Quarterbacks Lamar Jackson (Baltimore Ravens) and Josh McCown (New York Jets) were named Week 12 starters by their respective teams.
John Harbaugh tapped Lamar Jackson to start a second straight week. Starting QB Joey Flacco is out with an injured hip, which occurred during a 23-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers two weeks earlier.
The Ravens host the Oakland Raiders. Even with a backup at the helm, the Ravens (5-5) are a double-digit favorite over the 2-8 Raiders.
In Jackson’s debut as a starter last week, the former Heisman Trophy winner guided the Ravens to a division win over the Bengals. During an impressive running performance, Jackson rushed for 119 yards on 27 attempts, or the most for any quarterback since 1960. Jackson also threw for 150 yards and an interception.
Rookie Gus Edwards also stepped up for the Ravens with 115 rushing yards. The Ravens end a three-game losing streak with a 24-21 victory.
Edwards and Jackson will face a Raiders team that allows 142.3 rushing yards per game, which is second-worst in the NFL.
Jackson’s start last week marked the fifth rookie QB from the NFL Draft Class of 2018 to start this season.
McCown Back in the Saddle
Backup Josh McCown, a 16-year veteran from Sam Houston State, is tasked with stopping the Jets’ current four-game losing skid.
McCown started against the Buffalo Bills last week. The Bills crushed the Jets 41-10, who sunk to last-place tie in the AFC East. The Bills sacked McCown three times and picked him off twice. He only threw for 132 yards and zero touchdowns.
McCown intended to retire after last season. His final season ended prematurely with a broken leg. The Jets brought McCown back, at $10 million, to help mentor their lottery pick.
The Jets traded up in the draft to acquire Darnold from USC. The rookie impressed coaches during the preseason, so much so that they tapped Darnold to start the opening game.
McCown backed up Darnold all season, but also acted as a confidant, big brother, and mentor.
Darnold is expected to return to the lineup next week against the Houston Texans.
The Age Game
The East Coast media are hyping the Patriots and Jets game as the Age Bowl. McCown, 39, and Brady, 41, are a combined 80 years old.
With McCown getting the start, the match up will be the second-oldest QB battle in NFL history.
“Our careers, other than age, there’s probably not a lot of similarities,” McCown joked with reporters. “But I can respect what he’s gone through year in and year out to get himself ready to play. Physically, mentally, and then the focus is takes to do that, is remarkable.”
Brady saw limited action in practice this week. The 41-year old vet is expected to play this week, and many more seasons.
Brett Favre and Vinny Testaverde hold the record with 82 combined years. In 2007, the two squared off with the younger Favre at 37-years old versus the 44-year old Testaverde.