If you’ve somehow made the postseason and survived the first round—despite Cutler’s 22-of-44, 260-yard, one-touchdown, two-interception performance—it may be time to shy away from the controversial quarterback.
The former Vanderbilt star was forced to leave another game in Week 14, when Everson Griffen of the Minnesota Vikings delivered a hit—flagged for unnecessary roughness—that injured Cutler’s neck. He had to sit on the sidelines for the final few minutes of Chicago’s 21-14 loss to its NFC North rival.
While Cutler is maintaining that he’ll be ready to go (h/t Chicago Sun-Times), we seriously doubt his effectiveness, which has petered off since a sterling start to the season.
For those of you that must rely on the Bears QB in the postseason, he does have a decent matchup against the mediocre Green Bay Packers secondary in a game that Chicago cannot afford to lose.
Green Bay is conceding 235 yards per game through the air and has given up 19 touchdowns, compared with 15 interceptions, through 13 games of the 2012 season.
While those aren’t the worst numbers, they could be much better, and we expect Cutler to be able to find some opportunities, especially with top WR Brandon Marshall up against some undersized cornerbacks.
If you can’t find better on the waiver wire or your bench this late in the season, go ahead and give the seven-year veteran another starting nod—assuming he’s fully healthy come game time.
We are predicting that he finishes the day going 27-of-38 for 275 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, as the Packers defeat the Bears, 28-21.
If he does better, that’s great, but it will likely mean the Packers are up huge and the Bears are playing from behind.