The #1 quarterbacks met at midfield following the Bears’ 27-20 victory over the Green Bay Packers in track suits. This isn’t how it’s supposed to go down. You hate to see Jay Cutler and Aaron Rodgers on the sidelines while Josh McCown and Seneca Wallace drive the car for the most storied rivalry in the NFL. In the battle of the backups, we learned that Josh McCown is better than Seneca Wallace, the Bears defense and special teams are still suspect and head coach Marc Trestman has some big stones.
Chicago Bears defensive punching bag Shea McClellin, who’s been blamed for many of the defensive line’s ills, knocked Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers out at the end of the Packers’ first drive on the first of his three sacks. With the sides evened out and both teams in the hands of their backup quarterbacks, the Bears found a way to prevail, despite the defense and special teams’ best efforts to keep them out of the win column.
The Packers relied on their ground game, powered behind rookie Eddie Lacy, who went off for 150 yards and a TD on just 22 carries. James Starks added six carries for 44 yards and a TD of his own. But it wasn’t enough, as Seneca Wallace went 11 for 19 for just 114 yards and an INT. I guess Mike McCarthy doesn’t look like such a genius when the best QB in the game is in a sweatsuit.
For the Bears, this was Marc Trestman’s coming out party on the Monday Night national stage. His well balanced offense featured 125 rushing yards and a TD for Matt Forte, part of his 179 total yards from scrimmage, and 272 passing yards and a pair of TD passes from Josh McCown. Most important for the Bears offense, they were able to control the clock and play mistake-free football on offense. The offensive line had a solid game, allowing only one sack. Josh McCown kept plays alive with his feet but never forced it.
No moment was bigger for Trestman and the Bears than a 4th an inches at their own 32 yard line. Nursing a slim 4 point lead, Trestman showed he’s got some big balls, deciding to go for it rather than punt it away and play defense. When you make it, you look like a genius. Let’s not think about what would have happened had the Bears not converted.
McCown executed Marc Trestman’s offense and played the role of Game Manager quite well. Pregame reports out of the Worldwide Leader indicate that Jay Cutler is planning to play against the Detroit Lions this coming Sunday, but given how McCown and the offense played and the difficult challenge the Lions D-line poses, you have to think that Cutler would be well advised to make sure he’s at 110% before taking the field again.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that McCown is better than Cutler, but going against Ndamukong Suh and the Lions requires fully healthy quarterback to be able to avoid the pass rush and scramble when needed. That was the good news.
The other two phases of the Bears’ game – you know, the ones that used to carry them and even win games – were absent and abysmal against the Packers.