Before his injury, Jay Cutler was struggling with three completions in eight attempts, albeit with a terrible drop by Alshon Jeffery that was taken 29 yards by Brian Orakpo for a de facto game-winning touchdown.
But the overall play from the position was solid because of Josh McCown, who came off the bench after Cutler was lost in the second quarter with a groin injury. McCown put up the second-best game of his career: 14-for-20 passing, 204 yards, a touchdown, 119.6 passer rating and directing four scoring drives, which would have been five but for Robbie Gould missing a 34-yard field goal try. The Bears punted only on McCown’s taking-over possession and then never again.
To McCown’s added credit, the game plan did not change with Cutler and his level of passing removed.
“Josh took over the huddle and moved the football and mixed the rush with the pass,” said coach Marc Trestman. “I just called the plays according to the plan that we had put together, and I thought he functioned very well and moved the ball and had the confidence of his teammates.”
McCown stood in against pressure and several massive hits from Washington rushers and took just one sack, on the final play of the game. He said afterwards that he would have preferred in hindsight to have thrown the ball away and get another snap for a Hail Mary, but his decision to keep trying to buy time for his receivers was understandable under the circumstances.
McCown also made plays with his feet, one four runs for 33 yards and an average of 8.3 yards; for purposes of amusing comparison, Robert Griffin III managed 7.6 on his runs.
“[McCown] functioned like a starting quarterback when he stepped in there,” Trestman said. “He took over the huddle. He took care of the football. He moved the football team.”
Whether he will have to be the one moving the team in two weeks at Green Bay is a medical question at this point.
“[Leading the team in an emergency is] the idea,” McCown said. “That’s why I’m here and that’s certainly my plan.”
Week 7 Report Card