Was Cutler asked to do too much?
Was Cutler asked to do too much?
He was asked to carry the offense, defense, special teams, Gatorade jugs, coaches' headphones and medical kits
The Bears asked Jay Cutler to do it all Sunday.
And he did it all — poorly.
In Cutler's first game back from a one-game absence because of a concussion, he was asked to carry the offense. As well as the defense, special teams, Gatorade jugs, coaches' headphones and medical kits.
Other than the glazed-over look on his face in his post-game news conference, there no signs of lingering symptoms from his concussion. His coaches certainly did not coddle him.
Cutler was asked to throw the ball all over the field. He did, but too often he was nowhere near his targets. Cutler threw 22 incompletions and connected only 43 percent of his 39 throws.
He was inaccurate on many passes. It appeared that he had misunderstandings with receivers about where the ball was supposed to go, but he indicated there were no such problems and said his receivers were "on point."
His best pass play of the day? Easy, that was his first — a deep throw to Devin Hester that Hester did not have a chance to catch because it was behind him. But Seahawks cornerback Roy Lewis was penalized for pass interference after falling on Hester at the end of the play. The result was a 58-yard gain, which set up the Bears' first touchdown.
Cutler was asked to be his own pass protector. On some plays, Cutler was responsible for picking up one of the Seahawks' blitzing pass rushers. In those situations, Cutler is expected to make a hot read and deliver the ball quickly.
He was sacked six times (which runs his total to 15 times in his last three halves of football), and acknowledged he might have failed to pick up a hot read a few times. On one sack, he said, the Seahawks made it look like they were pressuring on the backside, and they blitzed on the front side.
"I have to get the ball out quicker, we have to identify who's coming and who's not, and the receivers have to see it too," he said.
He also said, "We have to figure it out. It's a problem. It's on me, it's on the offensive line, it's on the receivers."
Cutler was asked to make up for the running game being given most of Sunday off. Is it some kind of labor law that the runners can't be asked to work on consecutive Sundays?
The result was Cutler found himself in third and longs more often than he has found himself in trendy night spots with his TV star girlfriend who most people have never heard of.
The Bears faced third and five or longer on 10 of 12 third downs. Cutler attempted to pass on each of the dozen third downs. He had two completions (both shy of the first down marker), six incompletions and four sacks.
"We have a third down package and we're not executing it," Cutler said.
Cutler was asked to overcome disadvantageous field position. The Seahawks' average drive began on their 33 — 15 yards closer to scoring than the Bears' average drive.
Cutler was asked to score more than Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck with fewer opportunities. The Seahawks had the benefit of nearly nine minutes more of possession time, and is defense didn't give him the ball on a takeaway once all game.
What Cutler was asked to do was too much. He wasn't helped nearly enough. Not from offensive coordinator Mike Martz, not from his blockers and not from his running backs. About the only help he had came from Johnny Knox, Earl Bennett and Devin Aromashodu, who helped pad Cutler's passing yardage with long runs after the catch.
"Was it all his fault?" said Seahawks safety Lawyer Milloy, who had one of the sacks. "I'm not going to say that. He's a strong-minded competitor, and he will stand in the pocket and hold onto the ball. Even Michael Vick couldn't have gotten out of some of the stuff we were bringing."
Maybe Kristin Cavallari, or whatever her name is, can help him forget the whole thing. Somebody needs to help this guy.