5:45 PM CDT, October 20, 2013
At the risk of making the understatement of the year, the Bears' bye week likely could not have come at a better time.
First Jay Cutler left Sunday's game in the second quarter with a groin injury. Then Lance Briggs went down with a shoulder issue. Then Charles Tillman and Major Wright were sidelined. Briggs' backup at linebacker, Blake Costanzo, needed X-rays. Even Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery looked shaken up at one point.
After all that, the Bears' 45-41 loss to Washington, dropping them to 4-3 on the season, is almost an afterthought.
Wherever Cutler has to go during the team's week off to recover, Bears fans will have his back. As for other players, we've got suggestions as to where they should spend their downtime based on Sunday's performance.
HAWAII (home of Pro Bowlers)
The streak is over! Until Sunday, Hester had gone 28 games without returning a kick for a touchdown (his last came Nov. 13, 2011). He ended that drought by taking a punt 81 yards to pay dirt in the second quarter. He's now tied with Deion Sanders for most non-offensive TDs with 19.
When your quarterback goes down, your star running back has to pick up the slack, right? Forte certainly did. After running for just 9 yards in the first half, he tacked on 82 in the second, including a 50-yard touchdown and a 6-yard score for three TDs total.
HOLLYWOOD (feel like a star)
Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall
Combined, the Bears receivers hauled in 10 catches for 180 yards. Just as crucial, they kept drives alive for Josh McCown and the offense. Must be comforting having two playmakers of this caliber on the outside. Even without green shoes, these guys are money.
Coach Marc Trestman told Fox that even with Cutler's injury, the playbook would not change. Well, props to McCown, who went 14-of-20 passing for 204 yards and a touchdown, not to mention 33 yards rushing. If it weren't for Robert Griffin III making the Bears look foolish, McCown would have been the best QB on the field.
MILWAUKEE (don't go TOO far)
The veteran linebacker was in the Redskins backfield a lot, racking up eight tackles and knocking down a pair of passes. More important, the Bears defense looked lost without their captain on the field, allowing big play after big play. Good luck replacing that.
On this plus side, this group gave up just two sacks and gave Cutler and McCown time to find receivers. On the other hand, the one sack Cutler suffered knocked him out of the game. Luck was not on their side Sunday.
LAKE FOREST, IL (Stay home and think about what you did)
The rest of the defense
We'll qualify this by saying it's tough to overcome the neverending injuries, and Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III is slippery as hell. But when you give up 507 yards of offense and 38 points (subtracting seven for Cutler's pick-six), that's leaving your own offense hanging. Especially when you're handed a lead with minutes remaining and have several chances to at least force a field goal attempt.
Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye Sports' Facebook page.
Copyright © 2014 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC