AJ McCarron got an early start with the Bengals on Saturday evening when Andy Dalton left the game after his neck "locked up" on him. Dalton ended up at the bottom of a pile of players after he scored a 1-yard touchdown on the ground during the opening offensive drive.
With the team keeping Dalton on the sidelines for the rest of the game, McCarron got the opportunity to play with the Bengals' starters and looked good in doing so. McCarron went 12/17 for 149 yards passing, 1 touchdown and generated a quarterback rating of 117.0. After the game, McCarron commented on the chance he was given.
"Playing with those guys is unbelievable. It's a special group from the o-line, those guys, it feels like you got forever to throw the ball. And then all the receivers did an excellent job of making plays and halfbacks included. It was just an overall good effort by us and we did a really good job of putting some drives together."
McCarron will be keeping his first touchdown ball, and maybe putting it in a case, "since it's the first one," he said.
The touchdown was a nicely thrown 31-yard pass to Marvin Jones who caught the ball and ran it into the endzone from about the 13-yard line.
What a TD!! A 31 yard throw to Jones, who navigates (and then powers) into the endzone. https://t.co/hJRYvu77RZ— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) August 30, 2015
"I'm not going to lie I was nervous at first, the first throw and once I got my first throw under my belt, I was probably even a little late getting it down to A.J. But once I got that throw in, I was fine. I felt like I got into a good rhythm, was seeing everything good and just playing good football."
That works. Converts a third and 13 on a 15 yard pass to A.J. Green. https://t.co/lblJ73OQqd— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) August 30, 2015
For his second game of NFL action, McCarron did an admirable job of filling in for Dalton and leading the Bengals to a 21-10 victory.