Bears

Bears expect to face Seahawks with Jimmy Clausen as starting QB

jimmy-clausen-bears-9-20-15.png

Bears expect to face Seahawks with Jimmy Clausen as starting QB

The Bears brought Jimmy Clausen back to Chicago this past offseason because of his familiarity with head coach John Fox.

Now, Fox may have to rely on that familiarity sooner that he probably would have hoped.

Clausen, who struggled to a 1-9 record as a rookie with the Carolina Panthers under Fox in 2010, replaced Bears starting quarterback Jay Cutler, who suffered a hamstring injury late in the second half of Sunday's 48-23 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

Afterward, Clausen's teammates were already talking as if he will be the team's starter against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 3.

"Jimmy just has to come in and fill in that role," Bears wide receiver Josh Bellamy said. "We don't expect any fallout. We expect Jimmy to come in and do the same thing Jay would do."

[MORE BEARS: Jay Cutler's 'competitiveness' leads to hamstring injury]

Tight end Martellus Bennett is already looking forward to having a full week of practice with Clausen.

"We're going to catch a lot of balls from Jimmy during the week," Bennett said. "We're going to run a lot of routes with him so he has to get familiar with our timing.

"He handled it well and I'm looking forward to working with him this week to get ready for the Seahawks."

This won't be the first time that Clausen, who went 14-of-23 for 121 yards and an interception in relief of Cutler on Sunday, could be tasked with replacing Cutler as the starter in Chicago, albeit under different circumstances in 2015.

Clausen hadn't seen any regular-season playing time since 2010 when the Bears started him in place of Cutler, a performance-based benching from then head coach Marc Trestman, against the Detroit Lions in Week 15 last season. Against the league's No. 2-ranked scoring defense, Clausen completed 23-of-39 passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns in the Bears' loss.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Bears fans!]

"It's always an opportunity when you step on the field," Clausen said. "If you're a backup or third-string guy, it's just an opportunity to go out there and improve, get better and make the team go. That's the job of the quarterback to get the team rolling and move the chains and put touchdowns on the board."

Would the offense expect a drop-off from Cutler to Clausen?

"The bark is different," Bennett said. "Their throws are different. The plays that we run with him are different. It's just a lot of little things. Nothing super major, but just getting familiar with him behind us."

However, there is one area that sets the quarterbacks apart in Bennett's mind. 

"Jay has better hair."

Bears still have much to prove after disappointing loss to Patriots

Bears still have much to prove after disappointing loss to Patriots


 Beating the, arguably, best coach and quarterback pairing in NFL history is a difficult enough task. Trying to do it while allowing two touchdowns on special teams? Good luck. 
 
The Bears will leave Soldier Field frustrated with their 38-31 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday for a number of reasons, but top of the list will be Cordarrelle Patterson’s 95-yard kickoff return score and a blocked Pat O’Donnell punt that was raced into the end zone by Kyle Van Noy. A special teams unit that had been solid all year — and forced a fumble on a Patterson kickoff return in the first quarter Sunday — suddenly became a disaster, allowing an uncharacteristically undisciplined Patriots side back into the game, and then ahead in it. 
 
Add in an inaccurate game from Mitch Trubisky — who completed 26 of 50 passes for 333 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions — and an uneventful afternoon for Khalil Mack and the pass rush, and the Bears had to scratch and claw to hang with New England. 
 
Interestingly, after all week hearing from Bears coaches and players about how they couldn’t let the Patriots take them out of their own game, it felt like Bill Belichick and Tom Brady did exactly that. Mack frequently dropped into coverage — but so did Leonard Floyd, so maybe it wasn’t all about Mack’s injured ankle. While Brady frequently got the ball out quick, when he didn’t he was rarely pressured. 
 
And on offense, Taylor Gabriel had the same number of targets (one) as offensive lineman Bradley Sowell until midway through the fourth quarter. Trubisky dazzled with his legs, covering over 70 yards on an eight-yard touchdown run and dancing his way to a 39-yard scramble that set up a touchdown in the third quarter. 
 
But Trubisky’s struggles were clear, with the second-year quarterback throwing two ill-advised passes that should’ve been picked off in the end zone and then underthrowing Anthony Miller in the fourth quarter, allowing Patriots safety Jonathan Jones to make a tremendous interception. New England drove 96 yards after that pick into the end zone, with Brady taking apart a defense that missed two tackles on a 55-yarder to Josh Gordon, extinguishing any hope the Bears had of a comeback.
 
While Trubisky did lead a scoring drive after Adrian Amos assisted Kyle Fuller for an interception, cutting the deficit to seven. And Trubisky nearly pulled off a miracle with a Hail Mary to Kevin White, which was completed just shy of the end zone. 
 
The loss dropped the Bears to 3-3 and heaps plenty of pressure on Matt Nagy’s side to win seemingly-winnable games in the next three weeks: At home against the New York Jets, on the road against the Buffalo Bills and at home against the Detroit Lions. But then again: When the Jets come to town next weekend, it’ll have been nearly a month since the Bears’ last win. How the Bears fare over these next three games will be a clear window into if this team is a legitimate contender or one that faded after a strong start. 

WATCH: Mitchell Trubisky runs like Michael Vick for 8-yard touchdown

WATCH: Mitchell Trubisky runs like Michael Vick for 8-yard touchdown

The New England Patriots defense wasn’t giving Mitchell Trubisky many options through the air, so he decided to take matters into his own hands at Soldier Field.

The young quarterback’s legs were the Bears’ most-effective weapon in the first quarter, as Trubisky led the team with 35 rushing yards on four carries in the opening period of play.

He capped it off with an eight-yard touchdown scramble that had him looking like Michael Vick on the field.

The Bears will need to have a more well-rounded offensive attack to keep up with teams like the Patriots, but Trubisky found what was working in the first quarter.

Perhaps most importantly, he’s been smart and safe with his running, opting to slide and go to the ground on his big plays to avoid any big hits.

His legs continue to make this offense more dynamic, to keep up with top-notch opponents like New England.