CHICAGO (CBS) — A day after coming up just short in a 21-19 loss to the Lions, Bears head coach Marc Trestman said it might have helped to replace ailing quarterback Jay Cutler with backup Josh McCown sooner than he did.
McCown entered the game on the final drive in the fourth quarter, leading the Bears to a touchdown, but they failed to convert what would have been a game-tying 2-point conversion, despite getting two tries.
Trestman told WBBM Newsradio’s Josh Liss, after going back to watch game film, he might have put McCown in sooner, given Cutler suffered an ankle injury earlier in the game, on top of his sore groin.
“I went through the tape closely this morning, and watched Jay’s performance, and I thought he did well into the fourth quarter,” Trestman said. “But at the end of the day, you know, if we had to do it all over again, maybe it would be one series before the two-minute drill.”
However, Trestman noted Cutler was able to lead the offense to what could have been a go-ahead touchdown drive earlier in the fourth quarter, had it not been for wide receiver Alshon Jeffery bobbling a good pass from Cutler, forcing the Bears to settle for a field goal that pulled the Bears within one point of the Lions.
“I thought Jay made a terrific throw to Alshon in the corner of the end zone as well, and made the play that he needed to make,” Trestman said.
He said Cutler “made some tremendous throws during the course of the game,” but ultimately the offense squandered too many opportunities to score touchdowns.
In addition to Jeffery’s drop in the 4th quarter, he also dropped what would have been a touchdown pass in the third quarter. On another drive, a Matt Forte touchdown run was negated by a holding penalty. The Bears to settle for field goals on both drives. They also had a chance for a touchdown at the end of the first half, but a Cutler throw to tight end Martellus Bennett was tipped at the line, and picked off in the end zone to end the drive.
“We had a number of chances to score touchdowns yesterday, and we didn’t get it done,” Trestman said. “We just didn’t make the plays when they were needed offensively. Just didn’t get it done, and everybody took a turn.”
Trestman said it’s not clear how badly Cutler hurt his ankle during the game, though he played all but one drive after turning his ankle in the second quarter. Although Cutler said after the game that X-rays showed his ankle wasn’t broken, Trestman said they won’t know how bad he is hurt until doctors and trainers take a look at it on Monday.
As for the defense, despite allowing two touchdown passes to Calvin Johnson, Trestman said they did a good job.
“We should be scoring more than 21 points offensively, and I thought against what has been a very, very good offense, our defense performed admirably,” he said. “We tried to get some help on Calvin, we just didn’t get it done. They had a few runs we’d like to have back, but overall I think we contained a very explosive offense yesterday.”