Jay Cutler had another bang up outing last night tossing 5 interceptions while leading the Chicago Bears to their fifth loss of the season in San Fransisco.
Cutler has now thrown 17 interceptions, a number that is four more then Jake Delhomme who is second in the category.
While QB rating isn’t an “exact science” as NFL analysis like to remind us on a weekly basis it’s worth noting that Cutler does rank towards the bottom in the league with a rating of 76. Prior to the game against the 49ers’ his rating was in the 83’s so it’s not as if last nights performance has sunk his numbers.
Last year Cutler threw 18 interceptions over the course of the season, a number that is high for a full season, he’s currently on pace for 30 as he’s averaging 1.88 INT’s per game.
Up until last nights performance the blame for Cutler’s interceptions largely laid on the dismal offensive line who provided little help for the ground game or on running-back Matt Forte who has struggled to break tackles.
Last night it was clear with the exception of a route in which wide receiver Devin Hester fell down that Cutler’s interceptions are largely due to his “gun-slinger” mentality. The term most identified with Brett Favre, a future hall of famer who is the all time leader in interceptions, and the exact definition is a professional killer who uses a gun. I’ve never heard Peyton Manning, Joe Montana, Steve Young, Tom Brady or even Dan Mario referred to over and over as a gunslinger so obviously the label applies to a QB who at times also kills his team with the gun. That’s exactly what Cutler is doing to the Bears this season. It’s nothing new for Cutler as the same problem existed last season in the red zone for the Denver Broncos.
There’s little reason to doubt that Jay Cutler has the skills to be a NFL quarterback but now that he’s on a team like the Bears, away from the skill players that the Broncos had, it’s not so easy to hide the flaws that he possesses. Sometimes it appears Cutler fails to read coverage correctly, he tries to force balls into positions where only a guy like Manning could complete a pass. This wasn’t the first time Cutler crumbled with the game on the line, in fact last nights game was eerie similar to the first game of the season in which it was a low scoring affair and Cutler struggled but had a chance to win the game for his team only to throw a game losing interception.
Cutler can be the quarterback to lead the Bears back to the playoffs but until he stops slinging it around like he has the last two seasons it simply won’t be anything more then a first round and done.
An off-season full of excitement for the Jay Cutler experience is turning into a season in which the Bears are looking less and less like a playoff team and more like a clutzy cousin who finishes third in their division. Ironcially that’s exactly where the Bears sit following last nights loss.