Jay Cutler was good when it counted.
That's what matters, ultimately. He was good when they really, really needed him to be.
The Tribune's Dan Pompei says Cutler was both good and bad yesterday, but when the game was on the line and they needed a drive, he got the job done.
Call them 'Good Jay' and 'Bad Jay'. Jekyll and Hyde Your Kids, Hyde Your Wife.
A lot of people will pick the 'Bad Jay' to focus on. The 'Bad Jay' under constant pressure, but holding the ball too long, the one who had a 37.8 passer rating and three turnovers.
The one, by the way, who didn't blame anyone but himself for the struggles of the offense.
He could have. He easily could have and a fair amount of people would have nodded when he talked about Gabe Carimi getting lit up all day at right tackle, or the pressure up the middle or receivers struggling to get open.
There would have been doubters, sure, but they're always there. A lot of people would have pointed out that a 'real leader' would have taken responsibility for struggles.
Where are they, now that Cutler did that very thing?
For what it's worth—and some will be quick to point this out—I've been hard on Cutler's attitude this season. But as bad as he played in moments yesterday, he did what big-time quarterbacks do and delivered when it counted. Just like Eli Manning, just like Aaron Rodgers, just like Tom Brady.
They may not have that much in common otherwise, but he proved why he was worth what the Bears paid for him.
And that's talking about both on and off the field.
On to the rest of the NFC North...
ESPN Chicago's Jon Greenberg says the Bears stole a win yesterday, but the players feel it's one they deserved to win, albeit a win to improve upon.
David Haugh of the Tribune says the Bears did what Super Bowl hopefuls have to do—they found a way to win.
Over at the Sun-Times, Rick Morrissey says despite horrific play across the board, the Bears managed to steal momentum and control away from the Carolina Panthers.
Jahvid Best is still waiting for clearance to play, says Carlos Monarrez of the Free Press.
An ugly win is still a win, according to the Journal-Sentinel's Bob McGinn.
Judd Zulgad of 1500 ESPN says that the Vikings will need to prove they can bounce back from last Thursday's loss.
A midseason report card is up at the Pioneer Press, and I thought Ben Gossling was hard on the running backs, but the layout is funky so don't think he gave them a 'C'.
2012 First Round Draft Picks are defining a lot of the Vikings' season, according to Mark Craig of the Star-Tribune.
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