So Josh McCown gets to start against the Packers. This thrills me about as much as garbage day. Just for fun, let's take a look at some of the numbers behind the new Bears' starting quarterback...
- Number of starts since 2007: 0
- Number of games played since 2007: 4, including last Sunday
- Passes thrown since 2007: 8, including Sunday
- Total yards since 2007: 14
- Total passing touchdowns since 2007: 0
- Total interceptions since 2007: 1 (Sunday)
- Career TD-INT: 35-41
- Career quarterback rating: 70.9; Career high for quarterback rating in a season: 74.9
- Longest season: 14 games, 13 starts - 233-408 (57.1%), 2511 yards, 11 TD, 10 INT, 4.6 Adj Net Yards/Attempt
- Second best season: 9 games, 6 starts - 163-270 (60.4%), 1836 yards, 9 TD, 11 INT, 4.9 Adj Net Yards/Attempt
THIS is the guy starting on Sunday night? This is a better option than a fifth-round rookie? Because he "knows the system"? That sounds really familiar... (And yes. His career passer rating was actually, and still is, HIGHER.)
But anyways, that's not what you came here for, is it. Follow me past the jump and let's talk about the Packers. And no, I never thought that sentence would sound so welcome.
When Last We Met: Well, hm, last time we met the Bears were 1-1 coming off the Saints and Falcons, and the Packers were 2-0 coming off the Saints and Panthers. The Packers of course went on to win 27-17.
Since that day... Well, um, it's probably easier to say what hasn't changed since week three.
- In week three, the Packers were 3-0. Now, they're 13-1.
- The Packers also lost Greg Jennings, who will be out for this one.
- The Bears were 1-2. Then they were 2-3. Then they were 7-3. And now they're 7-7.
- The Bears lost their top quarterback (thumb injury), top running back (leg injury), top-producing wide receiver (bent backwards in a printing press), top supplier (stupidity), one starting safety from being cut, another one due to a smashed shoulder (who might return this week), and another one to a season-ending foot/ankle injury.
- The Bears lost to three-fourths of the AFC West. The Packers' scoring differential against the AFC West was +58. The Bears' scoring differential against the AFC West was -4 (+11 vs SD).
- The Bears and Packers combined to beat the Vikings in three games by 73 points.
- The Chargers scored 58 points combined against the Bears and Packers, and lost both games.
Ah, for the glory days when we were beating San Diego and basking in the glory of owning a wild card spot, eh?
But here's the most drastic change. Since Week 3, the Bears went 6-1, then 0-4. That was enough to propel the Bears to a one-game wild card lead, then down to two games back and needing some help to climb back in.
And now the Bears are starting Josh McCown. Joy to the world. Deck the halls with bad QB play, fa la la la la, la la la la. I'm really not sure what this does against the average scoring defense/bad pass-yardage defense of Green Bay. Might look okay on paper, "ease him in," but he's preparing for his first start in four years against a defense that loves turnovers. At least Nathan Enderle has started a game at some level in that time span, even if it was college.
I'm not even going to go into the T.J. (Shouse?) Yates comparison. Sure, he was drafted within a couple picks of Enderle. But he's got much better weapons around him - Andre Johnson, Arian Foster, Ben Tate, Owen Daniels. Enderle doesn't have that, but at least he's prepared for a game like a starter in this decade.
I get experience. I really do. But it's one thing to get a guy that just played last year and might be looking to hang on for another year. It's another to get a guy who's seen so little game play recently, and when he DID in his career, he wasn't good. We've seen this experience before. It was horrifically painful to watch. I know that Josh McCown won't automatically suck because Collins sucked, but what's to make us think differently when he gets picked on his third play as a Bear?
The best thing for the Bears this week is for the defense to come out at the pace they've played and allow only around 20 offensive points, and hope the offense can pick up just enough to win. If the defense allows this to get into a shootout, the Bears won't win it at all - without the defense playing at a high level, there's just been so little evidence to show the Bears can score enough to potentially keep pace with a 34.3 points-per-game scoring attack - hell, they've only scored 27 points in their last three games combined. It might take that many points in one game to win against Green Bay, and probably more.