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Alabama in the Pros

AJ McCarron earns his first win as a starter, breaks a 25-year drought

Ed Szczepanski - USA TODAY Sports

Alabama quarterbacks can win in the National Football League. Cincinnati Bengals signal-caller AJ McCarron shattered a stereotype and ended a 25-year drought Sunday, as he guided the Bengals to a 24-14 win over San Francisco.

McCarron now joins ex-Crimson Tide standout Jeff Rutledge (1987) as the second player to win in his first NFL start.

Josh Kirkendall, Bengals’ writer for PWFA (SB Nation), captured McCarron’s first score on Twitter.

He filled in admirably for Andy Dalton (thumb), completing 15 of 21 passes for 192 yards. McCarron recorded his third touchdown pass of the season in the second quarter on a 20-yard completion to tight end Tyler Kroft. Wide out Marvin Jones benefitted greatly from McCarron, collecting four receptions for 89 yards. Cincinnati’s offense struggled in the first quarter but McCarron got it moving with four scoring drives, including three touchdowns in the second quarter. He protected the football, and in return, the Bengals clinched a playoff spot for a fifth straight season.

Alabama’s former three-time national champion navigated Cincinnati to its 11th win. It will face Denver (10-4) next week.

Stephen M. Smith is a senior analyst and columnist for Touchdown Alabama MagazineYou can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @ESPN_Future.

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