New York Jets: Is Josh McCown Any Better Than Ryan Fitzpatrick?
Oct 30, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown (13) talks with New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) after the game at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Jets won 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

When the New York Jets open the season at Buffalo on Sept. 10, Josh McCown will be the latest QB to make his Jets debut in a season opener.

Josh McCown will start for his third different team in the last four seasons in Week 1 when he lines up behind center for the New York Jets in Buffalo.

In 2014 he started for Tampa Bay against the Carolina Panthers in a 20-14 Buccaneers loss. In 2015, McCown started for the Cleveland Browns at MetLife Stadium against the Jets but suffered an injury in the first quarter. The Browns lost to the home team 31-10.

The Jets have fared well recently when a quarterback has made his debut for the team in Week 1. McCown will become the fifth different QB to open a season for the team since 2008. All of the previous four went on to lead the Jets to victory. Overall the Jets are 6-3 in team history when a QB makes their team debut in Week 1.

The last Jets QB to make his debut in Week 1 and lose was Neil O’Donnell, who started in Week 1 against Denver in 1996. The Jets lost 31-6 to the Broncos, while O’Donnell threw for just 50 yards on 7-of-13 passing.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, the last QB to debut for the New York Jets in Week 1, was under center for the Jets in that 31-10 drubbing of McCown’s Browns in 2015. Fitzpatrick completed 15-of-24 passes for 179 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the Jets win.

Here are the other three QB to make their New York Jets debut in Week 1 since 2008.

  • Geno Smith started against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at MetLife Stadium in 2013. Smith went 24-of-38 for 256 yards with a TD and INT. The Jets defeated Tampa 18-17.
  • Mark Sanchez started against the Houston Texans in 2009. Sanchez went 18-of-31 for 272 yards with a TD and INT. The Jets defeated the Texans 24-7.
  • Brett Favre started against the Miami Dolphins in Miami in 2008. Favre went 15-of-22 for 199 yards with two touchdowns. The Jets defeated the Dolphins 20-14.

Looking at the history of the New York Jets, McCown will be the 10th different QB in franchise history to make his debut for the Jets in Week 1. Here are the rest.

  • Boomer Esiason started against the Denver Broncos at Giants Stadium in Week 1 of the 1993 season. Esiason completed 29-of-40 passes for 371 yards, a pair of touchdowns and an interception in the Jets 26-20 loss.
  • Browning Nagle started against the Atlanta Falcons in the inaugural game at the Georgia Dome in 1992. Nagle went 21-of-37 for 366 yards and two touchdowns in the Jets 20-17 loss.
  • Butch Songin started for the then-New York Titans against the Oakland Raiders in Week 1 back in 1962. Songin went 7-of-16 for 114 yards with a TD and two picks in the Titans 28-17 win over the Raiders.
  • In the first-ever game in franchise history, Dick Jamieson started against the Buffalo Bills at the Polo Grounds. Jamieson went 9-of-18 for 152 yards and a TD in the Titans 27-3 win.

Mark Kelly covers all New York Sports and the New York Jets for You can follow him on twitter @CkmagicSports. A two-time Emmy Award Winner and former ESPN Researcher, Mark’s story of surviving cancer has touched many lives. Read more about Mark here or go to and click on KNOCKOUTCANCER.  

Mark Everett Kelly, formerly of ESPN, Mark Everett is a 2-time Emmy Winner that had to retire from ESPN in 2008 due to side effects of cancer treatment. Since then Mark has been active as a Public Speaker, Author and Blogger. He is a Sports History Expert and his speeches inspire many who fight daily setbacks to pursue their goals. Mark occassionally writes for ESNY. He is the author of "My Scars Tell A Story" which highlights his endless battle fighting the side effects of cancer treatment. He also blogs on his website, about "Living As A Cancer Survivor". Mark also does not hide that he has a personal relationship with Jesus. He despises judgemental people and his speeches encourage and speak up for those who can't speak for themselves.