After Jay Cutler's impressive Week 1 performance against the Indianapolis Colts, many believed he would continue to grow with his new weapons and have his way with a struggling Green Bay Packers defense.
Well, things didn't exactly go according to plan for the Bears' quarterback, as he threw four interceptions and looked confused all game. He was also hit repeatedly, holding on to the ball a bit too long at times and not making the best reads.
Three of his four interceptions were poor throws, so those who criticize his decision-making have a lot of ammo after Thursday night. With Cutler, though, it's not always cut and dried. He is extremely talented, a guy who can make almost any throw on the field and can additionally move well outside of the pocket.
His claim to fame for the first few years of his career was that he threw too many interceptions. Last year, he made a conscious effort to limit the turnovers, and only threw seven all season.
Because he threw fewer bad balls, he also took far fewer chances, and finished with a measly 13 touchdowns to go along with 2,319 yards. Those aren't impressive numbers from a quarterback who threw for 4,526 yards in 2008.
The big thing for Cutler this year was getting the chance to play with old friend, receiver Brandon Marshall. Last week against the Colts the two linked up nine times for 119 yards. Granted, that was against a Colts team that doesn't boast a very strong secondary, but it was encouraging nonetheless. Thursday Marshall caught two balls for 24 yards, but don't expect that to become a trend.
Looking down the road, one bad game does not portend doom for 29-year-old quarterback. He is still a guy who, when given the proper talent offensively, can put up very good numbers. The Bears still have a very good defense, and with Matt Forte and Michael Bush running the ball, he won't have to toss it up 35-40 times a game to win. (Mike Tice, new offensive coordinator, wouldn't let him do that anyway.)
Lambeau Field is a tough place to win at, so losing in Week 2 to a playoff team is not the worst thing that could happen. Yes, Cutler did not look good, but his Bears play the St. Louis Rams next week, so I expect he will have a resurgence of sorts.
The NFL is a tough business: One week you look like a playoff contender, the next you can't do anything on either side of the ball.
With Cutler and his new weapons, expect things to turn around for the better.