by Steve Bogira
The Bears scorched the Dallas Cowboys in arctic Soldier Field last night, 45-28, thanks to the brilliant play of the entire offense. QB Josh McCown threw for four TDs and ran for another; receivers Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall and running back Matt Forte all had great nights.
But the pass from McCown to Jeffery in the waning moments of the first half was especially remarkable. McCown stepped up in the pocket at the 30 and hurled the ball with pinpoint accuracy to the rear corner of the end zone. Jeffery, double-covered, left his feet, leaned backward, reached high, plucked the ball from the air, and got both feet down in the end zone just before falling out of bounds, with an assist from a Cowboy defender.
The Cowboys' weak defense surely was a factor in the offense's success. But McCown continues to show an uncanny knack for eluding rushers he can't see, and perfect timing in stepping up in the pocket. And he's been throwing the ball well to say the least (27 for 36 last night, for 348 yards).
The 23-year-old Jeffery, with stunning agility, long reach, and Velcro hands, looks like he's on the verge of becoming the next Bears superstar. Credit Marshall for mentoring him unselfishly. Marshall, 29, is himself still excelling on the field—he had six catches for 100 yards last night, and made a terrific block on a McCown run. Marshall helped Jeffery train in Florida last winter. "I appreciate and admire him a lot, but I’m still learning from him," Jeffery told the Sun-Times in April, about Marshall.
"The kid is like a sponge," Marshall said of Jeffery then. "He soaks up everything."