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Monday, December 20, 2010
Cutler may find success in middle of field

By Michael C. Wright

MINNEAPOLIS -- Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler directs most of his throws towards the middle of the field.

That's a positive for the Bears on Monday night against the Minnesota Vikings, given what are expected to be potentially dangerous conditions at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, Cutler has completed 139-of-211 for 1,770 yards on attempts inside the numbers for eight touchdowns, six interceptions and a passer rating of 92.7. Cutler's success decreases on attempts outside the numbers. When passes are directed there, he's 74-of-133 for 927 yards with nine touchdowns, six interceptions and a passer rating of 81.3.

Why do these numbers matter?

Well, the field at TCF Bank Stadium still was hard on Sunday, and footing was potentially treacherous outside the numbers and in the end zones. The middle of the field, meanwhile, took on the usual soft, spongy qualities of Field Turf.

With kickoff still several hours away, the grounds crews at TCF Bank stadium were expected to thaw the areas outside the numbers and in the end zones to a condition similar to the middle of the field.

The grounds keepers have their work cut out with game-time temperatures expected to be around 23 degrees, and a chance of between 3-5 inches of snow.

Snow began falling in Minneapolis around 10 a.m. CT.