After a much talked-about decision, the Chicago Bears went with Jay Cutler at quarterback on Sunday and not the hot hand of backup Josh McCown. After a slow start, the Bears came on late with a strong fourth quarter to earn a huge road win against the Cleveland Browns.
With the win, the Bears now currently lead the NFC North by a half game, and will become vested spectators in the Monday Night Game featuring the Detroit Lions and Baltimore Ravens. A Lions loss will put Chicago up one game with two games to play.
It was Jay Cutler’s first game back after missing the last month with injuries. The rust was evident early as Cutler threw two first-half interceptions. In Chicago, you could hear the critics warming up and calling for a quarterback change because in the last four weeks total, the team had one total interception.
While both interceptions were off of deflections, they were both over-thrown balls. Cutler’s second half was much more sound, and it included a deep 45-yard touchdown pass to the hot Alshon Jeffery. In Chicago, the quarterback debate will continue on without a doubt. It is no secret that Cutler will be a free agent after the season is over, and you can say that the Bears are 50-50 on re-signing him to a new deal.
The offense has been very much improved under new coach Marc Trestman this year. It has been decades since you would be able to consider Chicago an offensive juggernaut. The team is led by Matt Forte and the wide receiver duo of Jeffery and Brandon Marshall. The system and skill players finally are capable of production on the field that will help any quarterback succeed.
If the Bears do decide to let Cutler go, there will be many options to choose from in the upcoming draft. Or, will they decide to go with a different veteran out in the market, perhaps even McCown full-time? If they do decide to let Cutler go, it would be a mistake. Cutler is a major reason why Marshall is even on the team and allowing the Bears to have this dynamic duo on the outside.
For the immediate future, the Bears will be on the road again next week versus the Philadelphia Eagles, which could be a battle for the no. 3 seed in the NFC Playoffs. The spotlight will continue to get brighter for whoever is taking the snaps under center in Chicago.
Nick Schaeflein is a sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ptchr2424 or add him to your network on Google.