With Jay Cutler almost completely healthy, there’s a good chance he’ll be the quarterback for the Chicago Bears in their next game. However, Josh McCown has proved, once as a replacement and against as a starter in the win over the Green Bay Packers, that he might be better suited to carry on holding to the position.
Aaron Rodgers went down during the first series, and the Bears still had to mount a late comeback in order to come out of Lambeau with their first win over their eternal rivals in six contests. The defense struggled with stopping the Packers’ running game, as expected, giving up 199 yards on 29 carries, 150 of them to Eddie Lacy, but they did force an interception off the super rusty Seneca Wallace while sacking the backup quarterback four more times.
And on offense, it was both McCown remaining turnover free (usually the best you can expect from a second-stringer) and another excellent game from Matt Forte (179 total yards, one touchdown) that led to the 27-20 win for the Bears.
With McCown at the helm, the risky passing didn’t stop. He attempted 41 passes, completing 22 of them for 272 yards and two touchdowns. However, there was less of a gun-slinging fell to what we’re used to seeing from Cutler, although the Packers did get a hand on four of those passes.
Like Cutler, McCown connected quite well with Brandon Marshall, as the Bears’ number one receiver caught 7 passes for 103 yards and 1 touchdown. McCown completed 8 of his passes that traveled more than 10 yards downfield, and his passes on 13 attempts to connect with Marshall traveled an average of 15.9 yards, while his 28 other passes traveled an average of 5.2 yards.
Matt Forte, with 125 rushing yards and 54 more as a receiver, was the Bears’ most useful offensive weapon. He ran for 80 yards before contact, and the Bears in total had 113 pre-contact yards on the ground, gaining a total of 171 yards. He ran for nine first downs, including five on the Bears’ 18-play, 80-yard final drive. His six fourth-quarter rushing first downs are the most by a player in a game in the last three seasons.
The Bears’ defense is still an issue, if the Packers, without the best quarterback in the NFL and a backup who hasn’t played since 2011 managed to run an offense that put up 312 yards against them, mostly by going again and again to Eddie Lacy, something the Bears simply couldn’t stop. However, it came down to a battle of backups, and the Bears have the better one. It might not be enough to remain on top of the NFC North, but it’s good enough to give them hope this season, with or without Cutler, has a chance of developing quite nicely.
This one is really neat because it means so much to our team. You understand the nature of the game and the impact that Rodgers has on the game even when he’s not playing. So when that player’s not on the field, your odds of winning probably increase.