week 14 bears grades
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Josh McCown was a striking 18-for-23 for 222 yards, a rating of 135.9 and two touchdowns – in just the first half. McCown finished with 348 yards, four passing touchdowns and one rushing, and a passer rating of 141.9. Right now he has the highest single-season rating (109.8) in franchise history for quarterbacks with 100 attempts, and his 348 yards made him the first Bears quarterback ever to throw for 300 or more in three consecutive games (six others have managed two).
He put the throttle down early and kept it down with the Bears scoring the first eight times they had the ball.
“Believe it or not, that’s the standard we set for ourselves,” McCown said. “Some nights it comes to you and you are able to execute.”
Significantly, McCown put the Bears on the scoreboard with an answering touchdown on Monday’s first possession. He threw passes for first downs to all four of his primary receiving targets – Martellus Bennett, Alshon Jeffery, Brandon Marshall, finishing with the TD pass to Earl Bennett. McCown got the ball into the end zone himself with a 7-yard scramble in the second quarter, finishing with a leap over two Cowboys and being helicoptered but holding onto the ball.
McCown was accurate from the outset, a step up from his early throwing at Minnesota. His ball distribution also exploited single-coverages and mismatches superbly. Jeffery and Matt Forte finished with nine targets each, eight for Marshall and six for Martellus Bennett, in addition to two to Earl Bennett.
And McCown accomplished it all in single-digit temperatures with a minus-9 wind chill and 14 mph winds.
“It was windy,” said Dallas coach Jason Garrett. “I thought he threw the ball very effectively and those guys made a lot of plays.”
Moon's Grade: A+