Chicago Bears: Lovie Smith Goes from One Horrible Quarterback to Another

Joe WillettSenior Writer IDecember 21, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 18:  Josh McCown #15 of the Chicago Bears passes against the Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field on December18, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Seahawks defeated the Bears 38-14.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

For the last four weeks, Caleb Hanie has done his best to help the Bears season implode. Lovie Smith has had enough of it, even though it is likely that the results won't be any better.

With the Bears going up against the NFL-best 13-1 Green Bay Packers on Christmas Day, Smith has given Bears fans the gift of Hanie sitting on the bench this week.

Now, I'm not saying this is a move made to get wins. McCown doesn't exactly have a stellar track record as a starting quarterback. He is in his eighth year in the NFL and is on his fourth different team.

Over his career, he has completed 57.1 percent of his passes for 35 touchdowns and 41 interceptions. In his lone season as a starter, he threw for 2,511 yards, 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Over the last three years, he has completed two of eight passes for 14 yards and an interception.

Only one time throughout his career has McCown thrown more touchdowns than interceptions in a season, and the only other times when he has gone even were with the Carolina Panthers, where he didn't throw any touchdowns or interceptions and attempted just six passes, completing one.

His one completed pass against the Seattle Seahawks last week netted him more yards than he has had combined since December 23, 2007.

Basically, McCown is bad.

Really bad.

The good thing about McCown is that he is far better than Caleb Hanie. He throws an interception every 25.8 attempts, which is far better than Hanie's 11.3 attempts per interception.

McCown is an improvement in almost every aspect of the game, including completion percentage (McCown: 57.1 percent, Hanie 50.9 percent), yards per attempt (McCown: 6.22, Hanie: 5.85) and quarterback rating (McCown 70.1, Hanie: 41.6).

Since Cutler got hurt against the San Diego Chargers, the Bears offense has been horrible.  The Bears are scoring 11.8 points per game, down 15 from the 26.8 per game that the Bears put up with Cutler holding the reigns.

Although McCown is bad, he is still better than Hanie.

Unfortunately for Bears fans, saying McCown is an improvement over Hanie is like saying a sack is better than an interception. Either way, you are losing, but one allows you to keep the ball longer.

I'm Joe W.