I've never felt better about Jay Cutler than I did heading into last night's game at Green Bay.
Cutler's numbers in his first three seasons with the Bears weren't great, but I always thought it was due much more to the awful offenses around him than his own inability. I thought the media, which has never been on Cutler's side, didn't give him enough credit for the way he was playing before getting hurt last year. I expected a big season in an improved offense this year where Cutler would silence his critics. I wasn't as ga-ga about his and the Bears' performance in their opening win over the Colts as many people were, but it's not like I was upset with a 333-yard performance.
And I was fine with Cutler's brashness heading into last night's game at Green Bay. Fine with it, that is, when I expected Cutler to back his words up with a big game. I'm a little less fine with his comments after watching him go 11-for-27 for 126 yards with four interceptions in a 23-10 loss.
It can be said that Cutler didn't have a lot of help. What exactly did Aaron Rodgers have last night that Cutler didn't? The Packers' pass protection wasn't much better than the Bears' — Julius Peppers dominated the Packers' offensive line just about as much as Clay Matthews dominated JaMarcus Webb. James Jones dropped a pass in the end zone, just as Brandon Marshall dropped one for Cutler. Rodgers didn't have a great game, by his standards, at all — but he also didn't torpedo his team's chances of winning, and go after his left tackle in the middle of the game — like Cutler did.
And as poorly as the line and the receivers played for the Bears, Cutler was as big a problem as anyone on the offense. His decision making was terrible, whether it was him holding to the ball inexplicably long as he was being sacked or him inexplicably forcing pass after pass to the useless Kellen Davis as Marshall went mostly ignored. For the most part, his interceptions weren't due to receivers breaking off of routes, to miscommuncation or to great plays by the Packers — they were just bad throws.
I'm not worried about the leadership, or the demeanor, or about whether fans like Cutler or not. I'm worried about how he plays, and last night, he was terrible. It's enough to make me seriously question my sanity for picking a team quarterbacked by him to win the Super Bowl. Maybe we'll end up remembering Thursday as one bad night for Cutler and the Bears during a great season. But his play was so poor that it's hard to see it as flukey in nature.