Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears went into Lambeau Field last night expecting to put past drubbings at the hands of the Green Bay Packers behind them. What they ended up with was more of the same, as the offensive line was nonexistent and Cutler again reverted back to his old gunslinger ways en route to a 23-10 loss.
The performance last night was extremely disappointing to Bears fans, especially when you consider the level of confidence Cutler and the team exuded after their 41-21 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
Cutler invited press coverage, telling Packers defensive backs “good luck” if they chose to do so. Left tackle J’Marcus Webb joked on twitter that he would turn Clay Mathews into “Clay dough,” only to turn around and get abused the entire game.
Everything the Bears said they would do, the Packers made them eat their words.
However, to only single out Webb wouldn’t be fair because the entire offensive line was awful. Cutler never looked comfortable in the pocket, mostly because he was running for his life the entire night.
With Mathews leading the charge, the Packers defensive line absolutely dominated the Bears offensive line from the very first snap. The Packers finished with seven sacks last night while hitting Cutler 12 other times.
After being sacked to end a series in the second quarter, national TV cameras caught a heated exchange between Cutler and Webb. Cutler began hurling expletives at Webb before shoving him out of the way.
Now, while calling Webb’s performance last night bad would be a drastic understatement (I’m surprised he woke up with a job), the behavior displayed by Cutler is the last thing you want from the leader of your team.
A football team responds to the demeanor of its leader, whether good or bad. Even with the putrid play of the offensive line, Cutler still made several bad decisions that proved costly.
The Packers picked Cutler off four times and dropped three more, as their two-man coverage on Brandon Marshall all night took Cutler's favorite weapon out of the game.
The Bears receivers were shut down the entire night, as no receiver caught over two passes. Marshall had an opportunity to make a game-changing catch in the end zone but dropped the sure touchdown.
Everyone knew Cutler’s comments earlier in the week would catch the attention of the Packer DBs, but who could have fathomed such a dominant performance. Packers cornerback Charles Woodson told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols in a postgame, on-field interview, “We understand that Jay is excited about his new weapons, but it’s the same old Jay. We don’t need luck; Jay will throw us the ball.”
A loss to the Packers this early in the season at Lambeau is no death certificate by any means. For the Bears offense to be productive this season, the offensive line has to give Cutler time to make plays, and efforts like last night simply cannot become common.
Above all else, Cutler must begin to be a leader and own up to his own mistakes. The Bears front office has reunited him with his favorite target and a bevy of new weapons. Offensive coordinator Mike Tice and quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates cater the offense to Cutler’s specific requests.
Cutler can’t just go out there and fire the football as hard as he can, because as his history has shown us, that’s usually to the other team.
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