On the Jay Cutler for MVP discussion

In picking the Chicago Bears to defeat the Seattle Seahawks in this Countdown Daily video, ESPN's Mark Schlereth suggested that Bears quarterback Jay Cutler should be a candidate for the NFL's MVP award.

You already know the obvious. The Bears are 13-2 in Cutler's last 15 starts and 1-6 in the games he has missed. Winning is the most important statistic in football, you would think, and in Cutler's case it seems easy to see how important he is to the Bears' prospects.

NFC West colleague Mike Sando, who owns and operates ESPN.com's weekly MVP Watch, has other ideas. If you didn't see it earlier this week, Sando wondered how many of those six losses Cutler could have reversed and wrote: "Lots of starting quarterbacks improve their teams' chances for winning relative to what a backup would provide. That doesn't make them MVP candidates."

At this point, it sure looks like Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has the MVP award locked up. But if Cutler isn't the MVP of the league, I think we can agree he is the most important player for this team.