough for a tie at the break. McCown was in the midst of leading another promising New Orleans drive midway through the third quarter, continuing to work the short to intermediate areas of the Carolina defense when tight end Ben Watson coughed up the football. McCown's influence to bookend the third and fourth quarters was more limited as the Saints relied on their running attack, but they were forced to punt with a four-point deficit. He made some NFL-caliber throws on the New Orleans' lone second half touchdown drive, stressing multiple areas of the defense by connecting with receivers Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead, Marques Colston and C.J. Spiller before Khiry Robinson found the end zone. The successive two-point conversion on a designed rollout failed, however, which would mean New Orleans still needed a touchdown with less than five minutes to play. McCown and the Saints needed a touchdown on their final drive of the day, one in which he threw most downs and got down the field fairly effectively by relying on receiver Brandin Cooks. With about a minute left, however, McCown forced the ball to Cooks in the right corner of the endzone on a vertical route that brought back memories of Colin Kaepernick's ill-fated decision in 2013's NFC Championship Game. The loss was sealed from there, but McCown led the team to over 300 passing yards with only seven incompletions in a far less disjointed performance than expected. At the very least, he showed the ability to keep New Orleans' skill-position players afloat for as long as Drew Brees is sidelined.


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