Was Rex Good Enough Sunday?

Much-maligned Bears quarterback Rex Grossman played pretty well against an aggressive Seattle defense in his return to the starting lineup Sunday, but critics will inevitably, and perhaps unfairly, focus on the one crucial mistake he made late in the ballgame.

The Bears' brain trust wasn't giving out such classified information yet, but indications are that Rex Grossman, whose starting status was on a week-by-week basis, played well enough in defeat Sunday afternoon to keep his job.

"I was definitely pleased with how Rex played," head coach Lovie Smith said. "He gave us a chance to win. Rex did a good job today."

Grossman's 86.1 passer rating wasn't nearly as impressive as the 106.0 of Seattle's Matt Hasselbeck, who played superbly, but the Bears' quarterback made more than enough big plays to offset a fourth-quarter fumble he lost while trying to scramble around and make something happen.

"We had a shot to go deep on that play, and they did a good job covering it," Grossman said of his only turnover. "I saw a crease, and I was trying to run into it and either throw the ball to Adrian Peterson or run it. The guy from the back side (defensive end Patrick Kerney) came and knocked it out. That was a big play in the game."


QB Rex Grossman
Ted S. Warren/AP Images

The Seahawks turned the takeaway into a field goal and a 30-20 lead with 3:31 remaining. But Grossman also contributed some big plays. He had passes of 41 yards to Muhsin Muhammad (71 yards on three catches); 36 yards to Rashied Davis, which set up Robbie Gould's 48-yard field goal with 13 seconds left; and 23 yards to Bernard Berrian, who caught nine passes for 102 yards.

"I thought Rex played a great game," Bears center Olin Kreutz said. "I thought he handled the crowd noise well. It's a tough place to play, and he made throws with that arm that hardly anyone can make."

Grossman was benched after playing poorly in each of the first three games but rescued the Bears in Week 10 when his replacement, Brian Griese, suffered a sprained left shoulder. Sunday, Grossman finished with 266 yards on 24-of-37 passing, easily his best complete game of the season, but he didn't know if he had won his job back.

"The only thing I can think is we just got beat," he said. "It feels real bad, and we've got a lot of disappointed guys in this locker room right now. At this point, I can't answer your question."

NEWS & NOTES

  • QB Rex Grossman had his best complete game of the season, completing 24 of 37 passes for 266 yards and a passer rating of 86.1, although he was sacked five times.
  • RB Cedric Benson had his two longest runs of the season, a career-best 43-yard touchdown on his first touch and a 20-yarder on his second touch. He finished with just 11 carries, although his 89 yards were his second-best total of the season.
  • TE Greg Olsen, who was shut out a week earlier, caught a career-best seven passes for 43 yards.
  • WR Bernard Berrian led the Bears with nine catches and 102 receiving yards.
  • WR Muhsin Muhammad had just three catches, but his 71 yards were his third-best outing of the season.

  • Is Devin Hester already the greatest return man ever?
  • An interview with running backs coach Tim Spencer
  • Ed "The Claw" Sprinkle: The Oldest Living Bear
  • A look at the autobiography Sayers: My Life and Times
  • Getting to know third-year quarterback Kyle Orton
  • All of that plus much more in the January issue of ...

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