2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Josh McCown has kept Bears in playoff race

    2013-12-10 19:35

CHICAGO (AP) - Quarterback Josh McCown has given the Chicago Bears a fighting chance.

It might be up to Jay Cutler to finish the job.

Despite a porous run defense, the Bears (7-6) are back in the NFC North chase, tied for first with the Detroit Lions after dominating the Dallas Cowboys in the second half at frozen Soldier Field 45-28 on Monday night.

McCown finished with a third straight 300-yard passing effort - the first time it's been done in franchise history - yet his future could be returning to the bench or he could start again Sunday at Cleveland against the Browns.

It all depends on Cutler's sprained ankle, and the Bears won't know more about that situation until possibly Thursday. They were off Tuesday and do not practice Wednesday.

''For me, it is week to week and obviously I'm in practice and I see (Cutler's) progress and monitor that and, you know, I understand every week if my number is called I have to be ready to go,'' McCown said.

''So that's how it has been and we're ready for him to get back as quickly as possible; hopefully he is healing up and that will happen soon.''

With his 27-of-36 effort for 348 yards and four touchdowns Monday, McCown moved to third in the NFL in passer rating at 109.8. He trails only Peyton Manning (114.5) and Nick Foles (120).

McCown has 13 touchdown passes, the same as Cutler. McCown has thrown one interception and Cutler eight.

Coach Marc Trestman left no room for uncertainty after Monday's game when announcing Cutler is still the starter.

''There's no change in the plan,'' he said.

Nor would Trestman say he can afford to be cautious and keep Cutler out longer now because of McCown's hot streak.

''It has nothing to do with cautiousness,'' he said. ''We're taking this very methodically. The doctors understand that. When he's (Cutler) good to go and can have a full week of practice, he'll be our quarterback.''

McCown led the team in every way he could Monday night. He scored a TD by leaping into the end zone and getting knocked into a mid-air spin by Dallas linebacker Sean Lee.

''A run like that by your quarterback, him jumping into the end zone and getting flipped around a little bit, him getting up with a smile on his face? It just gets us going, man,'' tackle Jermon Bushrod said. ''If he can go lay it out there like that, then we have to lay it out there like that.''

The Bears' offense hit full efficiency against Dallas, scoring on its first eight possessions. They never punted, the ninth possession consisting of a one-play kneel-down by McCown to end the game.

The five touchdowns came in contrast to the previous losses to Minnesota and St. Louis when the Bears struggled in the red zone.

Accounting for five TDs is not the kind of production most teams can expect when they rely on a 34-year-old journeyman backup quarterback.

McCown admits Trestman's offense might simply be the right situation for him to flourish.

''You always wonder how it would be if you operate in the right kind of offense with the right kind of players and so on and so forth,'' he said. ''With me, it's just about being in the right situation now with these guys, with this offense and with these coaches, and allowing me to play within the system with the guys that are around me.''

McCown's passing has helped the Bears to a 7-6 record and he is 3-2 in his five starts this season.

Although the Bears are tied with the Lions, they trail in the NFC North race based on losing twice to Detroit. Lurking half a game back are the Green Bay Packers.

The Bears have road games with Cleveland and Philadelphia and finish at home with the Packers. The Lions host Baltimore on Monday night, host the Giants and finish at Minnesota.

The Packers are at Dallas on Sunday, host Pittsburgh and then have the finale at Chicago.

''I think we have a pretty good chance,'' wide receiver Earl Bennett said. ''The only thing we can control is to go out each and every game and win.''

NOTES: The Bears-Eagles Dec. 22 game has been flexed from afternoon to a Sunday night on NBC. ... Running back Matt Forte's 102-yard rushing effort Monday gave him 1,073 yards rushing on the year, and his 73 yards receiving brought his total to 518. It's the second time in his career he went over 1,000 yards rushing and 500 yards receiving in a season, making him the only Bears running back to do it. His seven catches Monday gave him 65, breaking the franchise's running back record of 62 for a single season that he set in 2008.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Steven JacksonDec 24 09:53p

Atlanta Falcons RB Steven Jackson (quadriceps) is now expected to sit in Week 17 against the Carolina Panthers.

R. Griffin IIIDec 24 05:23p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (shoulder) is likely to play in Week 17 against the Dallas Cowboys despite dealing with a sprained right shoulder, according to head coach [ More ]

C. WhitehurstDec 24 04:23p

Tennessee Titans QB Charlie Whitehurst will start in Week 17 against the Indianapolis Colts, head coach Ken Whisenhunt confirmed Wednesday, Dec. 24.

