Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has been up-and-down in his fourth season in the windy city.
The 29-year old Vanderbilt product has completed 90 of 156 passes for 1,209 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions through five games this season.
His QB rating of 78.7 ranks 21st in the NFL this season. His career QB rating is 84.2
He ranks 13th in passing yards (1,209), 26th in completion percentage (57.7), fifth in interceptions (7) and 13th in touchdown passes (7).
So, do these stats mean he isn’t able to lead his team to the Super Bowl this season?
The answer is no.
He proved last season during the Bears five-game winning streak that he could lead this team.
He threw five touchdowns compared to just three interceptions and was sacked only five times during that winning streak.
The Bears defense has clearly carried the team so far this season, but Cutler has made some great decisions at times as well as some bad ones.
Week One against the Colts, Week Four against the Cowboys and the second half of Week Five against the Jaguars Cutler really showed up to play.
You have to wonder what happened during the Week Two matchup in Green Bay, the Week Three matchup against St. Louis and the first half of the Week Five matchup against Jacksonville.
Week Two against the Packers the Bears’ offense stunk it up Cutler included. The receivers got zero separation, left tackle J’Marcus Webb got exposed with no help and the running game stalled once Matt Forte got hurt.
But against an average Rams defense in Week Three Cutler posted a QB rating of 58.9. This past week in Jacksonville he had a tough start getting the offense going, but found his rhythm in the second half tossing two touchdown passes.
The additions of big receivers Brandon Marshall (6’4″) and Alshon Jeffery (6’3″) has really helped Cutler this season. WR/KR Devin Hester has been making big plays the last two weeks and Earl Bennett should be back and healthy for the Week Seven Monday night matchup with Detroit.
Cutler has great chemistry with Marshall and Bennett. He spent three seasons with Marshall in Denver and he played with Bennett at Vanderbilt and over the past three seasons in Chicago.
Tight end Kellen Davis has gotten into the mix as well as of late. The offensive line has done a decent job at keeping Cutler upright allowing 14 sacks so far this season.
Running backs Matt Forte and Michael Bush have done a good job on the ground by averaging 123.6 yards together, which ranks 11th in the league.
Is Jay Cutler good enough to help this team make it to Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans?
Bears general manager put the pieces together for Cutler this off-season and he says he has faith in him to lead this team.
“I am a Jay Cutler fan,” Emery said via ChicagoBears.com. “I believe in what he is doing as a quarterback. If you look at the simple things, the 9-1 in the last 10 games, the (23-9) over the last three years, those stats say something, that we have a winner at a key position for our franchise. I said early in the year that I felt Jay was a franchise-level quarterback. I will continue to say that.”
At 4-1 through five games, the Bears are sitting at the top of the NFC North tied with the surprising Vikings (4-1). But many analysts and fans remain skeptical about the 2012 Bears. A lot of the skepticism is about Cutler and the offense.
The Bears have this week off to rest up and get healthy.
Then they host three of their next four games at Soldier Field.
They have tough stretch from Week Ten-Week 16 (v.s. Houston, at San Francisco, v.s. Minnesota, v.s. Seattle, at Minnesota, v.s. Green Bay and at Arizona).
We’ll see what the 2012 Bears are made of very soon. Cutler has to play just good enough to lead this team, he doesn’t need to play great and I think that’s something people don’t understand.
If the defense stays healthy all season they will be at this elite level while the offense can get by just by playing decent.
The Bears have never been a pass-happy team and now that the league is transforming into that I think that’s why the pressure for Cutler to step up is amounting around the league.
Cutler can lead this team to the playoffs and to the Super Bowl. I strongly believe that and you should to.
With proper time in the pocket and separation from his receivers Cutler can be just as elite as Tom Brady or even Drew Brees.
He’s learning over the past few weeks to step up and run if their are no receivers open down field.
You have to like the Bears’ Super Bowl chances with a healthy defense and a healthy Jay Cutler under center.