Bears Week 9 Grades
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Josh McCown’s game management was outstanding in a first start in nearly two years and in an extreme-pressure situation. He completed 22 of 41 passes for 272 yards and touchdowns to Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery.
McCown’s 23-yard TD toss in the first quarter to Marshall with Packers assaulting the pocket was stunning for its accuracy and finding the single-covered receiver under heavy pressure.
“I feel like somebody hit me or hit me in the head or something because I remember stepping up,” McCown said. “I threw it and then I can’t remember if I got hit again.”
The Jeffery pass was a calculated throw to a receiver with a significant height advantage on the defender, in single coverage.
McCown also distributed the ball effectively to his playmakers, with 13 targets of Marshall, nine of Jeffery, and eight each of Matt Forte and Martellus Bennett. It was the throws to Forte and Bennett, in addition to one to Michael Bush for 15 yards, that were perfect check-downs and locatings of underneath receivers in crucial situations.
And McCown also managed the huddle in clutch situations such as the final drive.
“He’s got a lot of energy in the huddle,” said center Roberto Garza. “We have to calm him down once in a while because he’ll start screaming a little bit and we don’t want the defense to hear the play call. It’s a lot of fun.”
Jay Cutler was a contributor to the quarterback situation, assisting Trestman and McCown throughout and earning praise in particular from Trestman.