The only thing that's been great about Cutler has been the misery
Scouting report out of Buffalo, home of the NFLís only winless team and luckily the Bearsí next opponent: The Billsí defense responds best against mediocre quarterbacks, and Iím thinking, Jay Cutler has been the very definition of mediocre.
He has thrown seven touchdown passes and seven interceptions and has an 84.1 passer rating this season. He threw 27 touchdowns and 26 picks last season with a rating of 76.8. Mediocre, see?
Mediocre with the arrow pointing down, actually. While his passer rating presently is better than the toilet he finished in last season, itís a fact that his Bears numbers are worse than his Broncos career.
However, one area in which his Bears career matches his Broncos years --- and his Vanderbilt years and his high school years, for that matter --- is that he is 0-for-the-postseason. He has never been there, never been the reason his team has played beyond its regular schedule, not since Pop Warner or YMCA ball or some such embarrassing thing, so itís fair to suspect that he was a big part of the reason his teams were an o-fer.
Which leaves us with the Cutler math: Big expectations + big arm x big money / (average stats + zero postseasons) = o-ver-ra-ted (clap, clap, clapclapclap).
It might sound mean to point up this stuff now, but tough. Iím feeling very self-hating this morning. When the Bears made the trade after Cutler whined his way out of Denver, I bought into the idea of Cutlerís big arm, elusiveness and Pro Bowl status. This was a real quarterback, I thought. It was like the Bears found Sasquatch. Nobody around here believed that a great, young quartrerback existed. One had never been captured. No proof. It was an urban legend.
But after a season-and-a-half of this guy, a season-and-a-half of some greatness and some palm-to-forehead disasters, Iím angry that I have to stand in line and fill out papers to get my name on the list for a stupidity transplant.
Look, Cutler isnít supposed to stink, certainly not as much as he has for that kind of money and with that kind of hype. Maybe my frustration has grown because he showed maturity and smarts in limiting the turnovers early in the season, but then came Washington, and the bile prompts me to think the only surprise about his four interceptions that cost the Bears a home win against an awful Redskins team is they came in one half. He has thrown four picks before as a Bear. In fact, he has thrown more in a game as a Bear. Whatís more, his Chicago-career odds say heíll spit up another four-pick game at least once before this season is over.
When Cutler is making bad decisions, they seem lobotomy-inducing bad. Take two of the picks by DeAngelo Hall last game -- the touchdown return and the fourth one that sealed Cutlerís and the Bearsí laughable result. Or take the goal-line pass to 800-pound Johnny Jolly in Green Bay last season, or the same kind of pass to the fat guy in San Francisco. It becomes too stupid for words. What was he looking at?
For a while, some people were saying his diabetes affected his night vision because the Green Bay and Frisco games were in prime-time, and blah, blah, blah. Thank goodness Cutler cleared up that tripe with his retch-inducing throws to Hall that Sunday afternoon.
More popular were the excuses that his offensive line stinks, his receivers are subpar and his offensive coordinators are bad (Ron Turner) or nuts (Mike Martz). I confess I was one of those people pointing to the line and the receivers as the culprits. I used the eyeball test: Cutler looked like an actual NFL quarterback, while the line and the receivers made me want to rip my eyeballs out.
But hereís the deal: Make all the excuses you want -- and I did -- but itís still Cutler throwing the ball. Dude, what the . . .
Whatís more, last yearís stats showed he threw worse standing in the pocket than when he was on the run. Is that any way to run an offense? Is that any way to be a quarterback?
So, you combine the questions of what he sees when heís standing back there and what he thinks, period, and you must wonder whether Cutler has learned how to learn in Chicago. Maybe he learned and got better in Denver. If so, that process stopped here. Or maybe the Broncos had a coach or two who knew how to make it work. If so, thereís certainly nobody here doing that, and that might very well include Cutler.
This is why and how Cutler gets compared to Jeff George. Big arm, no nothing. Cutler hates that comparison. He believes heís better than that. He believes his team will be better than Georgeís. OK, fine, Cutler doesnít like the Jeff George thing. So, how about George Costanza?
ďJerry, just remember, itís not a lie if you believe it.íí