The Bears' big mistake

By starting Jay Cutler, Chicago is benching NFL's hottest QB

Updated: December 13, 2013, 2:58 PM ET
By Scott Kacsmar | Football Outsiders

Josh McCown, Jay CutlerAP Photo/Mike RoemerThe Bears should be keeping Jay Cutler, healthy or not, on the sideline right now.

In terms of name recognition, the decision shouldn't be a hard one. Jay Cutler is the starter, Josh McCown has been the career backup. Even during the course of McCown's current stretch as the Chicago Bears' starter, coach Marc Trestman has maintained that Cutler is the preferred starter when he returned to health. In that light, Trestman's decision to go back to Cutler makes total sense.

But that position discounts the recent performance of McCown under center. Career backup or not, McCown has performed at an extremely high level since relieving the injured Cutler. And that's what makes Trestman's decision surprising. In sitting McCown, the Bears aren't benching a run-of-the-mill backup, they're benching the hottest QB in the National Football League. And in the context of what best aids Chicago's postseason chances, the Bears are making a mistake.

Scott Kacsmar

Football Outsiders
Scott Kacsmar is an Assistant Editor at Football Outsiders.