It was obvious that Chicago Bears star quarterback Jay Cutler was too injured to get anything going in the second half of today’s loss to the Detroit Lions, and it really was a tale of two halves for Cutler. He was as precise as ever in the first half and wasn’t hobbled by his significant groin injury, but he had major issues in the second half due to a new injury he picked up. The Bears decided to pull Cutler in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury, which meant that backup quarterback Josh McCown had to come in and lead the Bears to the end zone on the final drive.
With the Bears down 21-13 after an easy touchdown strike to Calvin Johnson from the Detroit Lions, McCown went to work. He looked awful at the beginning of the drive, as he had a couple of woeful underthrows. But after adjusting to the heat of the game (and there was plenty of pressure), McCown looked calm and collected. His fourth-and-1 pass to Brandon Marshall was incredibly clutch, and he hit key throws to the likes of Alshon Jeffery. It was an admirable effort from the veteran backup, who had to deal with the pressure of coming in cold in such a big moment of the game, and he also had to face constant pressure from the Lions talented defensive line.
McCown’s touchdown pass was filled with pressure from the Lions defensive line, as McCown had to scramble away from what looked like an easy sack at first. But McCown’s reward for avoiding the rush was an open Brandon Marshall, who made the 11-yard TD grab. It was a solid throw from McCown, who threw it high right when Marshall made his cut in order to allow the Bears superstar wideout to make that TD reception.
The Bears were still down 21-19 after the miraculous touchdown drive, but they were unable to get the two points they needed despite having two attempts. McCown rolled out to the right on the first attempt and immediately felt the heat of about three Lions defenders rushing him. Although he was able to get the throw off, it was obviously a terribly errant throw that bounced away in the back of the end zone. However, Willie Young was flagged for a personal foul on a helmet-to-helmet hit that was much more bad luck than malice. But nevertheless, the Bears would get a second shot. They tried to sneak in a run to the left side with Matt Forte, but Nick Fairley made up for a key personal foul penalty earlier on the drive. The explosive DT disrupted the Bears at the line of scrimmage and came into the backfield (as he has done so many times in his career) to make a vastly important tackle on Matt Forte that helped give the Lions their 21-19 victory.