Jay Cutler Deserves the Criticism After Quitting During the NFC Championship

Matt SchaeferCorrespondent IJanuary 25, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 23:  Quarterback Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears on the sideline in the third quarter after leaving the game with an injury against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field on January 23, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

As we all know by now, Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler did not finish the second half of the NFC Championship game after injuring his knee in the second quarter, as his team fell to the Green Bay Packers 21-14.

Cutler then underwent an MRI yesterday to figure out just how serious the injury was, where it was revealed that he sprained the medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his left knee during Sunday’s game. 

It has caused a lot of controversy throughout the entire league as current and former players have teed off on Cutler’s lack of toughness.

And all of it is certainly deserved.

It pisses off players as they watched a guy who was playing for a right to go to the Super Bowl, every player's dream, just walk off the field and give up on his teammates like that, when the majority of them would’ve just manned up and tried to play through it.

Is there any way that Brett Favre comes out of this game? Heck no.

Does Ben Roethlisberger come out of this game? Not a chance. 

How about Phillip Rivers? Not likely.    

To be perfectly frank, it pisses me off too.  This is a guy who is getting paid millions and millions of dollars to play a game that most of us would give anything to play and with his team on the verge of greatness, he just gives up on them.

Not to try to compare high school to the NFL, because I can honestly say it’s not even close, but I played quarterback during my high school days just like Cutler.  It would have taken a huge injury to get me off the field and this is in a meaningless high school game, not anywhere close to the magnitude of the game Cutler was in.

I played through plantar fasciitis for weeks not only to try and help my teammates, but because the competitive athlete in me wouldn’t let me stop. No way was I just going to watch my teammates working hard from the sidelines and not be out there trying to help them.

In my eyes, it is not only a matter of questioning Cutler’s toughness, but also his competitiveness.   

The Chicago Bears were a team that is playing for a right to go to the Super Bowl and Cutler basically quit on them. 

And please don’t try to argue his toughness right now through sack numbers. 

Yes, I have heard over and over again that Cutler was sacked 52 times this year, most in the league.  That number doesn’t really do anything for me. 

David Carr was sacked an NFL record 72 times during the 2007 season.  Was anyone calling him tough?

They were calling him plenty of names but I’m pretty sure tough wasn’t one of them.

Anyone trying to explain Cutler’s toughness with his sack numbers this year is crazy.  It doesn’t mean he’s tough, it means Chicago didn’t have too great of a line pass protecting this year.

To put it simple, he came out in one of the biggest games of his life due to an injury he should have at least tried to play through instead of walking around the sidelines for the rest of the game.

And please don’t try and say the medical staff was the reason he was held out of the game either. 

If he wanted to play back in there was no way the medical staff would’ve been able to keep him out of the game.  Players have the final say whether they can go back and play or not, and Cutler chose not to.

On the national stage, Cutler might have taken his biggest flop of all and it wasn’t because of his play.

It was because he lacked the courage and the competitiveness to go back into the game.    

The players know it and most of the fans know it too. Cutler really showed what he was about in the biggest game of his life, a scared quitter.