On a rainy, wind swirling, dark day Josh McCown lead the Chicago Bears to another victory making him 2-0 when he starts a full game. With debris flying everywhere and players slipping left and right Josh McCown held his poise to bring the Bears to a first place tie with the Lions. Let’s not get caught up in the win, there is a small inkling of a quarterback controversy in Chicago.
Let’s take a look at Jay Cutler first; He currently has 1,908 yards passing on 265 attempts with 167 completions. He also has 13 touchdown passes along with 8 intercepted passes. His passer rating is a good 88.4 and he’s played well in the 4th quarter of games he has been healthy in. The only issues Cutler has right now is he can’t stay healthy and McCown is playing great while he sits. Cutler, in his short career with Chicago, has brought the Bears to a NFC Championship game which he didn’t complete due to a MCL tear he suffered. Other than that what really has Jay Cutler brought to this Bears team? It hasn’t been consistent play because the only consistent thing with Cutler is his arrogant attitude and nonchalant look on his face when things go wrong. Through Cutlers career he has been teamed up with offensive coordinators who didn’t work out like Jeremy Bates, Mike Martz, and Mike Tice. With Aaron Kromer at the reigns Cutler has seemed to have a lot more success in his pass heavy scheme. We don’t even need to mention the improved offensive line that’s helped Cutler enormously. There is still that lingering question of why Cutler still feels the need to throw into double, even triple coverage. You could even ask the question of why he refuses, at times, to throw using more of his feel instead of just a flick of the wrist. Those are questions we may never get answers to but one thing is for certain when Cutler is on, he’s on. The guy has a cannon for an arm, the ability to roll out from the pocket, and laser like accuracy at times. Then you have the Jay Cutler who throws off his back foot, throws temper tantrums on the side lines, pushes teammates, and purposely will separate himself from his teammates from time to time. Now that you have seen the pros and cons to Jay Cutler; do you resign him for a long term extension? The system Marc Trestman has implemented has definitely been a success versus what the Bears have done in the past, but it’s still yet to be seen if Cutler is their guy 100% or not. With McCown stepping up and beating the Packers he pulled even with Cutler on how many times each player had beat the Packers in their career. If that’s a measuring stick being used then I’d have to say it’s a draw between the two. What it’s really going to come down to is when Cutler comes back if he can stay healthy for the rest of the season and take the Bears deep into the playoffs. If neither happens the Bears won’t bring Cutler back, but if Cutler can take them deep into the playoffs then be prepared to have number 6 behind center for years to come.
Now let’s look at Chicago’s new hero, Josh McCown. He has 61 completions on 101 pass attempts, 5 touchdown passes, no interceptions, and a passer rating of 100. Granted he has only played part of the Redskins game, the whole Packer game, part of the Lions game, and the most recent Ravens game in Chicago. The most impressive stat that stands out to me with McCown is the no interceptions. Which the game against Baltimore easily could have been a sloppy game with the winds and field conditions, but it hasn’t affected McCown yet. He has been an incredible game manager and hasn’t tried to force anything. This is the complete opposite of Jay Cutler who will take big risks at times that don’t pay off leaving Chicago fans shaking their heads. He completed a pivotal 43 yard pass to Martellus Bennett this past Sunday to seal the victory for Chicago. That has probably been the most risky pass I have seen him throw this season and it was caught for the first down. McCown has a great upside with his strong arm, high quarterback IQ, ability to move out of the pocket, and veteran presence he brings to the huddle. When McCown was named as the started to replace Cutler against the Ravens, Chicago fans seemly took a deep breath from knowing the chances of a wild pass being intercepted from the arm of Cutler had gone out the window. McCown brings a sense of calm to a Bears offense that hasn’t been calm in my 25 years of life. He seems to float back in the pocket effortlessly and then he delivers a strike downfield to an awaiting Bears wide receiver. He doesn’t spew confidence from his pores like Jay Cutler, but Josh McCown has a swagger to his step when he is in the huddle which brings a sense of calm to all Bears fans alike.
However you want to look at it, the Bears have a good problem. If your starter plays well then great, if he doesn’t you have a backup that can come in and produce. I don’t call that a problem I call that a gift in disguise. You ask any of the 32 NFL teams GM’s if they would like to be in the Bears situation and all would answer yes. Just ask Green Bay, I bet they wish they had a quarterback to step in while Aaron Rogers got hurt; but because they didn’t the Packers have lost the last 3 games. The Bears lost their starter and since have gone 2-2. A .500 football team when your starter isn’t behind center is not bad at all. If you look at most teams who lose their starting quarterback, like the Packers, they end up going on long losing streaks followed briskly by a dismal offense. The Bears have a good situation to be in, the only question is who do you want Josh? Or Jay?
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- El Turco
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