After a brilliant career at Alabama, quarterback A.J. McCarron never really got on track in the NFL. He hung around for six seasons, but played only sparingly for the Cincinnati Bengals, then-Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans.
In the XFL, though, he’s getting a chance to play. And two games into his career in the reformed league, McCarron is making the most of it.
McCarron led his team, the St. Louis Battlehawks, to a comeback victory in the first game of the season. In the second game against the Seattle Sea Dragons, he did the same thing.
Seattle scored the go-ahead touchdown, but left too much time on the clock for McCarron. The two-time National Champion responded by leading his team down the field and into position for kicker Donny Hageman to try a 44-yard field goal.
The kick was perfect.
The St. Louis Battlehawks with a walk-off field goal!
The A.J. McCarron-quarterbacked team is now 2-0 in XFL action. 🏈 pic.twitter.com/tdcC81fjLH
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) February 24, 2023
McCarron received a lot of praise when the game was over, as did the league as a whole.
That was a fun end to the STL v SEA game! AJ McCarron with ice in his veins on that final drive. Calm, cool, and collected under pressure.
— Full-Time Dame 💰 (@DP_NFL) February 24, 2023
AJ McCarron: XFL comeback legend. pic.twitter.com/vIcm3ZT8pC
— Drew Garrison (@DrewGarrison) February 24, 2023
Brady, Jordan, James, McCarron.
— Sidelines – Bama (@SSN_Alabama) February 24, 2023
You never want to leave time on the clock for Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes, and XFL AJ McCarron
— Bussin' With The Boys (@BussinWTB) February 24, 2023
AJ McCarron is cooler than James Bond. BattleHawks do it again. They beat Seattle 20-18.
— Frank Cusumano (@Frank_Cusumano) February 24, 2023
AJ McCarron & Austin Proehl in the XFL pic.twitter.com/iPbvkZIxuz
— Quincy Carrier (@Kwen_C) February 24, 2023
Dinucci v McCarron the last 5 minutes pic.twitter.com/O0oIvBVh0c
— Tyler (@WonderSpurs) February 24, 2023
— Evan Willsmore (@evan_willsmore) February 24, 2023
The XFL has a bit of a checkered past. The 2001 version of the league was a complete flop. It seemed to be gaining traction during the initial reboot season in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic brought an end to that.
But if the league can provide entertaining games like this, that feature well-known guys like McCarron and Josh Gordon in prominent spots, it has the chance to stick around.