Rex Grossman had a lot to prove on Sunday. Despite a strong performance last week in the season-opener in Green Bay, he was only able to produce one touchdown despite several trips to the red zone. Moreover, the boobirds were out in full force the last time he suited up at Soldier Field after a disappointing second half in exhibition action against Arizona.
It's safe to say that Grossman has Bear Nation back on his side after Sunday's outing. The fourth-year quarterback was 20-of-27 for 289 yards and four touchdowns. Both the passing yards and TD passes were career-highs, and he easily would have broken the 300-yard barrier for the first time had the score not been so out of hand.
The previously-forgotten-about Bears tight ends hauled in three touchdown grabs on the day, the first time that has happened since 1975. Grossman is still relatively inexperienced by NFL standards, but he is already one of the best play-action QBs in the league and threw three of his four TD tosses on play-action fakes. Don't expect a resurrection of his collegiate numbers when he was running Steve Spurrier's Fun-N-Gun offense back in Gainesville, but No. 8 has clearly shown through two games that he is indeed the quarterback of the present and a rising star in Chicago.
Grossman's passer rating against the Lions was 148, the best of his career. Considering the Bears open the schedule this season with three consecutive divisional games, the opportunity is there to distance themselves from the competition in an effort to repeat 2005's NFC North title. Two of those three hurdles have been cleared already, with the 2-0 Minnesota Vikings awaiting next Sunday in a key early-season showdown.
The Bears have long had an identity as a defensive-minded football team that relies on the running game offensively. Although the Monsters of the Midway have no plans to start chucking the ball all over the field a la Air Coryell, the emergence of the passing game will only make head coach Lovie Smith's approach all the more effective. For his scintillating stat line on Sunday, Grossman is the Bear Report Stud of the Week.