There is no indication that alterations in the offensive game plan will be necessary as a concession to backup quarterback Josh McCown, who will start in place of injured Jay Cutler on Sunday against the 4-5 Ravens at Soldier Field.
"You saw Josh play a week ago," said Bears coach Marc Trestman. "He played very effectively. He took care of the football. He was very efficient. We hope to get the same out of him Sunday."
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In three games, including two relief appearances, McCown's passer rating has never been below the 90.7 he compiled as the starter in Green Bay in Week 9, even though the Packers had the luxury of preparing for him. Overall, McCown's passer rating is 103.2 with 4 TD passes and no interceptions. If he had enough attempts to qualify, McCown would be fifth in the league in passer rating behind only Peyton Manning (121.0), Drew Brees (108.9), Aaron Rodgers (108.0) and Philip Rivers (105.9).
But Trestman refuted the notion that McCown has picked up the offense quicker than Cutler, while praising both quarterbacks.
"When Josh has played he's done an excellent job." Trestman said
Questionable personnel grouping:
The Bears' first attempt at the potential game-tying 2-point conversion in the final minute was an incomplete pass that was nullified by a roughing-the-passer penalty on Lions defensive end Willie Young.
It was odd that on a pass play, neither Brandon Marshall nor Alshon Jeffery was on the field.
"That doesn't happen in the norm," coach Marc Trestman said. "You haven't seen it ever happen. We just thought we had a play designed at that particular time to get it done. We had practiced it. We had worked through it. We just didn't get it done. You've got to really like the play, obviously, to have them off the field, and it didn't work out. We're certainly disappointed because you always want them out there."
Josh McCown's hurried pass sailed far over Dante Rosario's head.
Running on empty:
The second attempt for 2 points didn't fare any better than the first when a Matt Forte run was stonewalled by Nick Fairley and a pride of Lions.
"We just thought we could get to the edge in this game," coach Marc Trestman said. "We had some chances to get inside the 9-techniques, the (split) wide ends, and outside the tackles. We just didn't block it effectively. And as we had a couple times, we had everybody cut off. It was one man making the mistake that didn't get it done."
Center Roberto Garza accepted blame on the play, but he was far from the only culprit on a day when the Bears didn't have a run longer than 7 yards and totaled just 38 yards on 20 tries.
"We didn't block the run well," Trestman said. "We didn't do a good job. Even with 17 carries by Matt (for 33 yards), we didn't get enough productivity out of Matt in the running game. We have to get better at that. We were very disappointed in our ability not to balance it out."
Coach Marc Trestman said he was assured by the team's medical staff that Jay Cutler wouldn't do additional damage to his sprained ankle by continuing to play after suffering the injury in the second minute of the second quarter.
So how come he's not playing this week?
"Well, there's swelling now and those kinds of things," Trestman said. "But it wasn't a case of it being anything more than a high ankle sprain."
Holding out hope:
Cornerback Charles Tillman is out for the remainder of the regular season, and linebacker D.J. Williams and tackles Henry Melton and Nate Collins are already on season-ending injured reserve.
So Marc Trestman was asked if seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs (shoulder) might be able to give the defense a needed boost if he returns earlier than originally projected -- the Vikings game in Minnesota on Dec. 1.
"I don't have an answer to that," Trestman said. "That hasn't come into any discussions at this point."