Chicago Bears: 3 Reasons Jay Cutler Will Light Up Indianapolis Colts
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Jay Cutler always seems to be in the media, whether it was his temporary breakup with Kristin Cavallari, pouting on the field or missing the second half of the NFC Championship Game two seasons ago.
With that being said, Cutler looks ready to put that behind him. With an improved supporting cast, the Bears QB appears poised to have his best year as a pro in 2012.
The Bears will square off with the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1 of the regular season. The worst team in the league in 2011, the Colts don't appear to have a fighting chance, at least not on paper. Instead, Cutler is likely to light up the Colts and their marginal secondary.
As Sunday draws closer, and the excitement rises, the Bears signal-caller is off getting ready to give Chicago what it has been expecting ever since the team traded for him in 2009.
In Week 1, Jay Cutler will have a field day against the Colts, and there are three reasons why.
Bears receiver Brandon Marshall
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Since Jay Cutler's first season with the Bears, there has been an extreme lack of talent at the wide receiver position.
However, the firing of former GM Jerry Angelo and the hiring of Phil Emery appears to have since steadied the ship.
Much has been said about the time Cutler and Marshall spent together with the Denver Broncos, which I believe cannot be overlooked. After all, both players had the best season of their respective careers while playing catch in the AFC West.
If this duo can come close to replicating those numbers this season, the Bears will be among the NFL's best.
There is also rookie receiver Alshon Jeffery out of South Carolina, who the Bears traded up to draft in the second round, to take into account.
The Bears have high hopes for the 6'3" receiver. While most rookie receivers take some time to transition to the NFL, Jeffery is in a position to play and succeed now.
According to analysis on RotoWorld, Jeffery has had a phenomenal camp. He has displayed the physical tools and soft hands that the Bears raved about when they selected him in the draft.
Chicago also added running back Michael Bush through free agency to complement starter Matt Forte. Both backs do different things well, but they can both be relied upon to shoulder the load and take some pressure off Cutler.
Bears Offensive Coordinator Mike Tice
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The Mike Martz experiment was a complete and utter failure.
The Bears gave it a shot, but they couldn't have been more wrong about the production they would see on the field under their former offensive coordinator.
The team simply didn't have the personnel to execute Martz's aerial passing game. The scheme didn't even play to Cutler's strengths.
After Martz was allowed to leave, the Bears promoted offensive line coach Mike Tice to take his place.
Tice has an entirely different view on offense. His system employs a hard-nosed, run-the-ball style to set up the pass. This suits the Bears well due to their depth at running back with Forte and Bush.
He will also stay away from the seven-step drops that killed Cutler last year. Relying more on one, three and five-step drops, Cutler will be able to get the ball out early and will not have to rely on anticipation reads.
Throwing to Marshall, Jeffery, Earl Bennett and Devin Hester should make things a little bit easier. As a whole, the scheme will give Cutler more opportunities to find open receivers before the pressure can get to him.
Having said that, even when he is under duress, Cutler is among the best in the league at finding his receivers.
Matthew Berry of ESPN provides us with an interesting stat on the Bears QB:
Jay Cutler was sacked or under duress (forced to move or alter a throw due to pressure) on 34.2 percent of his drop-backs last season, the second-highest rate in the NFL. (Tim Tebow had more. Of course he did.) But! Cutler completed 47.8 percent of his passes under duress, the fourth-best rate in the NFL.
The crazy thing is, Cutler was doing this with Devin Hester as the team's No. 1 receiver. The addition of Marshall and Jeffery could very well be enough to push Cutler into the elite quarterback discussion.
He has always had the talent. Now he is playing in the right system with the right players, he looks ready to have a monster year and a monster game against Indy.
Indianapolis Colts Secondary Is Not Good
Newly Acquired Colt, Corner Back Vontae Davis
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I expect the Bears to have a big game through the air in Week 1. It's nice that Cutler has better weapons and a new system, but the Colts secondary is just flat-out not good.
Last season, the Colts were last in the NFL in interceptions, which has been Cutler's biggest issue as a pro. However, he is now facing a unit that struggles to get their hands on the ball.
The Colts did add Vontae Davis via trade, but how much of a difference can one man make? He will have to be locked onto Marshall for much of the game.
What's more, the 6'4" wideout is strong enough to fight Davis off. With the quick passing game being implemented in Chicago, he should be able to get open without issue.
The Colts were ranked 15th against the pass in 2012, but that was a fluke. The AFC South squad was often trailing early in games, and teams would run the ball against them instead.
The true picture is revealed when you see the Colts allowed opposing teams to complete 71 percent of all passes.
Yes, 71 percent. No other team in the league was above 68 percent.
The Bears should have a field day against the Colts, and I expect head chef Jay Cutler to carve their secondary up.