The Chicago Bears know they’re a good team, but their fatal flaw has been and continues to be Jay Cutler and his turnover problems. What frustrates people so much is not necessarily the fact that Cutler turns the ball over. No quarterback is perfect and will have his share of tough games. It’s just how reckless the he continues to be with the ball even though, at age 31, he should know by now how much his mistakes hurt the team. The numbers aren’t exactly hard to find.
- Career Record In Games With No Interceptions: 28-9
- Bears Record In Games With No Interceptions: 15-3
- 2014 Record In Games With No Interceptions: 3-0
There it is. Absolutely inescapable fact of how good Jay Cutler can be for his team when he manages to avoid throwing an interception in a game. Of the 37 games he’s played since 2006 where he did not deliver a pass to the opposite team, he has won 75.6% of them, which is over three quarters. It’s painfully obvious the Chicago Bears win when he takes care of the ball. Yet he continues to ignore that fact. Is it stubbornness that continues to push him into playing so reckless? Confidence? Idiocy?
— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) October 23, 2014
THE BAD NEWS
That is what fans have tried to figure out since he joined the team in 2009. Marc Trestman and Phil Emery believe Jay Cutler can lead the Bears to a Super Bowl. Here’s the thing: they’re right. He has shown enough talent and fortitude to have that capability. The elephant in the room of course is the turnovers. Until that stat takes a drop, Chicago will be like a greyhound with a stick tied to his back leg. He’ll be able to reach top speed for a moment, but every time he does the stick will trip him up and he’ll have to start over. In that way people will never know how fast he can really run.
That is what Jay Cutler is. Time will tell if he can ever get that stick cut loose.
THE GOOD NEWS
With that in mind, there is reason for hope in the near future. Cutler looks like the same, old player he’s been for years but there are signs that he is making progress under Marc Trestman. One of the most telling stats is his completion percentage. In 2013, Jay connected on 62.2% of his passes through the first seven games. That number has spiked to 67.3% in 2014. So it’s apparent he’s getting more comfortable in the system and becoming more accurate with his passes.
It’s also important to note, while not an excuse, that of the seven teams Cutler has played against, four of them boast top 15 pass defenses including the 6th ranked Packers and 4th ranked Dolphins. He faces the 1st ranked Patriots on Sunday. Toughness of schedule also has had something to do with the struggles.
He hasn’t thrown three interceptions in a game. (He did in 2013)
He has thrown four touchdowns in a game. (He didn’t in 2013)
The point is that the judgment of Jay Cutler must wait until the regular season is complete. Signs point to progress, but the picture is not in focus yet.
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