By: Alex Patt
Former Chicago Bears quarterback Josh McCown is finally hanging up his cleats after 99 games in the NFL. McCown (39) in addition to the Bears had played with the Arizona Cardinals (who drafted him in 2002), Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns and most recently the New York Jets. He totaled 98 touchdown passes, 17,707 passing yards, completed 60.2% of his passes, rushed for 13 touchdowns and was intercepted 82 times.
McCown was a significant part of the 2013 Bears team that was one stop away from an NFC North Title. Jay Cutler was hurt in mid-season and McCown had to take the reigns for some time and started five games, playing in a total eight. His efforts resulted in 1,829 passing yards, 13 touchdowns to just one interception, a 109 rating and 83.4 QBR in those games. Probably his best moments were beating the Packers at Lambeau Field and his four touchdown game against the Dallas Cowboys at Soldier Field. McCown had three-straight starts with 300+ yards and two or more touchdowns.
Unfortunately the defense let him down on a number of occasions. He put together very solid/great efforts in all five starts he made but went 3-2 as the Bears were bottom of the barrel in defense. Had their defense been at least semi-respectable they win the division before week 17 easily. McCown was liked by his teammates and the fans alike, some wanted to see him keep playing even when Cutler came back. Everything worked nicely for McCown, he had a great core of receivers including Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery and the first year of Marc Trestman’s offensive scheme ran pretty smoothly…before his failure to adjust in 2014 would lead to disaster.
There have been plenty of backup quarterbacks for the Bears who have done little to nothing, McCown was a rare case of one being successful. Hard to forget that McCown started two games in 2011 after Cutler got hurt and the Caleb Hanie experiment failed. He went 1-1 and threw for 414 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions. While on the team in 2012 he did not play in a game, thus why all of his Bears moments came in 2013.
Happy retirement, Josh McCown!