Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is one of the most misunderstood guys in the NFL. In his time, his toughness, attitude, respect for authority, relationships with teammates and pretty much every other choice he has made has been scrutinized. In my 38 years on this earth, I’ve never seen a player more misunderstood than Cutler. Heck, I even don’t understand him most of the time.
But, he wins. Since he’s been with the Bears, his record since joining the team in 2009 is an impressive 30-15 and a 1-1 record in the playoffs. Last season, Cutler was playing his best football until he injured his thumb in week 11 and missed the remainder of the season. While his numbers aren’t earth-shattering, he’s been good this season and great in the fourth quarter. In the fourth quarter this season, Cutler has completed 74% of his passes for 517 yards with six touchdowns and two interceptions. This translates to a 132.0 passer rating. This puts him ahead of all other NFL quarterbacks. His final drive last Sunday against the Carolina Panthers was about as good as it gets. In total, he’s completed 58.1% of his passes for 1,545 yards with nine touchdowns and eight interceptions for a passer rating of 78.9%.
And yet, despite leading the Bears to a 6-1 record, Cutler still makes headlines for anything but his quarterback play. Last Sunday, if you could read lips, a certain unkind word that begins with “f” came out of his mouth in response to the booing fans. While Cutler won’t acknowledge or refute it, it was fairly clear. We all know about his other run-ins this season with coaches and players. These are the things that are etched in everyone’s mind. Heck, even I took him to task after his behavior in week two against the Green Bay Packers.
And yet, teammates like Brandon Marshall and Brian Urlacher love Cutler. As a Bears fan that grew up with some pretty horrible quarterbacks, he’s the best by far I’ve seen in my lifetime. If this season continues to play out like it looks like it might, Cutler may finally lead the Bears to a Super Bowl. Perhaps then, people will stop harping on everything else.
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