LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Brian Hoyer’s three straight 300-yard passing efforts suggest the quarterback position for the Chicago Bears is in good hands until quarterback Jay Cutler returns from a thumb sprain.
Inconsistency in other areas continues to plague the Bears (1-4) following their 29-23 loss Sunday at Indianapolis.
Linebacker Willie Young said coach John Fox addressed the issue in talking with players ahead of a home game Sunday against Jacksonville.
“Just to sum up his message to the team is that we’re so close,” Young said. “I guess every game, wins or losses, come down to a few plays. And to see how close we are is a lot of motivation to see that maybe if we can just avoid having this mistake, this offsides penalty, this dropped ball.”
Hoyer’s season passer rating climbed to 108.5 against the Colts, though he missed seeing wide receiver Alshon Jeffery open in the end zone on the Bears’ final offensive play, an incompletion. The Bears offense produced 522 yards, its most for a game since Mike Ditka’s 1989 team. But the offense sputtered in the red zone with one touchdown in three tries.
Wide receiver Cameron Meredith filled in well for injured Kevin White with nine catches for 130 yards, then fumbled the ball in the fourth quarter.
“I think we’ve gotten betetr at moving the ball offensively, distributing it,” Fox said. “I think our timing’s been better. All in all, though, we still need to capitalize on more points.”
Fox said he has no timetable yet on when or if Cutler will be back.
“Right now, that’s not a reality, so I don’t like to get too much into that,” Fox said. “But I think Brian’s played well. Unfortunately, we didn’t play quite well enough.”
Fox chastised the media for questioning whether Hoyer should have thrown the final pass Jeffery’s way instead of incomplete to Meredith.
“It could have been an option,” he said. “I don’t know that you can be super-critical. When you’re out there playing quarterback it looks a little different than when you’re up in the press box having hot dogs.”
The Bears’ defense hampered the Colts’ running game and at times harassed quarterback Andrew Luck. The defense had five sacks, but Luck still threw two touchdown passes and led the victory
“Our mindset was made up by how we wanted to get to the quarterback and that’s what we all sold out to do that,” Young said. “And from this point on, we’ve just got to be consistent in doing it.”
Notes: The pass rush could get better if Pernell McPhee returns from the physically unable to perform list. McPhee has been out with a knee injury However, Fox said that won’t occur until the week of the Oct. 22 Green Bay game at the earliest. McPhee can begin a three-week evaluation process at practice starting this Friday.