Following an improbable 16 seasons in the NFL, quarterback Josh McCown announced his retirement on Monday in a piece for The Players’ Tribune. He played for seven teams during his pro career, including the past two seasons for the New York Jets.
Among the 99 games he played in professional football, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to assume that McCown has faced sets of related players throughout the NFL. Some sets of brothers and cousins, but probably not a father and son combination. McCown didn’t play that long in the league.
Yet with twin brothers Devin and Jason McCourty currently playing in the NFL, both with at least nine professional seasons on their résumés, did McCown actually face each McCourty twin? As it turns out, yes. Not only that but as McCown revealed in a Twitter response to the brothers, he’s thrown interceptions to each of them.
Even more amazing is McCown’s claim that he threw an interception to each McCourty brother in consecutive weeks. Is this possible? Indeed it is.
Pats Pulpit’s Oliver Thomas wrote a piece last year about the NFL quarterbacks who have thrown interceptions to both of the McCourtys and discovered that McCown really did throw a pick to each brother in back-to-back games. (Hat tip to NBC Sports Boston’s Jacob Camenker!)
The games were played during the 2017 season. On Oct. 8, McCown was picked off by Jason McCourty in the second quarter, then playing for the Cleveland Browns. The following week, on Oct. 15, Devin McCourty intercepted McCown for the Patriots in the third quarter.
In a further coincidence, both interceptions were thrown short to the left side. Note to NFL quarterbacks (well, to Josh McCown, at least): Don’t go short and left on the McCourty twins. (And as you can see in the video above, the throw to Devin McCourty wasn’t short in terms of actual distance, but in yards past the line of scrimmage.)
Maybe this shouldn’t be a complete surprise. McCown threw 82 interceptions in his NFL career. That leaves plenty of picks to go around. Still, it’s an intriguing curiosity that twin brothers were among those who notched those interceptions. And to do so in back-to-back games makes the occurrence even more interesting.
Again with a hat tip to Pats Pulpit, here is the list of QBs joining McCown in the “Picked Off by Both McCourty Brothers Club”. (Thomas’s name of “The McCourty Seven” is catchier.)
- Ryan Fitzpatrick – five interceptions; four by Devin, one by Jason
- Joe Flacco – four interceptions, two by each McCourty
- Ben Roethlisberger – three interceptions; two by Jason, one by Devin
- Mark Sanchez – three interceptions; two by Jason, one by Devin
- Philip Rivers – two interceptions, one by each McCourty
- Brock Osweiler – two interceptions, one by each McCourty
After their NFL careers are over, perhaps the McCourty twins can invite the quarterbacks who threw interceptions to both of them over for a barbecue. At least go out for drinks together.