Question on the Cardinals: Is coaching the bigger issue or a lack of talent?
Their talent level seems to be holding back the Cardinals' progress this season. They have some good young players at the receiver and running back positions, but they need help defensively and possibly at quarterback. Right now they have Jeff Blake at QB, but he doesn't seem to be the long-term answer for the Cardinals. If they can upgrade their talent level, then there's no doubt coach McGinnis can win games with them.
Question on the Bears: Will the late surge by the Bears be enough to save Jauron's job?
The Bears recent 4-2 surge will save Jauron's job because the Bears are showing marked improvement. Despite their lack of stability at quarterback, they're playing with a lot of pride. Next season, they'll probably have rookie Rex Grossman in at QB, and that may be an upgrade for this team.
Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.
Getting his first start in seven weeks as a replacement for the
injured Chris Chandler, Stewart sparked the Bears to their biggest
offensive day of the season.
Stewart threw for two touchdowns and ran for a third, while
rookie Brock Forsey -- a fill-in for Anthony Thomas -- gained 134
yards with a touchdown in the Bears 28-3 win over the Arizona
Cardinals on Sunday.
"Chris is the starter. He hurt his shoulder. They gave him the
job. It's my responsibility as a backup to come in and just do what
I was supposed to do," said Stewart, who completed 22 of 37 passes
for 284 yards.
"I just know that today I had an opportunity, individually, and
I took advantage of it."
Stewart came off the bench and led a win over Denver last week
when Chandler got hurt, so the obvious question: Will he return to
the starter's role he lost after an Oct. 12 loss to New Orleans?
"I'll just let the powers that be do what they will," he said.
Coach Dick Jauron was noncommittal after the game.
Forsey, a rookie who was once a walk-on at Boise State, got his
second NFL start because Thomas was inactive with viral pneumonia.
"I've got confidence in myself. There are always going to be
people who say, 'Look, he's not the biggest guy, he's not the
fastest guy," said the 5-foot-11, 203-pound Forsey, a sixth-round
"I try and use that as motivation and prove people wrong. I'm
trying to make a statement."
He did, carrying 27 times and scoring on a 9-yard run with 3:33
remaining to cap Chicago's 21-point fourth quarter.
Ranked last in the league in offense entering the game, Chicago
(5-7) finished with a season-high 422 yards of total offense to 197
for Arizona, which managed just 46 yards rushing. The 28 points
were also a Bears' season-high.
The road woes continued for Arizona (3-9). Unable to generate a
consistent offense against an aggressive Bears' defense, the
Cardinals fell to 0-6 away from home and have been outscored 203-68
in those games.
Jeff Blake, who visited the Bears during free agency, threw two
interceptions and fumbled once.
Cardinals standout rookie Anquan Boldin was held to four
catches, three on a meaningless final drive. His 7-yard reception
in the second quarter made him just the 12th rookie in NFL history
to go over 1,000 yards receiving.
"We expected everything they did. We just didn't make plays,"
"We had trouble doing everything offensively," Arizona coach
Dave McGinnis said. "We were trying to get the ball to him, but we
had no continuity offensively."
Stewart scampered for an 8-yard TD with 7:46 left. The score,
set up by his 29-yard pass to Dez White, gave the Bears a 21-3
Earlier, Stewart hit White for a 10-yard TD pass on the sixth
play of the fourth quarter -- moments after Chicago's R.W.
McQuarters intercepted an overthrown pass and returned it 29 yards
to the Cardinals 12.
The Bears, without a first-quarter TD all season, finally got
one by driving 96 yards in just six plays the first time they had
Bears guard Chris Villarrial strained his rib cage in the first
half and did not return, and right tackle Aaron Gibson was forced
out early in the fourth quarter after spraining his knee during a
run by Forsey. Arizona defensive back Dexter Jackson hurt his ribs
and shoulder while defending Gage in the third quarter.
^Notes:@ Emmitt Smith saw his first action since separating his
shoulder and fracturing his shoulder blade against the Cowboys on
Oct. 5. The NFL's career rushing leader carried one time for
minus-3 yards and caught one pass for 5 yards. ... Bears PK Paul
Edinger, who made four field goals at Denver last week after
missing two and having one blocked in the previous two games,
missed two more Sunday from 44 and 43.