The Chicago Bears have said coming into their matchup versus the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football that they aren’t going to rush Jay Cutler back on the field again and will once again take the field with Josh McCown as their starting quarterback. With implications for the NFL Playoffs in this game, that’s certainly a bold move by Chicago.
In fairness, though, McCown has been solid as Cutler’s replacement this season. As both an in-game replacement and a starter, McCown has been steady and productive for the Bears. In six appearances, the 34-year-old completed 65.2 percent of his 184 passing attempts for 1,461 yards, nine touchdowns and only one interception. Moreover, he’s thrown for an impressive 350+ yards in his past two starts.
The only blemish to McCown’s solid play under-center, though, is the fact that he’s just 2-2 as a starter with one of those wins, as well as one of those losses, coming in overtime. Coming into Monday night, the Bears are going to need McCown to continue to be steady, but will also need him to get them the victory to move them into a tie atop the NFC North.
Running back Matt Forte will continue to be vital to the Bears and McCown’s success as they face the Cowboys’ 27th-ranked rushing defense, but it’s the passing game where Dallas is truly vulnerable. Ranking last in the league, the Cowboys allow 294.4 yards per game through the air to their opponents. Moreover, the Cowboys have allowed 22 passing touchdowns on the year.
With Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery as receiving options, McCown will have the opportunity to throw on the Cowboys. This Dallas team has simply been burned time and again by opposing passing attacks. For the Bears to be in the position that they want to be in terms of the playoff-race, they need McCown to exploit this weakness of Dallas and come out at Soldier Field and make the plays to get the Bears their seventh win of the year.