Jay Cutler's turnovers in the red zone doomed the Chicago Bears against the San Francisco 49ers
SAN FRANCISCO -- Jay Cutler throwing a career-high five interceptions was bad, but tossing two of those picks in the red zone was downright awful. Let's say Cutler doesn't turn the ball over on those two drives; Robbie Gould kicks a pair of automatic field goals, and the Bears win.
Instead, we're left to wonder what in the world Cutler was thinking on those respective plays.
Red-zone turnover No. 1: It was a third-and-one from the 49ers' one-yard line in the second quarter. Cutler appeared to throw to tight end Kellen Davis, except there were four red jerseys standing in the way -- ball intercepted by nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin
"I can help him there and give him a better call," offensive coordinator Ron Turner said. "They had it well covered. It was third-and-goal on the 1 1/2-yard line, and I called a play-action pass they had well covered. In that situation, you'd like to throw it away, but I got to give him a better call."
Red-zone turnover No. 2: It was the last play of the game -- second-and-twelve from the SF 12-yard line. Cutler's pass down the middle intended for Greg Olsen was picked off by Michael Lewis.
"We were putting four verticals, getting four guys in the end zone," Turner said. "We were trying to get Greg [Olsen] and Earl [Bennett] in the end zone, get some separation and read the safety. Greg came in, slid back out, and he [Cutler] stepped up in the pocket and tried to go to Greg."
We can debate about how Cutler was at fault for the other three turnovers, but being careless with the football deep in enemy territory is unconscionable -- and it's happened way too much in 2009.