Jay Cutler was on his game last night in the Chicago Bears' 40-14 rout of the Minnesota Vikings. While Cutler has shown a bit of inconsistency this season, he has led Chicago to a 10-4 record and helped the Bears clinch the NFC North title and perhaps the No. 2 seed in the upcoming playoffs.
All told, Cutler completed 14-of-24 passes for 194 yards and three touchdowns. He threw one interception and recorded a 106.6 passer rating.
In many ways, Cutler's performance in the Bears' Monday Night Football win over the Vikings at the University of Minnesota was a perfect example of what Cutler can bring to the table. Sure, he can rack up the passing yards like he did in wins over Detroit (372 yards, two TDs). But Cutler is at his best when he and the Bears are efficient.
If Cutler can show the efficiency he has shown in a good sampling of Bears' victories this season, Chicago is most certainly a team to be reckoned with in the postseason.
What the Chicago Bears need to avoid is having Cutler air it out too often.
Of the team's four losses this season, two included multiple interceptions with four coming in a loss to Washington. It's clear that when Cutler is forced to throw, he puts himself into bad situations, throws off his back foot and the Bears' chances diminish greatly.
When the Bears are featuring a good mix of pass and run in their offense, though, Cutler has shown he is quite comfortable and has produced on a much more efficient level.
Knowing the game-by-game approach taken by coaches when the postseason begins and Chicago offensive coordinator Mike Martz's genius and overall success in the playoffs, Bears fans can smile knowing that the game plan will be well thought out.
So long as that game plan remains efficient, expect Cutler to play well and the Bears to make noise.