Unfortunately for the Bears, it was them who suffered the most. Quarterback Jay Cutler exited the game in the second quarter with a groin injury and would not return. They also lost linebacker Lance Briggs with a shoulder injury, and cornerback Charles Tillman with a knee injury.
McCown impresses in Chicago Bears’ loss
Backing up Cutler was Josh McCown, who seemed to re-energize the offense in the second half. They put forth an abysmal effort in the first half, accumulating only 46 yards of offense. In the second half with McCown, they had 313 yards. The Bears were off kilter the majority of the game, but return man Devin Hester returned a punt 81 yards for a touchdown in the lone bright spot of the game. The return was the 19th of his career, tying Deion Sanders’ record for return touchdowns.
Running back Matt Forte had three touchdowns, and the offense did everything they could to try and win the game. Forte made some history in the process, becoming the first Bear to rush for three touchdowns since Rashaan Salaam in 1995. He ended the day nine yards short of 100 for a total of 91 on 16 touches. Receiver Alshon Jeffery had 105 yards, and he seems to be back to his yard-gobbling ways a week after he put up minimal gains. The defense for the Bears is what doomed them. Allowing 290 yards passing did not do them any favors, and poor defensive play along with the injuries to Tillman and Briggs were the final nails in the coffin. Redskins’ running back Roy Helu Jr. simply walked in to the endzone in the final seconds of the game to seal the deal, starting their fourth quarter drive with nearly four minutes left.
McCown played well considering the circumstances — this was his first NFL game since 2011. Being a backup, there always should be a ‘next man up’ mentality and he filled the role nicely. The verdict has yet to be determined whether he is the answer for the whole season, as the Bears will bring in Jordan Palmer, who was signed to the team in August but was later let go. Palmer was with the Jaguars last season, but did not start a game. Marc Trestman has faith in McCown, so Bears fans should not jump ship just yet. He has proven he can put up numbers, and looked poised when stepping up into the pocket.
Tight end Martellus Bennett caught a seven-yard touchdown pass to give the Bears a 41-38 lead with 3:57 remaining. McCown was 14-20 for 204 yards, which are not bad numbers for getting put in the game after not seeing action for quite some time. He also rushed four times for 33 yards, and made Bears fans everywhere very nervous when, on his first rush, he leapt in the air in an attempt for a first down. They now head in to their bye week, which could not come at a better time with the injuries they have acquired. This bye week will allow guys to get healthy in time for Green Bay, and will give them time to make defensive adjustments.
It seems unlikely, but the Bears will rebound. They will watch the film and see what they need to improve, and they have the coaching to help get them there. With Green Bay on the horizon, they certainly do not have time to waste.