ASN’s NFL Top 10: Josh McCown has a game for the ageless

BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 11:  Quarterback Josh McCown #13 of the Cleveland Browns gets off a second half pass in front of linebacker Zach Orr #54 of the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on October 11, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Database: ASN’s NFL lineup

Josh McCown had one of those days on Sunday. You know, one of those days when all the stars are in alignment. At 36, McCown has been a serviceable NFL quarterback for 13 seasons. Sunday, he played like a stud.

McCown had the best regular-season game in terms of yards (457) in Browns history. He also became the first Browns quarterback to throw for 300 yards in three consecutive games. And when it counted most, McCown took matters into his own hands, running the ball into the end zone at the end of the fourth quarter to force overtime, and, ultimately, a 33-30 victory against the Baltimore Ravens.

“All I know is we won the game,” McCown told Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot. “That’s cool stuff and when you’re done playing, that’s cool things that you can look back on and be proud of, but for me, there’s other things that I want to be the first Browns quarterback to do and that involves stuff with our team, so that’s where my mindset will be.”

For his accomplishments, McCown is ASN’s most notable player of Week 5.

1. Josh McCown, Cleveland Browns

Maybe Sunday’s game was enough to put the Johnny Manziel issue to bed. McCown (Sam Houston State) had one of the best games of his career, completing 70.6% of his passes for two touchdowns — and just as important, he didn’t turn the ball over. McCown completed 36 of 51 passes for a season-high 457 yards. The performance moved him to No. 11 on the NFL’s passing list by yards. He has thrown for 1,203 yards in only four games. McCown missed Week 2 with concussion-like symptoms. But McCown’s most critical touchdown was on the ground — a 10-yard rush in the waning minutes to seal the Browns’ 33-30 victory against Baltimore.

2. Antwon Blake, Pittsburgh Steelers

The first touchdown of Blake’s four-year NFL career couldn’t have happened on a bigger regular-season stage — the UTEP grad picked off a Phillip Rivers pass before a national TV audience on Monday Night Football to help the Steelers to a 24-20 victory at San Diego. Blake snagged a pass intended for Malcolm Floyd at the 3:36 mark of the third quarter and returned it 70 yards to give the Steelers a 10-7 lead. The interception was the second of Blake’s career. The cornerback also had two tackles.

3. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

Flacco (Delaware) just can’t seem to the get the Ravens over the hump. Though he scored three touchdowns — one throwing and two on the ground — the Ravens still lost to Cleveland. Flacco completed 19 of 35 passes and didn’t have a single turnover. He scored all but one of the Ravens’ touchdowns, including two 1-yard runs, but a drive that could have resulted in victory ended with a field goal with only 29 seconds to play. On the season, Flacco’s 1,262 yards rank No. 7.

4. Jamie Collins, New England Patriots

A third-year receiver out of Southern Miss, Collins had a breakout game, leading all Patriots defenders with a total of 10 tackles — six solo and four assists — in New England’s 30-6 defeat of the Dallas Cowboys. Collins forced his third fumble of the season in the fourth quarter. Jonathan Freeny returned the fumble seven yards, but New England wasn’t able to score on the turnover. The Patriots defense forced Dallas to keep the ball on the ground and held the Cowboys to only an average gain of four yards per play.

5. Corey Graham, Buffalo Bills

Graham (New Hampshire) led all ASN-affiliated defenders with a total of 12 tackles in the Bills 14-13 victory against the Tennessee Titans. The veteran safety was credited with 10 solo tackles and two assists, as the Bills improved to 3-2. Graham is currently ranked No. 4 on the NFL’s season tackling list with a combined total of 48 tackles.

6. Chris Hogan, Buffalo Bills

A third-year fullback out of Monmouth, Hogan caught his second touchdown pass of the season in the Bills’ 14-13 victory over the Titans. Hogan’s touchdown reception — a 2-yard catch on the right side — was the game-winner. Hogan caught three passes for 52 yards, giving him a season-high average of 17.3 yards per catch.  Hogan also threw a halfback pass for 4 yards.

7. Antonio Andrews, Tennessee Titans

Western Kentucky’s Andrews wasn’t exactly prolific against Buffalo, but he was busy, gaining plenty of short yardage and scoring his second touchdown of the season. Andrews, a second-year running back, carried the ball seven times for nine yards and caught three passes for 45 yards. Andrews’ score was the Titans’ only touchdown for the game. He scored on a 1-yard run to the right at the 6:54 mark of the third quarter.

8. Kyle Juszczyk, Baltimore Ravens

The third-year fullback out of Harvard scored his first touchdown of the season and second of his career in the Ravens’ 33-30 overtime loss to the Browns. Juszczyk’s 8-yard reception in the first quarter gave the Ravens a 14-3 lead. For the game, Juszczyk caught a season-high three passes for 31 yards. For the season, he is averaging a career-high 14.6 yards per reception.

9. Rashad Jennings, New York Giants

Jennings carried a team-high 11 times for a team-leading 46 yards in a 32-27 victory against the San Francisco 49ers. The running back out of Liberty also had four receptions for 21 yards.

10. Jordan Berry, Pittsburgh Steelers

A second-year pro, Berry had a busy night — he was called on to punt eight times in the Steelers’ MNF win against San Diego. Of those eight attempts, Berry (Eastern Kentucky) put six inside the 20, had a long of 56 yards and averaged 39.6 yards per punt.

Honorable mention

T.Y. Hilton (FIU) led all Indianapolis Colts receivers with five receptions for 88 yards. Indianapolis beat the Texans, 27-20, on Thursday night. … Abilene Christian grad Charcandrick West had the most prolific game of his two-year NFL career, carrying the ball seven times for 31 yards and catching one pass for five yards in the Kansas City Chiefs 18-17 loss to the Chicago Bears. … Western Kentucky grad Bobby Rainey returned three punts for a 28.33 average the in the Tampa Bay Bucs’ 38-31 victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars. … James Ihedigbo (UMass) was the Detroit Lions’ leading tackler (five solo, one assist) in a 42-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. … Alfred Morris (FAU) had eight carries for 15 yards in the Washington Redskins’ 25-19 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. … Delaware grad Paul Worrilow led the Falcons with nine tackles (eight solo, one assist) in Atlanta’s win over Washington. … Oakland’s Jamize Olawale (North Texas) had his best game of the season, catching six passes for 13 yards in the Raiders’ 16-10 loss to the Denver Broncos.


Above: Quarterback Josh McCown of the Cleveland Browns gets off a second-half pass in front of linebacker Zach Orr of the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium on in Baltimore.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Jill R. Dorson

Jill R. Dorson is a freelance writer based in San Diego.