McCarron Makes Most Out Of Spot Start

McCarron made his first NFL start in 4 years Sunday

Adam Spolane
December 29, 2019 - 8:45 pm

Photo by Troy Taormina/USA Today

HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610)- A.J. McCarron knew his first NFL start in four years would be tough, and though it ended in a 35-14 loss to the Tennessee Titans the Texans backup quarterback enjoyed his time on the field. 

(The Titans) have a lot to play for, trying to get in (to playoffs), so we knew it was going to be a challenge," McCarron said. "But, man, was it fun getting out there, playing. I was just trying to have fun. So I was literally having a blast.”

The Texans received the opening kickoff Sunday and with D'Andre Hopkins, Will Fuller, Kenny Stills, and Laremy Tunsil on the sideline, McCarron led a 15-play, 75-yard drive that ended in a Duke Johnson one-yard touchdown run. It marked the first time all season the Texans scored a touchdown on on their opening possession.

"I thought it was an excellent job of just collectively as a group, just kind of coming out with the mindset of getting the ball first and really driving down and trying to put points on the board and put pressure on them to have to respond," McCarron said. "I mean, it was just, it was awesome. I know there's things that we did wrong and we can get better at, but I thought for that group, to really not play together all year and go in and do what we did, I thought it was awesome. I thought guys were flying around, having fun. I felt like a kid again.”

From that point on, the Texans offense managed just one more scoring drive the rest of the day with McCarron finishing the day 21-of-36 for 225 yards with an interception. Head coach Bill O'Brien liked what he saw from the 29-year old. 

"I thought he made some good plays out there, made some good decisions," O'Brien said. "It was tough sledding at times, but for a guy that had not played, this was a good opportunity for him to play. Remember he broke his thumb in Green Bay, so he missed preseason. He wasn't able to participate in the preseason because of the injuries, so it was a good opportunity for him to play. I thought there were some things that he did really well in the game. Really think he's a good player and appreciated his play today.”

McCarron is set to become a free agent after the season, but that doesn't mean he viewed Sunday's start as an audition for the rest of the NFL. 

"I mean, that's not really even in my mind. I really just wanted to have fun. It's almost been really two years since I've last played, being out this preseason and then really playing a full game. So, I just wanted to have fun, try to compete my tail off and give us a chance. I definitely had the fun.”