Why Oakland Raiders Face Easier Matchup with Josh McCown Starting at Quarterback

The Oakland Raiders should send Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine a gift basket for his decision to start Josh McCown over Johnny Manziel at quarterback.

According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Northeast Ohio Media Group, Pettine officially declared McCown as the starter against the Raiders in Week 3. Manziel earned his first victory as a starter in Week 2, which equals McCown's win total in his last 11 starts.

Manziel didn’t light up the field in victory, but his play style presents greater difficulties for the Raiders defense in comparison to McCown.


Matchup with McCown

There’s more than just conventional logic that makes Pettine’s decision questionable. The 35-year-old journeyman quarterback turns the ball over at an alarming rate.

McCown ranks ninth in terms of total interceptions thrown between Week 1 of the 2014 season and Week 2 of the 2015 season.

As noted above, McCown has thrown fewer passes than the eight quarterbacks with higher interception totals and he played in a beneficial situation with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2014. He had two big targets at wide receiver, Vincent Jackson (6’5”, 230 pounds) and Mike Evans (6’5”, 231 pounds) but recorded 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

Now, he enters a situation with one explosive weapon on the outside in Travis Benjamin, who built a rapport with Manziel over the past two weeks.

The 13-year veteran left Week 1 with a concussion after throwing eight passes. He hasn’t developed an in-game chemistry with any of his receivers. Expect a lack of continuity in the Browns passing game for at least the first quarter as McCown familiarizes himself with the offense.


Matchup with Manziel

Here’s a look at one of Manziel’s touchdown passes against the Tennessee Titans...

About the Author