AJ McCarron will be the sixth straight backup Steelers have faced


If, as expected, the Bengals are forced to go with backup quarterback AJ McCarron on Saturday, it will be a familiar feeling for the Steelers’ defense: Playing backup quarterbacks has become the norm for Pittsburgh.

In fact, assuming Andy Dalton can’t go, Saturday’s game would be the sixth straight game in which the Steelers faced a backup on the other team.

On Sunday, the Steelers closed the regular season against Browns third-string quarterback Austin Davis. A week earlier the Steelers got the Ravens’ fourth quarterback, Ryan Mallett. The week before that, the Steelers got Broncos backup Brock Osweiler. The week before that, the Steelers got the Bengals and McCarron. The week before that, the Steelers got Colts backup Matt Hasselbeck.

The Steelers also faced Browns backup Johnny Manziel in Week 10, which means that counting McCarron on Saturday, Pittsburgh will have faced a backup in seven of its last eight games. Overall, the Steelers were 5-1 against backup quarterbacks this year and 5-5 against starters. They owe part of their position in the playoffs to bad luck befalling opposing teams’ quarterbacks.

31 responses to “AJ McCarron will be the sixth straight backup Steelers have faced

  1. And Ben missed about 5 games this season, plus the slew of other injuries. Injuries are no excuse.

  2. They also played 3-4 games with their 3rd and 4th string QBs:

    Landry Jones

    You play the hand youre dealt.

  3. The one and done Bengals vs The Pittsburgh Antonio Browns.

    Neither of these teams stands a chance beyond this round.

  4. Bengals fan, and I hate the Steelers more than any team in the league (at least this year, since the Ravens are awful), but in a league that’s as competitive as the NFL, every team that makes it to the playoffs needs a little luck in one form or another. The Bengals played the Chiefs and Seahawks while they were still figuring it out, caught Roffitsburger coming off of an injury the first time, didn’t have to play the Patriots this year, etc., etc.

    Pretty remarkable stat just the same, though.

  5. Title’s a little misleading — he’ll be the fifth backup the Steelers have faced in six games, the others being Davis, Mallett, Osweiler, and Hasselbeck. You’re counting McCarron twice, presumably to try to make your point sound stronger.

    Also — “They owe part of their position in the playoffs to bad luck befalling opposing teams’ quarterbacks.”

    They also owe part of their position in the playoffs to missed games from Bell, Bryant, Roethlisberger, Suisham, Pouncey, Beachum, Shazier, Miller, and others. Every team loses people each year due to injury or other reasons, but that’s a lot of talent to be missing and still remain competitive going into the playoffs.

  6. Not nearly as sad as the group of qb’s faced by the Broncos that year they dragged Tim Tebow to the playoffs with an 8-8 record. Carson Palmer 5 minutes after he got to Oakland. Kyle Orton and Matt Cassell of the Chiefs, Caleb Haine, etc.

  7. coltcountrysteelerfan says:
    Jan 6, 2016 5:51 PM

    And Ben missed about 5 games this season, plus the slew of other injuries. Injuries are no excuse.

    What? The “toughest” quarterback to ever play the game, took some games off?

  8. I hate the Steelers but you guys are hating on them!

    They’re a good team.

    I hope the Bengals win this one. Just this one.

  9. Say what you want about the steelers playing back up QBs, this point last year everyone said they would be lucky to win 6 games playing the NFC and AFC West. The defense is rough around the edges still but they don’t give up a lot of points.

  10. titletownie72 says:
    Jan 6, 2016 6:10 PM
    Still waiting on the NFL investigation into Peyton Manning getting HGH mailed to his house….Anyone???

    Get real. The NFL will sweep this under the rug. They have their sights set on the Patriots.

  11. Why have the steelers given up the 3rd most passing yards in the league if they’re facing all these backups?

    I guess their pass D stinks.

  12. This isn’t a problem, this is a blessing in disguise. AJ will be so much better than Dalton in the playoffs, all he has to do is throw one TD and his already matched Daltons total for four playoff games.

  13. And they’re about to be 5-2. Ben has 1 TD, 4 INT’s against the Bengals. The rain won’t help. Then you can cry about losing your 3rds straight playoff gm due to no RB. Ha!

  14. bengals4lifer, that’s a pretty bold statement coming from a fan of a team who’s QB had 1 TD and 6 INTs in 4 playoff games(yes I know he likely isn’t playing).

    AJ rolled to 2 national championships with an insane defense. The NFL playoffs are a much higher speed and pressure then college. Plus Gay already ha a pick-6 against him.

    Hopefully Ben got the INTs out of his system and the defense bends but don’t break.

  15. it’s hilarious that people knock teams who beat backup QBs as if those games are gimmes when the seahawks just lost to the case keenum led rams in seattle and the cardinals lost to the mike vick and landry jones led steelers earlier this season.

  16. Seahawks have played in 7 games with the 2nd or 3rd string qb’s. They are 3-5 against starting qb’s and 6-1 against backups, with 1 game against the cardinals who were just playing to not get hurt.

  17. They lost to Ryan Mallet in what should have been a lose and go home game. Ryan Mallet. The Steelers are a terrible team.

  18. “In other words, they won when they should have won!”

    Not always – remember, they lost to the Ratbird practice squad!

    Still, the point is moot. All teams have suffered injuries at critical positions this year and the Steelers and their opponents are no exception. You play the hand you’re dealt. Some teams take those hands to the playoffs, others take them to their couches to sit and make sammiches with their 5-11 records.

  19. Well that counts Mccarron twice, plus Manziel and Osweiler who actually won the starting job during those games. Steelers also played 4 games with Landry Jones and a terrible Michael Vick. They lost their Pro Bowl center, starting left tackle and all pro RB. Injuries are no excuse for another team being bad and you can only play who you play.

    Yes, their schedule doesn’t look as tough now as it did at the beginning of the year because of teams like the Ravens and Chargers, but the Steelers have played Denver, Cincy (twice), KC, NE, Seattle and Arizona which are 6 of the 12 playoffs teams, beating 3 of them. Thats a 1 seed, two-2 seeds and a 3 seed plus the red hot Seahawks and Cheifs.

    Steelers earned their way in.

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