A.J. McCarron is 25 years old. Sunday, he broke a record that is three years his elder.
Before McCarron guided the Cincinnati Bengals to a 24-14 win over the San Francisco 49ers Sunday afternoon, an Alabama quarterback hadn’t won an NFL start since Nov. 15, 1987, when Jeff Rutledge of the New York Giants defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 20-17.
McCarron filled in for Andy Dalton, who broke his thumb during last week’s game, but the Bengals were no worse for the wear. The second-year backup passed for 192 yards and 1 touchdown, and Cincinnati improved to 11-3 on the season.
Sunday’s win came 758 days after McCarron’s last win as a starter. The senior led Alabama to a 49-0 throttling of Chattanooga, passing for 171 yards and two touchdowns in Tuscaloosa on Nov. 23, 2013. His last start came six weeks later during a 45-31 Sugar Bowl loss to Oklahoma.
The Bengals are optimistic Dalton can return for the postseason, but for two more weeks, McCarron will be running the show in the Red Rocket’s stead. Cincinnati travels to Denver next week for a Monday night matchup with the Broncos, then hosts the Baltimore Ravens on Jan. 3.