New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles announced on Monday that 38-year-old journeyman quarterback Josh McCown will start the season as the team’s top quarterback.
“[McCown] gives us the best chance to win right now,” Bowles said. He also noted that McCown has the “best grasp of the offense right now.”
Bowles declined to name a No. 2 quarterback, although he said both Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty improved during the preseason.
McCown has yet to play since leading the team on a touchdown drive on its opening drive of the preseason. Since then, Bowles and the Jets gave the nod to Hackenberg twice, and he was unable to fully utilize the opportunity and overtake the veteran.
In three preseason games, Hackenberg completed 32-of-52 passes for 267 yards (5.1 yards per attempt), one touchdown and two picks. He also failed to lead the Jets on a touchdown drive until the final drive of their Week 3 bout with the Giants.
Meanwhile, Petty had a solid game against the Giants, completing 15-of-18 passes for 250 yards and three scores. He led the team on a near-comeback that fell short on a failed two-point conversion. Petty ultimately exited the game after suffering a Grade 1 MCL sprain in his left knee.
New York will open the season by traveling upstate to play the Buffalo Bills, which are in a bit of a rebuild of their own. Just today, the Bills shipped 2016 second-round pick Reggie Ragland to the Chiefs. Buffalo also sent wide receiver Sammy Watkins to the Rams earlier this month.