By Nick Shook
Read full post on NFL.com
For the first time all season, Bears fans have something to smile about Monday, and much of that is thanks to Brian Hoyer.
No, you didn’t read that wrong. Hoyer, who was last notable for his playoff meltdown with the Houston Texans in a shutout loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last season, balled out (relatively speaking) Sunday in the Bears’ 17-14 win, completing 28 of 36 passes for 302 yards and two touchdowns.
We know, you can never get too excited about Hoyer, even if Mike Lombardi loves to remind us of how great he could be. The quarterback who is still the lone man at his position to own a winning record as a Browns starter can also morph into the passer who groans before his errant throw is even intercepted. But count John Fox as one of those who is going to believe in the man who replaced injured starter Jay Cutler (sprained thumb).
Hoyer replaced Cutler in the midst of Chicago’s ugly 29-14 loss to the Eagles on Monday Night Football, and completed 30 of 49 passes for 317 yards and two scores in a 31-17 loss. Two weeks later, he helped the Bears to their first win. The stat line from the victory over Detroit is impressive, but when watching the games in which he’s played, Hoyer exhibited the same issues that have long left his ceiling very much in sight. With Hoyer comes the accurate short passes, the ability to make the occasional play on the run, and the maddeningly overthrown balls beyond 15 yards.
Apparently, Fox and his staff will take the bad with the good, as long as the good keeps resulting in 300-plus-yard performances and wins, even if Cutler is healthy. It’s the latest sign that, despite being signed through 2020, Cutler’s time in Chicago and the existing relationship could be wearing thin.