Chicago Bears' Season Goes Down with Jay Cutler's Broken Thumb

Max MickeyContributor IIINovember 21, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 20: Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears comes off of the field after scoring a touchdown against the San Diego Chargers at Soldier Field on November 20, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Chargers 31-20. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

I love the Chicago Bears and would like nothing more than to see backup quarterback Caleb Hanie succeed. 

Unfortunately, this is not going to happen.

Hanie is a backup for a reason. This is his fourth season in the league, and he has appeared in five games. He is not going to be able to lead the Bears.

Fans are going to be hopeful because of Hanie's play in the NFC championship game the last time Jay Cutler was injured, but this is not logical. 

In that game, he was mediocre.

He threw one touchdown and two interceptions, including the interception that ended the Bears' final drive as well as their season. Yes, he threw 153 yards in just one half, but the Packers were playing prevent and allowed passes over the middle, which allowed Hanie to rack up some yards. 

In college, Hanie played for Colorado State. During his senior season, he averaged 205 passing yards per game, completed 65 percent of his passes and threw just 18 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

So now the Bears' season is riding on a quarterback who wasn't even good in the Mountain Valley West conference, which is a very light college conference to say the least. 

His track record as a professional is not any better. He has one career touchdown along with three interceptions. There will be more three-and-outs in Hanie's first game than there have been in the Bears' five-game winning streak. 

Chicago's season is now effectively over.

Hopefully, Hanie keeps the Bears afloat and goes 3-3 in their remaining six games, which would leave them with a 10-6 record. The Bears have tiebreakers over some of the NFC wild-card contenders, so it is very possible for them to make the playoffs.

Maybe Jay Cutler will be healthy for the first round of the playoffs, but could he shake off the rust? He won't even be able to grasp a ball for several weeks, let alone throw passes, so I can't imagine he would be ready to play at even 80 percent. 

Essentially, the best case scenario is the Bears sneaking into the playoffs while having to face the New York Giants or the New Orleans Saints in the first round with a banged-up Cutler.

When I say their season is over, I mean the Bears' chances of winning the Super Bowl this year are done.

They will still be exciting to watch and will hopefully get into the playoffs, but there will be no victory parade this season for Chicago fans. Not to say that the Bears had a great chance of winning a championship prior to Cutler's injury, but that chance has dramatically decreased now that he is out. 

I am not usually a pessimist, but this is realistic. Matt Forte, Devin Hester and the defense now fully control the fate of the Bears' season, and I do not know if they are enough.


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