Brandon Marshall brought in a touchdown catch against the Packers -- but Josh McCown helped quite a bit. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Selected in the third round of the 2002 draft by the Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears quarterback Josh McCown has become the NFL's definition of a journeyman -- he's played for six different teams, has thrown for 7,202 yards in his career, and has more career interceptions (44) than touchdowns (38). He hadn't started an NFL game since the 2011 season, but he was pressed into service on Oct. 20, when the Bears lost a wild 45-41 game to the Washington Redskins and starting quarterback Jay Cutler suffered a groin injury. The Bears had a bye last week, so Monday's game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field was McCown's first start since January 1, 2012 -- and the third start for McCown in the last five seasons.
We're giving you all this preface because the touchdown pass McCown threw to receiver Brandon Marshall with 9:55 left in the first quarter was not the kind of play you'd expect from a quarterback whose teams would generally prefer that he stay on the bench. McCown was immediately set upon after the snap by Green Bay's pass rush, but somehow managed to keep the play alive and get the ball to Marshall along the right sideline in the end zone. From there, Marshall did his usual acrobatic thing over Packers cornerback Tramon Williams.
This play looked very similar to what the Houston Texans have been doing for young quarterback Case Keenum over the last two games -- run the passing game out of the pistol formation, and let your guys try to make shot plays downfield.
On the Packers' subsequent drive, Packers backup quarterback Seneca Wallace, in the game because Aaron Rodgers suffered a shoulder injury, threw a very strange pick to Bears defensive end Julius Peppers, who played the ball like he was back at North Carolina shooting hoops.
(Both GIFs via Bleacher Report).
So far, the battle of career backups is heading decisively in McCown's favor.