A case could be made for Josh McCown, Devin Hester or even Adam Podlesh for the game ball, but Matt Forte's 3 TD runs, including a "now we're-back-in-the-game" 50-yarder to tie the game early in the second half cinched the vote. It's the first time Forte has rushed for 3 TDs in one game.
Quarterback 3.5 balls
Never thought this would've been the grade when Jay Cutler left the game early with an injury and a QB rating of 8.3, but Josh McCown stepped in and did a heck of a job, not only as a leader but as an on-field performer as well, finishing with a 119.6 rating and a TD pass to Martellus Bennett that gave the Bears the lead with 4 minutes remaining.
Running backs 4.5 balls.
Matt Forte's 3 rushing TDs stole the show. Last Bears' RB to turn that trick? Rashaan Salaam in 1995.
Receivers: 3.5 balls
Alshon Jeffrey led the way with 4 catches for 105 yards, but his inability to haul in a Cutler pass that turned into an early pick-6 for Washington really hurt. Brandon Marshall continued to make the tough catches and continued to make key downfield blocks. He finished with 6 catches for 75 yards.
Offensive lines 3.5 balls
A rough start for the unit, but they were much better in the second half as the Bears rallied and nearly won the game.
Defensive line .5 balls
Linebackers 2.5 balls
As expected, rookie John Bostic (6 solo tackles) was all over the place, which was good at times but bad at others. Until he left the game with an injury, Lance Briggs was having himself a heck of a game. As it was, he finished tied for the team-lead with 8 tackles. James Anderson had the lone sack of the day.
Secondary 1 ball
Charles Tillman's third INT of the season and his 36th overall was a definite highlight. The tackling and the coverage of the secondary as a whole? A definite lowlight.
Special teams 4.5 balls
Finally, an onside kick that worked! Only a phantom offsides call could ruin it, and boy did it ever. Devin Hester's scintillating 81-yard punt return brought back the memories. Adam Podlesh was a field position machine. Even the late-game trickery on a kick return was one last block away from glory. Only blemish? Gould's missed field goal.
Coaching 2.5 balls
Tons of bye-week work to do on the defensive side. Not sure what can be done considering the talent available, though. As for the offense? Well, you lose you're starting QB early, yet adjust the game plan accordingly for the back-up and come within one late Washington drive of a victory. Not too shabby.