EARLY BIRD - Is facing McCown a break for Ravens?

EARLY BIRD - Is facing McCown a break for Ravens?
November 13, 2013, 7:00 am
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How did Cincy complete the game-tying hail mary?

EARLY BIRD: Waking up with the Ravens, as they try to build momentum following Sunday’s win.

Two-minute topic: Is facing Josh McCown instead of Jay Cutler on Sunday really a break for the Ravens?

OWINGS MILLS – With Cutler (high ankle sprain) already ruled out, McCown will start at quarterback Sunday against the Ravens. Cutler has one of the NFL’s strongest arms, but McCown looks very comfortable running the offense of new Bears coach Marc Trestman. In three games this season, McCown has completed 42 of 70 passes for 538 yards and four touchdowns. He has yet to throw an interception, with a quarterback rating of 103.2. Those are numbers good enough to make Joe Flacco jealous.

A gimpy Cutler played most of Sunday’s game against the Lions, but when he finally left, McCown immediately drove the Bears for a late touchdown, completing six of nine passes. The Bears still lost, when they failed on a potential game-tying two-point conversion. Meanwhile, Trestman took heat for not putting McCown into the game earlier.

McCown will have to deal with the Ravens’ pass rush, but the Ravens will also have to deal with McCown’s mobility. Once he escapes the pocket, McCown is capable of scrambling for first downs.

Several quarterbacks who were backups when the season began have already had signature moments, like Nick Foles of the Eagles, Mike Glennon of the Buccaneers, and Jason Campbell of the Browns. The Ravens should know that McCown is not to be taken lightly.

Morning thought: “Jimmy does continue to improve. I was watching the film with my dad, and that’s one of the first things that jumped out at him. Jimmy, yes, has taken some steps forward, just like we thought he would.” – Ravens coach John Harbaugh, talking about cornerback Jimmy Smith.