For better and worse, Josh McCown was as close to being Jay Cutler as he’s ever been — 23-of-36 for 355 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INTs for a 114.9 rating. He caught a break when an INT was nullified by a penalty.
RUNNING BACKS (A-)
Matt Forte gained 120 yards on 23 rushes — but a carry he didn’t get might have made the difference. Michael Bush had a 15-yard run on his only carry.
WIDE RECEIVERS (A-)
Alshon Jeffery was spectacular, breaking his franchise record with 249 yards on 12 carries (20.8 ypc). He scored on catches of 80 and 46 yards. Brandon Marshall (4-45), Earl Bennett (2-17) and Martellus Bennett (2-14) were minor player
OFFENSIVE LINE (B-)
The Bears gained 480 yards — 135 rushing, 355 passing. But the line failed on 2 key rushes late in regulation with a 20-17 lead. Jermon Bushrod’s false start was only the second by a Bears o-lineman this season.
DEFENSIVE LINE (B)
Julius Peppers played his ‘‘A’’ game with 2.5 sacks, 2 TFLs and a pass breakup. Corey Wootton had 2 of the line’s 4 pass deflections. Jeremiah Ratliff had 1 tackle, but drew a holding penalty in his Bears debut.
Khaseem Greene returned an interception 49 yards to thwart a Vikings drive. Jon Bostic had 9 tackles, though he drew a taunting penalty. James Anderson was solid again with 8 tackles.
DEFENSIVE BACKS (C)
Craig Steltz, filling in for injured Major Wright, led the Bears with 12 tackles and had a deflection that led to Khaseem Green’s INT. Chris Conte was better with 9 tackles. Zack Bowman (7 tackles, 1 TFL) played well enough.
SPECIAL TEAMS (B)
Robbie Gould kicked FGs of 30 and 40 yards, but missed a 47-yard FG that would have won it. Devin Hester had a clutch 57-yard KO return. Bears pooched to thwart Corarrelle Patterson.
There’s only one way the Bears could be as productive as they were in so many areas and yet still lose to a 2-8-1 team. Marc Trestman’s decision to kick from 47 on second down was an indefensible case of playing scared.