In 2007, the Bears went into Washington to play the Redskins. Both teams
were 5-7 and still had an outside shot at the playoffs. When Jason Campbell
went down with an injury in the second quarter, the Bears were seemingly in position to pounce and move closer to a playoff berth.
Todd Collins, a career backup quarterback, came in for the injured Campbell and the led Redskins to a 24-16 victory. He threw for 224 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Bears went on to finish the season at 7-9. The Redskins, on the other hand, finished 9-7 and earned as playoff berth with Collins as the starting quarterback. Collins finished the regular season with a 63.8 completion rate, threw for 5 touchdowns and a 106.4 quarterback rating. The Redskins wound up getting smoked by the Seattle Seahawks in the playoffs.
All is not lost without Jay Cutler piloting this offense. Yeah Collins is not a Jay Cutler, but with a week to prepare and coaching adjustments made by Mike Martz and Mike Tice, instead of the Bears potentially blowing Carolina out of the water, they'll soundly beat them on Sunday.
This also gives the Bears an opportunity to take a step back and have a more balanced approach to offense. The Bears rank 30th in rushing yard gained. Now some could fault the offensive line but some of the fault has to fall on Martz by refusing to run the ball in key situations and for allowing Cutler drop back behind an offensive line that has allowed him to get sacked. The Bears lead the NFL in sacks allowed.
Besides, the defense has been dominant thus far, special teams have been solid as usually and they are facing Notre Dame alum and rookie quarterback, Jimmy Clausen.