Chicago Bears: Stop the Presses; Josh McCown Doesn't Completely Suck

Joe WillettSenior Writer IDecember 26, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 18:  Josh McCown #15 of the Chicago Bears stands on the sidelines during a game 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

The Bears finally made the decision to bench Pro Bowler Caleb Hanie for some insane reason, citing that nine interceptions and a 41.8 QB rating in four games isn't what a starter is supposed to do. Insane, right?

So Josh McCown was given the unenviable task of making his first start since 2007 against the best team in the NFL, a task that was sure to bring Chicagoans much disappointment after the Bulls finished an amazing game against the Los Angeles Lakers that had a playoff feel to it.

When the game started, Bears fans were shocked to see the Bears offensive strategy. They came out and ran the ball, realizing that maybe your third starting quarterback of the season shouldn't be forced to come out and carry the offense.

Kahlil Bell came out and had an amazing game and was able to make McCown's job a lot easier, running for 121 yards, but the biggest surprise was that Josh McCown wasn't way worse than Hanie; he was actually a lot better.

McCown threw for 242 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions, stats that aren't great but are reasonable for a backup.

He lead the Bears to a season-high 441 yards offensively, helped by McCown's 270 combined passing and rushing yards.

The Bears were also able to score 21 points, more than any game where Hanie started.

The win creates a lot of buzz around what would have happened if McCown was the starter over these past four games instead of Hanie. Yes, it's all speculation, but McCown didn't suck against a really good Packers defense; meanwhile, Hanie sucked against every defense he faced.

The difference between "sucked" and "didn't suck" would have been instrumental in the Bears close games against the Oakland Raiders (lost by five), Kansas City Chiefs (lost by seven) and Denver Broncos (lost by three in overtime).

While McCown was sitting on sidelines, Hanie was effectively taking a dump over a Bears team that had won five games in a row and was looking like one of the best teams in the NFL.

For now, Bears fans can only wonder about what could have been, but Josh "Doesn't Completely Suck" McCown (that nickname is official) is going to have to live with the Chicago sports media not so much concerned about the games he did start, but the ones he didn't.

At least he earned himself the right to a back-up job somewhere next season.


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