Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Looking Ahead To Josh McCown And His Chicago Bears!

Next Monday night, QB Josh McCown should be start his first game of the season for the Chicago Bears. It'll only be the third time he's started a game since 2007 and the second time he'll have started a game against the Green Bay Packers for the Bears. Back in 2007, McCown started nine games for the Raiders and one of his last starts for them was also against the Packers (he was awful) so three of his last six starts will have been against the Packers.

Here's what I wrote about McCown in 2011 back at Acme Packing Company:
In sum, it's his first start in four years, on the road against the top team in the NFL, alongside a lot of backups who he's only know for about a month. There's nothing about this that doesn't sound like a disaster for the Bears...
Instead of being a disaster, he wasn't that bad (63.5 QBR for the game) and here's what I wrote afterwards:
This wasn't the best game for the Green Bay Packers defense. However, for all of the yards surrendered in the first half, the Bears were held to only 3 points. The fact that it happened against recently signed QB Josh McCown is a bad sign. But the defense did force two fumbles, grabbed two interceptions, and allowed 11 of 21 points after the Packers went up 35-10. The points still count, but the sense of urgency isn't the same.
So while some things seem to stay the same (McCown starts against the Packers) it's amazing how many things have changed since their last match-up. The Packers have the same coaches and a lot of the same players, but that 2011 defense surrendered a ton of yards (411.6 per game) and forced a ton of turnover (31 INTs for the season) while the 2013 defense is much better (331.1 yards allowed per game) but they aren't forcing any turnovers (only 3 INTs this season).

As for the Bears, nearly everything has changed since McCown's last start. Back in 2011, Mike Martz was his offensive coordinator, he had no skill players worth mentioning (RB Matt Forte missed that 2011 game due to injury) and his offensive line couldn't protect him. Now, McCown is working with Marc Trestman, he has Forte, Marshall, and Jeffrey (TE Martellus Bennett is having a good year too), and their offensive line is much better (No. 5 according to Football Outsiders in pass protection). If McCown was good with no help, he might be a lot better with a much improved supporting cast.

Of course, the Bears defense is a complete mess and the Packers are coming off a week when they scored on every offensive possession against the Vikings, so this might not be much of a defensive battle.

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