This was originally a comment reply to a guy on reddit but decided to make this a full blown post instead. The question posed was “Ok seriously explain this to me. what has Cutler done in his entire career that gives people any sort of confidence in him?” Well I went on answering that. This is what I had to say and while it is filled with stats the results is a piece of opinion. So take this as just that, an opinion.
The team around him has always had glaring flaws. Whether it be his best offense weapon for 2 years being Devin Aromashidu or the defense giving up franchise worst points per game. Cutler is not Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. He cannot make up for massive flaws in the team. That takes HOF QB type play.
There’s a reason when we had a good defense and running game Cuter was able to take us to the title game. There’s a reason that when we were stacked on offense with Marshall, Alshon, Bennett, and Forte we were a top 10 offense. There’s also a reason we went 5-11 when we had bad defenses.
When we were holding teams to 250-300 points a season we always were around 8-8/7-9 at the worst, 10-6 at the best. That’s not winning super bowls but that is not bad team football. Jay and Co constantly put up around 325-350 points a season. We put up more than we gave up. That is not the case anymore in the last 3 years we have given up 478, 472, and 398. For us to keep pace with those, Cutler and co have to rip off 30+ a game. Arizona, Carolina, and New England were the only three teams to be in the realm of scoring 30 points a game. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and Aaron Rodgers are the only 4 QB’s in the last 5 years to come close to averaging 30 points a game. All future hall of fame QB’s with Super Bowl rings.
Horrible defenses force the offense into bad situations. In the year Cutler lead the league in interceptions was the same year the Bears gave up the most points in the history of their franchise, that’s not a coincidence. Cutler was forced to play catch up and extremely aggressive football. Blake Bortles led the league in picks last year and his team had the second worse defense in the league. The trend continues year after year. Now you can argue that throwing that many picks makes the defense bad. Totally agreeing with that. Picks destroy defenses in most situations. However you don’t have the worst defense in the NFL only because of picks. The defense was incredibly bad in the first place and the picks just make it an even easier determination.
With the way the Bears defense has played these last 3 games, a Cutler lead team would have most likely won them, especially with the way Howard has run the ball. Cutler has shown time and time again that if he doesn’t need to carry the team on his back, that he is more than capable of winning games.
You can try to spin it as Cutler is so bad he needs everything around him to excel before he can but that would just be a Stephen A Smith level take. The only QB’s that can rise above the incompetency of the Bears organization and the lack of talent are maybe: Brady, Brees, and old Rodgers. Every other QB needs a balanced team.
I think Cutler is very similar to Eli Manning. Eli has had some awful years but those years were when the defense was bad, the running game didn’t come through and the talent level was low.
In the 2007 season where Eli won his first super bowl the Giants were a top 7 defense and had a top 4 run game. He threw for 22 TD’s and 20 INT. It was a team effort lead by Eli to win after win.
In the 2007 season 12 of the 14 games the Giants won that year had a defense that held the opponent to under 20 points.
In the 2011 season, the Giants were not sexy on the stat sheet like the 2007 Giants but 10 of the 12 games the Giants won that year had a defense that held the opponent to under 20 points.
Last season 5 of the Bears 6 wins were when the Bears held the opponents to under 20 points. There were only 7 games that the Bears held opponents to under 20 points.
In the 2014 season all 5 of the Bears victories came when they held opponents to under 20 points. The Bears went 5-2 that season when holding teams to under 20 points. One of those losses being with Jimmy Clausen and the other being when the team that quit in the final game of the season vs the Vikings.
In the 2013 season the Bears failed to hold a single opponent to under 20 points the entire season. However the Bears finished with a top 10 offense under Cutler and had a 8-8 record. They would have made the playoffs under Cutler’s guidance until the Conte play happened.
Long story short, a team wins game. Cutler is more than capable of winning games when the team around him does not have a glaring weakness. However for most of his tenure in Chicago there has always been a massive flaw in the team’s coaching, ability, and talent. Eli Manning is what happens when you put a turnover prone gunslinger in a position to succeed, not to carry your team. Cutler can be Eli Manning but expecting him to be the guy in New England or the guy in Wisconsin, is absurd. Not only because they are better players, but because they are surrounded by better talent. Bears fans were given a scapegoat in Cutler and haven’t stopped since that very day. Cutler hasn’t been fired but has taken every fired bullet of social media, and the mainstream media itself.
I asked Bleacher Report’s lead NFL writer Mike Tanier the following
Q: “Has there ever been a more hated player than Jay Cutler? It seems like no matter what he is the target of everyones attack. Seems like a tired false narrative of low hanging fruit. A columnist in Chicago asked the question as to why Cutler seems to be the accepted Pinata for everyone in the nfl to take swings at? What are your thoughts on that? Has there been a player that even comes close to the amount of universal disdain? I’ve never seen a player been hated more for just under performing. You would think that he had killed a man with the way media portrays him and attacks him.”
A: “It was that playoff game where he got hurt … the one that coincided with the mainstream world’s realization of how important a force Twitter had become. Cutler had a reputation before that, and it comes from genuine personality conflicts he had in Denver. But he became the First QB Criticized By Other Players on Twitter, and one of the First QBs to Become a Meme. He was the right guy in the wrong place at the wrong time.Cutler has a personality that would be interpreted very differently if he had won.”
Mike really hit it on the head. He was the first QB that was labeled open fire in the birth of social media infiltrating sports. He hasn’t had the target removed since and he never will. We are all stuck with a label that doesn’t fit, Cutler’s just happens to be on another level. The blame will always fall back to Cutler one way or another, even if he wins a super bowl.
Oh, and I firmly believe Cutler is a QB capable of winning a super bowl. The team just needs to be better around him. We constantly talk of the dysfunction and lack of talent surrounding the team then act like Cutler isn’t on that very same team. He has made due with what he has had. We have clear as crystal examples of what happens when he is given talent to work around. We just haven’t had the complete team talent for long enough. A year here and a year there where we pull it together is no foundation for success, yet we act like it should be. It’s not. The Bears problems lie much deeper than Cutler and I feel sorry for him as the martyr.
Whether the Bears plan to keep Cutler or draft a new one, the problem lies much deeper. They sure can’t keep Hoyer. A massive part of this piece showed you how amazing teams records are when they hold a team to under 20 points. Hoyer is the king of scoring under 20 points. If the Bears do draft a QB early next year, he better be a top 10 QB off the start or else it’ll be another Cutler situation. There is no single player capable of being the savior of the Bears kingdom. The Bears are years away from a playoff appearance and maybe 5 away from being contenders if Pace does a good enough job.
No matter what, I will feel sorry for whoever the Bears QB is for the next 10 years. He is bound to standards we do not hold to the team and must deliver them by himself. If he doesn’t deliver, another one is burned at the stake and the cycle repeats.