Cutler leads Bears to victory again

Cutler

Jay Cutler has put together two straight solid games. Bears fans haven’t been able to say that in a while.

After watching Jimmy Clausen’s putrid performance against the Arizona Cardinals, it’s very apparent that Cutler is a far superior option. He has the strength and athleticism to be a successful quarterback in the NFL, but has never been a consistent quarterback. He is still turnover prone, but has somehow managed to win games despite his sloppy play.

Instead of getting flustered after making mistakes, he has been remained calm and thrived under pressure.

One of the reasons for Cutler’s improved play is nobody expects anything from the Bears this season – especially after the way they started the season. And for the first time in a long time Jay looks comfortable. He even made a near-perfect touchdown throw to Marquess Wilson in late in the fourth quarter.

Without that pass the Bears lose the game.

Sometimes fans forget how talented of a quarterback Cutler really is. The guy is by no means a scrub. The untimely turnovers and the sulking have caused Bears fans to turn on him. But he is the best quarterback the Bears have had in a long time. Lots of times his gaffes overshadow the team’s other weaknesses.

Cutler will never fit that ‘tough guy’ image Chicagoans like to see from their star athletes. But he’s the best option the Bears have.

This team will only go as far as Cutler allows them to. He has the ability to inspire belief in him, only to quickly disappoint with an egregious interception or fumble.

On Sunday for example, Cutler fumbled in the end zone early in the game, resulting in a Chiefs’ touchdown. But in the fourth quarter – when the game was on the line – he willed his team to victory.

Just when you think bad Jay is going to show up, good Jay emerges, and vice versa.

The biggest difference between this year and last year is that there’s no pressure on Cutler to succeed. At the beginning of the 2014 season, the Bears were considered a lock to make the playoffs. This year, nearly everyone predicted them to finish at the bottom of the division.

The Bears are still very unlikely to make the playoffs. But they have a very favorable schedule and won’t end up in last place in the NFC North this season.

During his last two outings, Cutler has shown a will to win that he has been lacking for much of his time in Chicago. Nearly everyone expects the Bears to part ways with Cutler at season’s end. Maybe Cutler’s inspired play is a result of him not wanting to be without a job this offseason.

If the Bears do cut ties with Cutler, another team will quickly scoop him up. But not many competitive teams would be willing to take a chance on an aging quarterback with Cutler’s history of inconsistency. So he would likely go to a team that isn’t much better off than the Bears.

Also, Cutler has a family now. It’s hard for anybody to uproot their family.

Whatever the reason is, Cutler looks like he cares about winning games all of the sudden. And that’s a good sign for Bears’ fans.

When Cutler is making plays, the Bears don’t look so bad.

As I said, the Bears will not finish last place in their division. That title will go to the Detroit Lions. The Lions are a team in complete disarray. Things got so bad Sunday that the Lions benched their quarterback in an embarrassing 42-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. The Lions are now 0-5 and are probably headed towards another rebuild.

The Lions can let Stafford go this offseason without hurting their cap space. So he may be on the outs in Detroit.

The Packers are undoubtedly going to win the division, but the Bears may be the second best team in the NFC North.

The Vikings have some talented players, and arguably the best running back in the league. But they can’t rely on second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to lead them to the playoffs.

Jamal Charles appeared to tear his ACL making a cut in the third quarter. If Charles’ ACL is indeed torn, it is a huge blow to a Chiefs team that has severely underachieved this season. Charles has emerged as one of the premier running backs in the NFL over the last few years and will be sorely missed by a Chiefs’ offense that has looked anemic at times.

After the Bears traded Jared Allen and Jonathan Bostic two weeks ago, fans and experts alike speculated the Bears were packing it in and looking to the future. But the opposite has happened. The Bears have gelled much better without Allen and Bostic.

If Cutler continues to play well, and the defense continues to hold teams to 20 points, the Bears will certainly win more than five games this season.

But the team could just as easily slip back into bad habits and go on a long losing streak.

Once again, the Bears’ season depends on Jay Cutler. If Cutler proceeds to play as he has since returning from his hamstring injury, the Bears will be a team that contending teams won’t want to see.

But Bears’ fans know all-to-well not to count on Jay Cutler to be consistent.