Cutler didn’t help his case in the 23-10 loss in Week Two. He forced passes into double coverage too often as his receivers couldn’t get separation from the Packers cornerbacks.
He also stayed in the pocket too often, but the offensive line really failed to give him ample time in the pocket.
He completed just 11 of 27 passes for 126 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions.
The Bears are 1-7 against the rival Packers since Jay Cutler arrived in Chicago in 2009. He has tossed seven touchdowns and 16 interceptions in total in those seven starts against the Packers.
He has been sacked three times in five of the seven starts. He hasn’t thrown more touchdowns than interceptions in any of those seven starts.
Bad news for the Bears on Sunday is that Clay Matthews is set to return for this game.
Matthews has missed the past five weeks due to a hamstring injury. He practiced on a limited basis on the past two days and in full on Friday.
A positive note for the Bears is the fact that Matthews had just 2.5 sacks in seven games against the Bears prior to this season’s meeting. In that time he also had four quarterback hits and one interception.
Matthews consistently beat Bears left tackle J’Marcus Webb in that Week Two matchup. Matthews moves around plenty on defense. He could be seen lining up against the right side of the Bears line with right tackle Jonathan Scott anchoring it on Sunday.
Matthews has nine sacks on the season, but the past four games he played in (Week Six-Week Nine) he had just one sack.
The Packers have the second most sacks in the league with 42 on the season. They allow around 22 points per game to opposing teams.
The Bears have allowed 37 sacks on the season, which is seventh most in the league.
So, what do the Bears have to do to stop Clay Matthews and the rest of the Packers pass rush?
They have to help J’Marcus Webb on the left side by bringing over a tight end or having Matt Forte or Michael Bush line up on the left of Cutler so they can block.
The Bears have allowed three sacks in total over Cutler’s last four starts. With Chris Spencer returning from a knee injury it will certainly help the left side of the line.
Cutler comes into this game banged up. He suffered a neck strain in the 21-14 loss against the Vikings last Sunday. He is also dealing with a mild knee sprain.
He has been limited all week in practice, but he will absolutely be under center for the Bears on Sunday.
If the Bears want to win they have to start out fast on offense and get points on the board because the Packers are going to bring pressure all afternoon long.
Containing Matthews isn’t out of the question considering this is his first game back.
It won’t be easy, but the Bears have to stop the Packers defensive line enough to give Cutler and the rest of the Bears’ offense a chance to succeed.
It’s a big game. With a lot on the line and a lot of meaning behind the game expect both teams to be ready to go in this one.
Even though the Bears can lose this game and still make the playoffs with two winnable games ahead the Bears need to win this game to really gain momentum heading into the postseason.