Wednesday, October 9, 2013
QB Watch: Bears' Jay Cutler
By Michael C. Wright
A weekly analysis of the Chicago Bears' quarterback play.
Rewind: Jay Cutler started slow, which was not entirely his fault given Chicago's struggles with blitz pickups early. That led to all three of his sacks in the first half. Cutler got a little lax with protecting the football in the first quarter, and that resulted in a fumble when Malcolm Jenkins hit him from behind on a cornerback blitz. The fumble gave New Orleans possession on the Chicago 6 and led to a field goal. Although he turned the ball over only once in this outing, he's committed five turnovers the past two games.
Still, Cutler performed well, completing 72.7 percent of his passes for two touchdowns and a passer rating of 128.1.
Fast-forward: The New York Giants rank No. 24 against the pass, allowing quarterbacks to compile an average passer rating of 95.9. They've given up 18 completions of 20 yards or more, which means Cutler should be able to carve up the Giants if the offensive line gives him sufficient time. Protection also should not pose much of a problem with New York's normally formidable defense collecting just five sacks through their first five games.
Do what is best: Cutler does not receive enough credit for the juggling act he is performing by managing all the personalities on offense. Cutler has to find a way to keep Brandon Marshall happy and involved along with tight end Martellus Bennett and running back Matt Forte. But he also has to make sure he is executing the offense in a manner conducive to success. So despite Marshall's frustrations, Cutler needs to resist the temptation to please him and do what's best for the team. If Marshall receives double and triple coverage, obviously Cutler needs to go elsewhere.
Prediction: Cutler should complete around 65 to 70 of his passes for a couple of touchdowns and a passer rating close to 100.