Cutler Better Than Peyton Manning!
Well, at least according to Pro Football Focus (PFF).
Peyton Manning, who threw for 7 Tds, was graded 4.7, while Cutler graded out at 6.1 (The best of all NFL QBs, excluding MNF games).
How you like them apples?
Now true, three types of lies exist, “lies, damn lies, and statistics,” and some may consider PFF’s assessment dubious at best, but their rationale was that Cutler had bigger plays in bigger moments compared to Peyton (discarding that Culter INT because he was hit while throwing it). These clutch plays weighted more than Peyton’s garbage time stats. I’m not sure I would agree, but needless to say, Cutler performed brilliantly, and his day would have been even better if not for a few drops.
Cutler’s awesomeness against the Bengals didn’t just come in the form of throws either. According to Jim Miller on 670 the Score, Cutler audibled about “50% of the time,” and when he really didn’t like the initial look or the audible, Cutler called a timeout as opposed to running a disadvantageous play that might have resulted in loss of yards or worse, a turnover.
Culter also stepped up in the pocket, zoomed through his progressions, and dumped-off when necessary.
These were all keys in the victory. Brandon Marshall was not the primary target on his TD, but rather the third progression. At the very end of the first half when the Bears were trying to get into field goal range, Cutler dumped it off to Forte instead of taking a sack or losing yards. This lead to what would end up being the game winning kick by Gould. Those three or so yards made it a 58 yard field goal, and not a 61 yarder and most likely a punt.
So Cutler threw well, made the correct reads, audibled when necessary, stepped up in the pocket, dumped-off AND even scrambled efficiently – at the most pressing points.
Tip O’ the Hat to Smoking Jay, but he’s not alone in receiving accolades.
Cutler was able to audible, step up in the pocket and make his progressions because the offensive line did their job. Let me repeat that again because Bear fans are not used to reading it, and as such deserves to be milked: THE CHICAGO BEARS OFFENSIVE LINE DID THEIR JOBS. Whether it was with executing Cutler’s audible, blocking long enough for Cutler to go through his reads, or creating a pocket for him to step into and deliver an accurate ball, the o-line excelled which translated into no presnap penalties and ZERO sacks. And when the game was on the line (literally?), what did Trestman do? He ran right behind the two rookies on the right side, Long and Mills.
“Ballsy” as Cutler correctly described. That goes for the entire o-line and Trestman.
Yes, that’s right. A Chicago Bears Head Coach is once again “Ballsy.” I had to pinch myself and make sure I wasn’t in the great beyond.
When the Bengals opened up the 3rd quarter with a long TD drive, I became a bit crestfallen. I was part of a live chat, and someone immediately typed:
“GAME OVER. I’m done. I’m out.”
I must be honest; I felt that way too but still held out hope. A lot of other Bear fans on the chat immediately responded. “Good riddance, you cynical loser!” but I don’t think that hapless fan was cynical at all. Cynicism is a preconceived notion that the result will turn out negatively when no evidence suggests that outcome.
HOWEVER, you know what the Bears’ record while trailing from behind at the half under nine seasons of Lovie was? Out of 61 games, take a wild guess.
If you guessed 14-47, you won a bar bet. And I am willing to further wager that of those 14 come from behind victories, maybe like 7 were against playoff teams (if that). So when the Bengals opened up an 11 point lead into the 3rd, that live chatter was simply reliving out the trauma of the Lovie regime. He deserves our pity more than our ire. We were all conditioned to expect a loss when trailing from behind, especially against elite teams (Seahawks last year is a classic example). As with all trauma, it’s a reaction which can be unconditioned, with a little work and patience, and I for one am looking forward to Trestman and his Bears to rewire me.