Josh McCown and Ryan Fitzpatrick, set to start at QB against each other in Sunday's Jets-Buccaneers game, are treating each other like the senior Southwestern gentlemen they are.
"Yeah, we have the league covered between me and Fitz," McCown said. "The funny thing is both of us having history with the opposing team, so yeah, it's a unique thing, but it's part of this business. I'm sure he'll play good football, so we have to focus on our end on what we have to do, and it'll be a fun matchup."
"I know he's done some good things and obviously their record is much better than our record so it's just one of those things," Fitzpatrick said. "Everywhere that I've been or anybody that I've come across that has played with or coached with him has said great things about him so I'm happy for his success."
Such a rich combined history lends itself to McCown vs. Fitzpatrick by the numbers:
1This is the first time in Jets franchise history that the two starting quarterbacks had both started games for the opponent earlier in their careers. Three years before McCown's nine starts this season, he started 11 games for the '14 Buccaneers. For Fitzpatrick we only have to go back to '16, when he was finishing up his second season as a Jets starter. There was also an instance of a Jets QB starting against former Jets QBs whose team he would start for later (Chad Pennington vs. Ray Lucas with Miami in '02, then vs. the Jets for the 'Fins in '08).
3The two QBs hadn't faced each other in the previous nine years they had been in the league at the same time (2005-09, '11-14), but now McCown and Fitzpatrick will be facing each other for the third straight season. In '15 and '16, Fitz beat McCown twice when Josh was starting for the Browns.
3Each QB has had three seasons with a .500 record or better as a starter. For McCown, those seasons were 2005 with Arizona (3-3) and '11 and '13 with Chicago (1-1 and 3-2). Fitz was 4-4 with the Bills in '09, 6-6 with the Texans in '14 and 10-6 as a Jet in '15.
4The number of times the twosome have been traded. McCown went from the Lions to the Raiders in '07 and from the Dolphins to the Panthers in '09. Fitz was dealt from the St. Louis Cardinals to Cincinnati in '07 and from Houston to the Jets in '15.
12The number of teams the pair have started games for. McCown's starts have come with the Cards (22), Raiders (9), Bears (7), Bucs (11), Browns (11) and Jets (9). On Fitz's list are the Rams (3), Bengals (12), Bills (53), Titans (9), Texans (12) and Jets (27). Sunday will be Fitzpatrick's first start as a Buc, raising this number to 13.
15McCown has been on the rosters of 10 NFL teams (including two he didn't play for, Miami and San Francisco). Fitzpatrick has been on the rosters of seven teams. Together, they have been employed by almost as many NFL teams as they haven't been employed by — 15 of the NFL's 32 teams, with both having played for the Jets and Bucs.
24/26The number of head coaches (24) and offensive coordinators (26) the two have combined to play under in their careers. McCown's been incredibly flexible in his career, considering he's played for 13 different head coaches in his 15 seasons and has had 17 coordinators — an average of more than one a season!
73 years, 119 daysOn Sunday, that will be McFitz's combined age when they take their teams' first snaps. McCown is 38 years old, while Fitzpatrick will turn 35 in two weeks. McCown is not quite the oldest QB ever to start for the Jets. Vinny Testaverde was 41 years, 358 days old in his last Jets start, vs. San Diego in 2005. Brett Favre was 39 years old in his last start, at Miami in 2008.
185/221The number of NFL games they've combined to play in and start. McCown's been around longer, but Fitzpatrick has the lead in games (130-91), starts (116-69), wins (46-22) and losses (69-47).