Josh McCown came out of retirement in mid-August to pursue a Super Bowl ring. His journey fell three games short of achieving that lifelong goal.
McCown was forced into action on Sunday evening after a vicious and controversial cheap shot knocked Carson Wentz out of the Eagles-Seahawks wild-card playoff game. Wentz’s first postseason start lasted just nine total snaps before giving way to his 40-year-old backup.
When McCown took his first snap — with 1 minute, 29 seconds left in the first quarter — he became the oldest quarterback in NFL history to make his playoff debut. The journeyman quarterback had played for 11 different NFL teams, only sniffing the postseason one other time as a backup for Carolina in 2008.
This was his first taste of the NFL playoffs. The 17-year veteran was literally in tears as he tried to put what had just transpired in perspective.
“When you come into a game and put everything you can into trying to win the game and it doesn’t get done, it’s painful,” McCown told reporters after the game in an emotional press conference. “From my standpoint, it feels like as a quarterback you want to do more. You feel like you let people down. It’s a sick feeling.”
McCown was efficient as a game manager for the Eagles but it wasn’t enough to secure the victory. He finished the game 18-of-24 for 174 yards for a 94.8 passer rating. On the Eagles’ final drive, on a crucial 4th-and-7 from the Seahawks’ 10-yard line, he couldn’t find an open receiver and took an unnecessary sack. Game over.
“We had an audible on the play, and we alerted it,” McCown told reporters, via EagleMaven. “If it didn’t get communicated clear enough, that’s on me. We didn’t get it done. They did a good job covering the guys we wanted, and I tried to step up to buy a little time and hopefully get something open. We just didn’t get that done.”
McCown Ponders NFL Future after Emotional Loss
Make no mistake, Josh McCown left it all out on the field. Everything he had, every drop of sweat and each breath of charisma.
The backup quarterback mentioned that he felt like he let “people down” in his post-game remarks. Not true. In fact, McCown had morphed into one of the feel-good stories of 2020 in recent weeks and Sunday’s performance only enhanced that image.
The 40-year-old felt invigorated in Philadelphia, playing under a coach only 11 years older than him, in a city that rewards passion with passion. McCown loved every minute of it.
“I’ve had the time of my life. I told those guys [in the locker room], I’m so thankful. I’m so thankful that they called me,” McCown told reporters, via Bleeding Green Nation. “I’ve chased this my whole career.”
Will the chase continue in 2020? It’s anyone’s guess. There has been speculation that McCown might seek a job as a coach somewhere.
“As far as the future goes, we’ll see. I haven’t made any decisions yet,” McCown said. “I’ll get with my family and talk with them. I retired once, so I know how to do that. We’ll just see. I don’t know yet.”
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