Bears grades vs. Eagles: Quarterback

Bears grades vs. Eagles: Quarterback

December 23, 2013, 1:15 am
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Moon's Week 16 grades

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Jay Cutler played poorly enough to give rise to some local calls for Josh McCown to get back under center. That would hardly have made a difference Sunday night – McCown did appear in a mop-up role Sunday – but then, neither did Cutler in a game that could have gotten the Bears and him into the playoffs for just the second time in five Chicago seasons.

Cutler completed 20 of 35 passes for 222 yards to become the franchise’s all-time yardage leader, a stat with little meaning in this game that mattered. Cutler finished with a passer rating of 73.8 with a chance to get into the playoffs for only the second time in his career.

“We knew our situation going into the game,” Cutler said, “but all that stuff dies away pretty quickly and we're just out there playing football, which we didn't do very well."

He threw for a touchdown to Brandon Marshall He underthrew Brandon Marshall with a step on a Philadelphia defensive back in the second quarter, two plays after he forced a throw to Marshall into double coverage and was nearly intercepted.

[MORE: Cutler says Bears were 'beat down']

Cutler’s inaccurate throws negated chances for Jeffery and Marshall to make long catches in the first half, when he completed just 10 of 20 passes as the Eagles were piling up 246 yards and 24 points on the Chicago defense.

His fourth-quarter pass toward Earl Bennett was intercepted and returned 54 yards by cornerback Brandon Boykin, a score not really important at that point but a bad indicator for Cutler.

“We were playing a little bit of street ball just trying to crawl back into it,” Cutler said. “Pass, pass, pass. Two-minute situations in the middle of the third quarter. It's unrealistic, so to really go back and study it, it's going to be a waste of our time.”

McCown relieved Cutler with 8 minutes to play in the fourth quarter.