Bears vs. Lions: 4 Keys for Jay Cutler on Monday Night Football

Bob BajekAnalyst IIIOctober 10, 2011

Bears vs. Lions: 4 Keys for Jay Cutler on Monday Night Football

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    Monday Night Football between the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions is about to start, with Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler being a big key in the game.

    Cutler will have to deal with a tough Detroit defense in a hostile road environment.

    For the Bears' to win and catch up to the Green Bay Packers, here are four keys for Cutler to be effective.

Jay Cutler Needs to Be Patient

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    The Detroit Lions have one of the top secondaries in the NFL, giving up 221.2 passing yards and only five passing touchdowns. Detroit has seven picks. 

    Cornerback Chris Houston has been stellar, having 20 tackles, three interceptions and six defended passes. His teammate Eric Wright has shut down opposing receivers, with 20 tackles, a pick and forced fumble.

    The Lions' safeties have played well too. Amari Spievey and Louis Delmas have 33 tackles combined, three passes defended and a pick.

    Jay Cutler needs to be patient by not forcing passes in double coverage or when his target is too tightly covered. Also, Spievey is a second-year player, so maybe Cutler could exploit that matchup by passing to wide receiver Roy Williams in the slot.

    If Cutler is not patient, the Lions will pounce with interceptions.

Jay Cutler Needs His Offensive Line to Step Up

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    The Bears' offensive line needs to slow down Ndamukong Suh and the Detroit Lions' defensive line for Jay Cutler to be effective.

    Suh, a defensive tackle, is the second-coming of Warren Sapp and makes offensive guards look like amateurs with his shuck and shiver moves. He has 12 tackles and two sacks this year.

    Fellow linemen Corey Williams, Cliff Avril and Kyle Vanden Bosch are not too shabby either, forcing three fumbles and four sacks between them.

    Chicago offensive guards Chris Williams and Lance Louis need to slow down Suh to protect Cutler. They will need some help from center Roberto Garza.

    One matchup to watch is  Vanden Bosch and Chicago right tackle Frank Omiyale. Omiyale, an extremely poor blocker, will face a top end in Vanden Bosch. The Lion has three sacks and two forced fumbles.

Jay Cutler Needs the Running Game

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    Another key for Jay Cutler is if the running game gets going.

    Running back Matt Forte had a career-high 205 yards against the Carolina Panthers, but they had a weaker linebacking core than the Lions do.

    Backup running back Marion Barber is healthy again and had a touchdown last week.

    With the two backs, the Bears' can have a power running game. 

    A strong running game will make the Lions linebackers move up, which will open up play action and other passing opportunities for the Bears.

Jay Culter Needs a Good Game Plan

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    Chicago offensive coordinator Mike Martz needs to put Jay Cutler in a position to succeed. 

    Offensive balance is the key, as the running game has to be involved. In the Bears' two losses, they ran only 22 times.

    If the game plan is not working, Martz has to be flexible and make adjustments.

    To protect Culter better, Martz might want to utilize shotgun more to give him more vision of Detroit's blitz packages.

    Also, No. 6 was really good at rolling out in Denver. Maybe Martz should add some rollouts and bootlegs to the playbook.

    Bob Bajek is a writing intern at Bleacher Report. He is also a freelance reporter and can be followed at Patch.com and Twitter.