Jay Cutler is a not a loser.
I’ve read a lot of (Boston based) articles, insinuating that Jay Cutler is the prime reason the Bronco’s haven’t won a great deal in the last few years. And the Cassel/McDaniels combination was the solution to all of their problems.
I put this down to the fact that McDaniels and Cassel are kind of popular in the Boston area, making Jay the villain, but I feel, as an analyst, I should jump to his defence a bit, with a retort.
- Total Offence (YPG) Denver ranked second in '08/'09.
- Passing (YPG) Denver ranked third in '08/'09.
- Rushing (YPG) Denver ranked 12th in '08/'09.
In terms of passing, and total offence, Denver were right at the top of their class last season. And you have to accept that with a 12th ranked running game, most of that came from the arm of Jay Cutler.
Denver’s problems last season were quite obviously not Quarterback based.
On the flip side, Denver’s D:
- Total Defence, Denver ranked 29th
- Against the pass, Denver ranked 26th
- Against the run, Denver ranked 27th
Denver's average offensive ranking was fifth. Their average defensive ranking was 27th. Defense wins championships, and is where the Bronco's problems lie.
A Boston based comparison is in order, me thinks. This is Jay Cutler’s 2008/2009 season. And his third season in Denver:
- 4526 passing yards at 62% completion. 7.3 yards per play.
- 25 touchdowns, 18 interceptions, at an 86 rating.
- 11 sacks (0.6 per game).
- 5 fumbles (0.3 per game).
- Defense allowing 374 yards and 28 points per game.
- 8 wins, missing the playoffs.
This is Tom Brady’s third season, 2002/2003
- 3764 yards at 62% completion. 6.3 yards per play.
- 28 touch downs, 14 interceptions, at an 85.7 rating.
- 31 sacks (1.9 per game).
- 12 fumbles ( 0.75 per game).
- Defense allowing 334 yards and 17 points per game.
- Won nine games, missed the playoffs.
This is Matt Cassel’s 2008/2009 season
- 3693 at 63% completion. 7.2 yards per play.
- 21 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, at an 89 rating.
- 47 sacks (3.1 per game).
- 7 fumbles ( 0.46 per game).
- Defense allowed 309 yards and 19 points per game.
First, Cutler’s personal figures match well with both. In fact, they are considerably better in yards, and avoiding the rush. Eleven sacks and five fumbles, compared to Brady’s 31 sacks and 12 fumbles, or Cassel’s 47 sacks and seven fumbles. Sorry, in a very important aspect of the game, he comes out on top.
Secondly, Cutler’s team allowed 28 points per game, Brady’s only 17, and Tom only managed one more win in his third season. Both teams missed the playoffs.
Wouldn’t you say that Jay snagging eight wins, when he has to lead his team to, on average, more than 28 points a game is probably a more winning season than Tom managing nine? When he only had to, on average, lead his team to 18 points for a win?
Another important stat is the fact that when the Broncos hold teams under 21 points (not the 17 or 18 average of Tom or Matt’s teams), Cutlers win/loss record is 13-1. 13-1, when held under 21 points. Unbelievable.
This isn’t an article to attack Matt or Tom. I rate both very highly. But playing on a losing team does not make Jay Cutler a losing quarterback.
Stats don’t prove anything, but they show a lot. In this scribes opinion, if Jay Cutler was on a team last season, that averaged under 20 points on the defensive side, he would have won between 11-13 games.
Making McDaniels decision to jeopardize this level of talent perplexing.
The only loser in this whole situation is the Denver Broncos.