Drew StantonDec 24 01:03p

Arizona Cardinals QB Drew Stanton (knee) will receive some practice time this week and has around an 85 percent chance of being ready for the team's first playoff game, [ More ]

Rashad JenningsDec 24 12:43p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) participated in practice Wednesday, Dec. 24.

Henry JoseyDec 24 10:13a

The Minnesota Vikings signed RB Henry Josey off the Jacksonville Jaguars' practice squad Wednesday, Dec. 24.

Ben TateDec 23 06:23p

The Minnesota Vikings released RB Ben Tate Tuesday, Dec. 23.

Peyton ManningDec 23 06:13p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning said he's fine physically following the team's Week 17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. In recent weeks, defenses have clogged the middle of the [ More ]

Aaron RodgersDec 23 04:53p

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (calf, flu) continues to think he'll be ready for Week 17 against the Detroit Lions, and he said he'll be ready if the [ More ]

Ryan MathewsDec 23 03:13p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) is not participating in practice Tuesday, Dec. 23.

T Y HiltonDec 23 02:33p

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) is taking part in practice Tuesday, Dec. 23.

Peyton ManningDec 23 01:33p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning threw four interceptions in the team's Week 16 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals Monday, Dec. 22, and Denver's offense has been inconsistent since losing [ More ]

A.J. GreenDec 23 12:13p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (biceps) said he's dealing with a bruised right biceps, but he expects to play in Week 17 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. X-rays on his [ More ]

Justin ForsettDec 23 10:03a

Baltimore Ravens RB Justin Forsett (ankle) insists his ankle is fine, despite his decline in production the last two weeks. He has 68 yards in the last two games [ More ]

Jeremy HillDec 23 12:23a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill carried 22 times for 147 yards and a touchdown in the Week 16 game against the Denver Broncos Monday, Dec. 22.

Andrew LuckDec 22 09:13p

Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck is expected to play in Week 17 against the Tennessee Titans. Despite the fact the team has nothing to gain in the regular season [ More ]

Brian HoyerDec 22 07:53p

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer (shoulder) has no structural damage to his shoulder, but he is dealing with a significant bruise suffered in the Week 16 game against the [ More ]

Rex GrossmanDec 22 07:43p

Free-agent QB Rex Grossman (Redskins) is unlikely to join the Cleveland Browns for the Week 17 game against the Baltimore Ravens, as the two sides could not work out [ More ]

Aaron RodgersDec 22 06:33p

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (calf) was able to do some work Monday, Dec. 22, and is sore, according to head coach Mike McCarthy. McCarthy said the team [ More ]

Drew StantonDec 22 06:13p

Arizona Cardinals QB Drew Stanton (knee) will not be ready to start in Week 17 against the San Francisco 49ers, according to head coach Bruce Arians. The team is [ More ]

Dwayne BoweDec 22 05:13p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe (shoulder) is dealing with what the team is calling a sprained shoulder, and his availability for Week 17 against the San Diego Chargers [ More ]

Albert WilsonDec 22 04:53p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Albert Wilson played 58 of the team's 66 offensive snaps in Week 16 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and he had five catches for a team-high [ More ]

Dontrelle InmanDec 22 04:43p

San Diego Chargers WR Dontrelle Inman caught the first seven catches of his career for 79 yards in the team's Week 16 win over the San Francisco 49ers with [ More ]

Keenan AllenDec 22 04:43p

San Diego Chargers WR Keenan Allen (shoulder, ankle) and RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) could return to the lineup for Week 17 against the Kansas City Chiefs, according to head [ More ]

Russell WilsonDec 22 04:23p

Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson was 20-for-31 for a career-high 339 passing yards in the Week 16 win over the Arizona Cardinals, and he was 12-for-17 for 264 yards [ More ]

Logan ThomasDec 22 04:13p

Arizona Cardinals QB Logan Thomas has been named the starting quarterback for Week 17, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

Johnny ManzielDec 22 04:13p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel (hamstring) is out for the rest of the year due to a hamstring injury suffered in Week 16, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Jimmy ClausenDec 22 02:53p

Chicago Bears QB Jimmy Clausen (concussion) suffered a concussion in Week 16 and has been ruled out for Week 17.

Jay CutlerDec 22 02:52p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler is expected to be the starting quarterback in Week 17 with QB David Fales being the No. 2 quarterback.

Philip RiversDec 22 02:23p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) will play Sunday, Dec. 28, according to head coach Mike McCoy. Rivers has been dealing with a bulging disk in his back.

Nick FolesDec 22 01:13p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Nick Foles (collarbone) has been ruled out for the team's Week 17 game.

Aaron RodgersDec 22 12:13p

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (calf) was fighting the flu days before he pulled a calf muscle in Week 16 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 'I battled the [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group