The Bears’ victory behind Brian Hoyer makes for great fodder. It’s exactly what hot takes need to exist and thrive.
The Bears’ backup quarterback played well and won, while maligned starter Jay Cutler, whom some national talking heads love to hate, sat with a sprained right throwing thumb.
But hold on.
The Bears beat the Lions.
It’s a win that might have been a long-time coming for the Bears, who had lost six consecutive games to their divisional rival before Sunday. But the Bears’ 17-14 victory at Soldier Field provided plenty of examples for the why the Lions are still … well, the Lions.
Hoyer’s victory shouldn’t scream quarterback controversy, though some will make it that. The Bears found the end zone twice against a below-average defense that was missing two key starters.
Hoyer, a 30-year-old veteran with starts for four teams over the last four seasons, knows the talk is coming, though.
Everyone loves the backup quarterback.
And Hoyer smirked and chuckled when asked how he would handle his role in the coming days.
“My role is to do whatever is asked of me,” said Hoyer, who was 28-for-36 passing for 302 yards, two touchdowns and a 120.1 passer rating.
“Today, I’m going to enjoy the victory. Whatever they say to me [Monday], then that’s what I’m going to prepare to do. That’s being a professional about it.
“That’s one thing I’ve learned through the tough situations that I’ve been through. Just be a pro. Whatever they ask of me, that’s what I’m paid to do and that’s what I’m going to go out there and do.”
Hoyer still deserves credit for his performance. He was efficient and composed, whereas Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (23-for-36, 213 yards, two interceptions) was out of sorts. Hoyer made quick throws and reads, spreading the ball around and connecting with seven receivers.
And certainly there are reasons to believe in Hoyer. Teammates praise his leadership and poise. His dart to receiver Eddie Royal while on the move for the Bears’ first score was impressive. It’s apparent that Hoyer has a good rapport with offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, too.
“Everything he can do, he’s doing,” said tight end Zach Miller, who caught a six-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter.
But as a unit, the offense put together its best performance this season, even though penalties and mistakes limited their point total.
Hoyer benefitted from rookie back Jordan Howard’s productive day and a healthy dose of play-action passes. The offensive line also held up against the Lions’ pass rush, which was missing top threat Ziggy Ansah.
“We executed,” coach John Fox said. “The problem in the first three games was that we didn’t execute for 60 minutes. It helps when you do that.”
Right now, Hoyer executes the offense better than Cutler because he’s healthy.
Cutler wasn’t wearing a brace on his thumb, but until he can firmly grip the ball and throw it in his typical strong-armed fashion, Hoyer should start.
Some folks will like that, and Fox isn’t bound to Cutler as former coach Marc Trestman was. But a full-blown quarterback controversy requires more than a win over the Lions.