Jay Cutler Stumbles While Aaron Rodgers Blossoms in Bloody Rivalry

Bleacher ReportSenior Analyst ISeptember 14, 2009

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 13: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers smiles at a teammate on the sidelines after throwing the winning touchdown pass against the Chicago Bears on September 13, 2009 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Bears 21-15. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

It turned out to be a quarterback matchup, seeing which true leader can quarterback his team to a victory. It turned out Jay Cutler isn’t the savior he was supposed to be when the Chicago Bears snatched him from Denver.

He’s the franchise quarterback locals fell in love with, and started celebrating when he arrived, as if they had finished a season unbeaten.

He’s now the franchise quarterback who failed to outlast an intriguing matchup with Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers.

He pummeled the Bears. He humiliated those creatures.

Clearly, Cutler was doomed in a primetime game, where he was given a chance to prove to the world that he’s a franchise player, and a cure for the Bears’ quarterback weaknesses.

Since Cutler didn’t excel and played the worst game of his career on Sunday night, while throwing a career-high four interceptions, memories of substandard quarterbacks and flashbacks of regular-season doom and frailty haunted the Bears faithful.

If he continues to make mental lapses, history will repeat itself, which spells trouble for Lovie Smith and the Bears. Yes, another season of misery and suffering if Cutler doesn’t flourish into a franchise quarterback in the next few weeks.

Yet, in a hostile environment, his inconsistency reminded us of Rex Grossman or Chad Hutchinson, whose decision-making and passing deficiencies were emphatically horrid and brutal, and ultimately drove each out of the league.

Throughout the game, Cutler forced foolish passes just like Hutchinson used to, while Aaron Rodgers dazzled, allowing Cheeseheads to dismiss all anger and unnecessary buzz on Brett Favre’s annoying comeback.

Rodgers stole the spotlight and dominated in an enticing matchup, earning loyalty and building faith as Green Bay’s top citizen. In a few more seasons, we can utter that Rodgers could practically run for mayor.

Just as Packers enthusiasts attached themselves to a wishy-washy Favre, they’ll now pamper the young quarterback who’s developing into a leader, icon, and possibly even a legend. In Chicago, a potential icon/legend is still growing, though he has earned fan’s support in a town that’s confident misfortunes are removed.

Although the wind blew in a worthy quarterback, Cutler still needs much development to emerge into a steady and reliable savior; otherwise, he’ll be classified as a bust, like underperformers in the past. Coming off a Pro Bowl season in Denver, fans in Chicago anticipated him to duplicate and install a winning mindset.

Considering he’s a hero for fixing quarterback woes, Cutler has more pressure.

Considering that Rodgers receives loyalty and outplayed Cutler in a season debut, he’ll corral less pressure.

As advertised, a duel between Rodgers and Cutler turned to the Packers favor. Also as advertised, Rodgers is the better quarterback for the time being. Fans witnessed a mobile and strong-throwing quarterback complete accurate and downfield passes without committing any blunders.

His readiness showed. His poise showed. His athletic ability showed.

There wasn’t a point in the game when Rodgers was intimidated or nervous. He made urgent plays and continuous throws, proving he’s an essential piece to their future obligations. Loaded with go-to receivers, Rodgers will find life less complicated and tedious. On this giving night, Rogers happened to connect with Jennings on a 50-yard touchdown pass with 1:11 remaining.

That gave a struggling Cutler plenty of time to move the ball down the field, but unfortunately errant throws ended a bloody rivalry. Cutler walked off with bumps and bruises, in a game that ruined his debut and gave us reason to believe he’s not ready to perform within a tougher division.

Instead of responding to Rodgers's sensational game-winning touchdown, Cutler faltered with 1:06 remaining, when he was given a chance to redeem a poor outing and outlast Rodgers and his new rivals.

But he botched the biggest play yet this season by designing a regrettable throw that went directly into the arms of all-purpose safety Al Harris. As a result, the Packers salvaged a 21-15 victory and smeared Cutler’s night.

After a horrible pass to the middle of no return in the second quarter, the awful delivery was picked off by Packers Tramon Williams and returned 67 yards to the Bears' one-yard line. Another terrifying toss that was caught by safety Nick Collins in the second quarter indicated ghastly results.

Bad throws summarizes the type of performance Cutler had, as smart decision making describes the steady, consistent performance Rodgers had.  

On this night, Rodgers owned the spotlight, and Cutler was overshadowed.


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