Who would have guessed the Chicago Bears were going to have a quarterback controversy? While Jay Cutler has been away, Josh McCown has done more than a decent job as his replacement, which makes it a reasonable question to ask: Shouldn’t he keep on starting for the team in next week’s game?
After beating the Green Bay Packers, McCown’s third start in three years hasn’t become just a relief appearance for him, but maybe a shot at getting a few games in a row under his belt. He played quite well for the Bears in the losing effort against the Redskins, when the defense simply couldn’t stop anything Washington ran against them. He was very good against the Packers, who lost Aaron Rodgers early in the game and at some point their run-only offense couldn’t deliver, not to mention the awful play of Seneca Wallace.
Jay Cutler might not be 100% come game time on Sunday, so it might not be even up for Marc Trestman to decide, but Cutler senses that things are changing. The Bears losing three of the previous four games before the win over the Packers certainly shook some foundations, even if everyone was in agreement that the real reason for the losses was a terrible defense.
McCown has completed 59% of his passes for 476 yards and three touchdowns passes with no interceptions in the one and a half games he’s played. The offensive line did an immense job to help him against Green Bay, but that challenge is obviously going to be a lot harder when facing the Lions. McCown is a bit more mobile, even at 34, than Cutler is, but it won’t be surprising to see him struggle just a little bit more than we’ve seen him so far.
Jay Cutler is completing 64.9% of his passes, throwing 12 touchdowns and 7 interceptions on an obviously larger sample size. He’s heading into an offseason in which the Bears will decide if it’s time to go in a different direction or commit to Cutler for three, four or five more years, deciding he gives them the best shot at winning a Super Bowl from the options that are out there. A decision to bench him now because McCown is on a roll might have repercussions that go further than just the ending of this season and their playoff chances, but the future of the franchise.