BEREA-- As he stared down at his immensely swollen and gashed right hand, Josh McCown couldn't quite remember how or when it happened.
He thought it might've been stepped on at some point amidst Sunday's game between the Browns and Raiders, but again, he was just guessing.
What McCown did know, however, was that the pain in his hand didn't play a part in two late throws that, if completed, could've allowed the Browns to force the game into overtime.
"I don't think so," McCown said, when asked if the hand was the issue. "I made throws up until that point too."
The first of the aforementioned two throws came early in the Browns final drive, as Travis Benjamin streaked up the sideline and was wide open before the ball fell from the sky and was batted away by a couple of Raiders defenders.
"I didn't get it up early enough," McCown said. "There were a couple guys to his side... The ball got up late. That one was on me for sure."
Though McCown wound up and was able to put everything he had into the throw, he felt that it was underthrown partly because Benjamin surprised him with his speed.
"You just are learning and growing with Travis and his speed," McCown said. "The off-coverage that they had and there was a safety help on that side, I really didn't think he would get past those guys like that, but Travis is so fast."
McCown's final throw also involved Benjamin, but ended a bit differently.
Rather than to fall into the receiver's arms for a touchdown, or even to the ground for an incomplete pass, McCown tossed the ball towards Benjamin, but it was intercepted by Raiders fantastic veteran safety Charles Woodson.
McCown once again took the blame, but said there were a couple of reasons the game ended in the way that it did.
"I wasn't able to finish the motion the way I wanted to, so I didn't get as much on the ball as I'd like," McCown said. "The location of the throw was not where I wanted it. It was not the type of throw I wanted to make."
While he didn't like the throw or it's result, McCown believed he had the right intentions and the play was there for the making.
"Had I been able to throw the ball the way I wanted to throw it, yeah, I'm ok with it," McCown said. "Could we have checked it down and got some more yards that way? Yes, absolutely. That is hindsight."
With such potential for a big play being thwarted by a too-slow throw, the play wasn't easy to swallow for McCown, but Woodson's stellar play to pick it off forced him to tip his hat.
"He made an excellent play on the ball," McCown said. "To catch it and keep his feet in bounds was an excellent play."
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