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AJ McCarron: 'Tom Brady was in the same situation'

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Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron has a daunting task in front of him as he prepares to replace Andy Dalton for next week's start, and possibly much longer.

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said Dalton is not necessarily out for the season, but he intimated that McCarron would be the guy for a little while. McCarron made some big throws during Sunday's loss to the Steelers, but ultimately his interceptions were decisive in the team's loss. McCarron remains unfazed.

"You gotta love pressured moments. That's what makes you great, it's when the great ones really shine. I guess Tom Brady was in the same situation when he had the opportunity," McCarron said. 

Well, not exactly. In many ways, McCarron is in a much better situation than when Brady took over an 0-2 Patriots team in 2001. This Bengals team is 10-3 and loaded on both sides of the ball. They are still in good position to win the division and McCarron has a ton of weapons around him. Brady had Antowain Smith, Troy Brown, and David Patten. McCarron has A.J. Green, Giovani Bernard, and Tyler Eifert. (If Eifert returns from his concussion.)

McCarron also showed off a willingness to go deep on Sunday, even if that's not what stood out to Lewis.

"This kid has a great personality. That's why he's here," Lewis said. "Now he's got to lead us for however long."

Despite the result on Sunday, McCarron has to take away some confidence from the performance. He threw for 280 yards, two touchdowns, two picks, and 8.8 yards-per-attempt. He made a number of impressive throws down the field and the Bengals managed to out-gain the Steelers. If he can let the players around him do their thing, McCarron is in a good spot to surprise some people down the stretch. Even if he plays more like Matt Cassel than Tom Brady.

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