Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

November 18, 2013

Weather delays bring out best in McCown

Progress staff reports
Jacksonville Daily Progress

CHICAGO —

It's something about a long weather delay that seems to bring out the best in Chicago Bears' quarterback Josh McCown, age 34, who prepped at Jacksonville High School.

McCown got the start for injured Jay Cutler (ankle) on Sunday and the Bears had to wait out a 113-minute weather delay as a severe storm system that launched tornadoes in central Illinois earlier in the day descended on Chicagoland in the first quarter of the Bears' game against Baltimore.

After the weather improved, McCown returned to a soggy Soldier Stadium field and eventually engineered a 60-yard Bear march in overtime that was capped off with a 38-yard Robbie Gould field goal that gave Chicago the 23-20 win.

Gould's winning boot was set up by a 43-yard McCown-to-Martellus Bennett pass play.

Chicago was able to keep pace with Detroit atop of the NFC Central standings with the triumph. Both teams have a 6-4 record.

McCown, who now has led Chicago to two of its wins on the season, went 19-31-0 for 216 yards passing. He had one touchdown toss as well, which came on a 14-yard strike to Matt Forte with 10:33 to play in the fourth quarter.

Sunday was not the first time McCown has had to endure inclement weather.

On Oct. 13, 2001, he guided Sam Houston State University to a 35-32 win over Nicholls State in a Southland Conference game that was played in Thidodaux, La. after a 2 ½-hour delay.

And while some pundits in the Windy City and Bear fans have begun to make the case that McCown should be allowed to keep his starting job even when Cutler returns to full form, McCown has taken everything in stride.

He went on record as reiterating after the game Sunday that he completely accepts his role as Cutler's back-up.