Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Chicago Bears [Print without images]

Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Jay Cutler No. 6 on MVP Watch list

By Michael C. Wright

NFL Nation New York Giants reporter Dan Graziano updated his MVP Watch list for Week 3 of the season, and Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler checks in at No. 6 after guiding his team to its second consecutive come-from-behind victory Sunday over the Minnesota Vikings.

Check out the list here.

Here’s Graziano’s analysis:

“This guy's sideline demeanor makes [Tom] Brady look like Mr. Rogers [Fred, that is], but the Bears are keeping him upright for the first time and he's rewarding them with cotton-candy-sweet, game-winning touchdown passes to Martellus Bennett in the corner of the end zone. Cutler has the fifth-best completion percentage in the league, a 2-0 record and a coach he appears to actually like. This is no small thing, because, as has been well established, Cutler doesn't like anyone.”

One very noticeable aspect of Cutler’s demeanor from this vantage point is that right now, the quarterback seems to like everyone, especially the club’s revamped offensive line, and his weapons at the skill positions. Cutler now believes in the protection and the system, and that’s translated to a more confident signal-caller.

The true measure of Cutler’s transformation will come once the quarterback faces adversity he’s unable to rebound from over the course of a game. Bears coach Marc Trestman has mentioned that potential situation on numerous occasions, while admitting his relationship with Cutler at this point is still very much in the honeymoon phase.

Because Cutler believes in the system and the coaches teaching it, he shouldn’t have much difficulty bouncing back from the adversity that inevitably comes over the course of a 16-game season. He’s shown flashes of that by bringing back the Bears late in back-to-back games. But sooner or later he’ll be unable to do it. It’s normal. How will Cutler react then?

Either way, given this franchise’s history at the quarterback position, it’s refreshing to see the mere mention of Cutler as an MVP candidate. He's earned that.