Marcus Robinson caught three of Cade McNown's four touchdown passes today, including a leaping, dancing 42-yard grab along the sideline, as the Chicago Bears beat the Detroit Lions, 28-10.
McNown became the first Bears rookie to throw for 300 yards in a game. He finished 27 of 36 for 301 yards with two interceptions in his fourth start and also rushed for 36 yards on nine carries. Robinson had 11 catches for 170 yards.
"I feel like I played okay. I don't feel like I did anything sensational out there," McNown said. "I got the ball to some exceptional athletes, namely Marcus Robinson, and he made some big plays for the team."
At 8-6, the Lions are still in the running for a playoff berth, but their division title hopes were seriously damaged. The loss also spoiled the return of Charlie Batch, who made his first appearance since injuring his thumb Nov. 7.
With Gus Frerotte struggling, Batch came in with 10 minutes 26 seconds left in the game and scored the Lions' only touchdown, a 12-yard run with 3:25 left. He finished 6 of 10 for 95 yards. Frerotte was 17 of 30 for 158 yards with three interceptions.
If Batch's thumb doesn't feel any worse during the upcoming week, Coach Bobby Ross said he will start against Denver on Christmas Day.
"I could have started the game. Last week I could have played," said Batch, who admitted he understood Ross's caution with him. "The thumb's not getting any worse, and it's not getting any better. At this point, I'm able to deal with the pain."
With McNown making solid reads and smart throws, the Bears (6-8) cruised with 14 points in the last 2:48 of the first half.
"That's a pretty good defense," Bears tackle Blake Brockermeyer said. "A lot of the veterans will be behind Cade even more now. He showed he can go out and make plays."