Veteran signal caller Josh McCown was a steadying presence Sunday during the Jets' 45-20 loss at Oakland. He kept the Jets in contention with some quality play over the first three quarters and he remained unflappable when the game got away from the visitors late.
"We're a young group coming together," McCown said. "That's a lesson we have to learn overcome and we'll do that. It's just part of it. It's our first time experiencing something like that as a group. It was disappointing because we battled back after a slow start, but one that we have to find a way to overcome."
McCown was an efficient passer, completing 68% of his attempts. He threw a pair of scoring passes to newcomer Jermaine Kearse and wasn't intercepted, but ultimately the Jets weren't able to keep pace with the explosive Raiders.
Top Photos from the Week 2 Matchup in Oakland
For a second consecutive Sunday, the offense failed to gain traction after kickoff as they were limited to one first down in the opening quarter. But facing a 14-0 deficit, McCown helped the visitors get back in the ballgame with a 10-point run.
Finding a good pocket as RT Brandon Shell angled off Pro Bowl defender Khalil Mack, McCown liked a 1-on-1 matchup with Kearse up the home sideline. Oakland CB David Amerson couldn't get his hands on a 34-yard scoring toss — Kearse's 1st TD with the Green & White. In the first half, McCown completed eight passes to *seven *different receivers and four roster newcomers.
"It was a matchup thing and something we had talked about during the week that we wanted to take advantage of," McCown said of his first TD pass to Kearse. "It's a credit to Coach Morton because he talked about it. They mix man and zone, but we felt like in a third and short situation, we could get them into man and maybe take a shot. We wanted to push the ball downfield."
With former A's/Yankees great Rickey Henderson in attendance, McCown did some stealing himself in the third quarter. Moments following a 9-yard scramble, McCown sprinted for 22 yards on a third-and-18. The offense was forced to settle for Chandler Cantanzaro's second field goal, a 40-yarder, after a delay of game penalty put the halt on a drive that reached the Oakland 17. But after cutting the deficit to 21-13, the Jets would get no closer.
Other than Kearse's first score, the offense was limited to a short passing game with McCown completing 11 of his first 15 passes for 88 yards. He lost a fumble after a strip-sack deep in minus-territory and the Raiders turned that takeaway into a TD, but the Jets were down 22 points prior to the switch in possession.
Displaying his mettle, McCown led a 10-play, 75-yard scoring march that culminated on an 11-yard rope to Kearse. The 38-year-old McCown, now with his 10th NFL team and who played with the Raiders in 2007, didn't have a happy homecoming. But he continues to add stability and leadership for a young team in transition.