He’s had bad games before, but this one something special. Not just getting sacked 7 times by the Green Bay Packers, as the Chicago Bears went down 23-10 in Lambeau Field. Not just Jay Cutler getting intercepted four times while posting a 28.2 quarterback rating. But it was the over-confidence in pregame, and the terrible behavior to his linesmen during the defeat.
Cutler isn’t the first quarterback to yell at someone for missing an assignment. Peyton Manning isn’t exactly very nice to his teammates during games, just like Tom Brady and others. Great competitors, with that kind of fire, need to be killers on the field, with their own teammates as well. As the guy running the show, it’s part of your responsibility. But Cutler probably took it a step too far, especially as he was having a terrible day without any help from anyone.
Losing Matt Forte to an ankle injury wasn’t very helpful. Michael Bush is a good running back, but he just doesn’t bring to the table the kind of outside and catching ability Forte does. Losing one half of the Bears’ offensive hopes for a great season was too much against a fired up Packers defense, that wanted to shut Cutler up and rough him along the way.
Cutler wasn’t alone in the whole mess. Offensive coordinator made some weird mistakes, keeping on with deep drops for Cutler while his offensive line was clearly not capable of holding back the Packers pass rush. Where were the screen passes and focusing on establishing a running game before putting too much on Cutler’s arm. The Bears struggled to put points on the board, but there was nothing coming from the Bears. Suddenly, the 41 points against the Indianapolis Colts don’t look as impressive.
Just take a look at these numbers – When the Packers made it 16-3 late in the fourth quarter, Brandon Marshall, Earl Bennett and Alshon Jeffery had a total of 3 reception. Marshall was at zero, with one dropped pass in the end zone. He finished with 2 receptions, being targeted for only 5 all game long. The last time a Bears quarterback threw four interceptions and was sacked seven times in a game? In 1971, Bobby Douglass.
The Bears had a total of 168 yards, averaging 2.9 yards per play. Cutler made only 2 for 11 on passes for more than 10 yards, hitting one for a touchdown but intercepted on those twice, despite the fact that he was one of the best in the NFL last season (52.7%) when going long.
And now there’s the problem that was there early on last season. The protection for Cutler isn’t great, especially J’Marcus Webb and Gabe Carimi who got an earful from their quarterback. Cutler never apologized, saying ‘If they want a quarterback that doesn’t care, they can find somebody else’. It’s good to see that he gives a %^&$ about playing badly; about everyone around him playing terrible, but at some point, stuff like this can become a leadership issue.
It’s on Lovie Smith and Mike Tice to fix the Bears offense, who weren’t facing the best defense in the league. Just one that knows Cutler pretty well, and weren’t surprised they managed to pick him four times. Same old Jay, said Charles Woodson. Cutler is a good quarterback, but he needs the right kind of plays called for him. He needs to establish a running game before starting to make things happen with his arm. Otherwise, maybe the Bears won’t be as good as they thought they’d be. Maybe they simply aren’t that good.