This is the final push for the playoffs for all teams with even a remote chance of playing past the month of December. At the moment, the Chicago Bears are included in that conversation; however, there were several points in the Bears’ game versus the Cleveland Browns where that very conversation appeared to have run its course for Chicago.
After missing the last four games due to injury, Jay Cutler was given the start over the red-hot Josh McCown, and Marc Trestman’s decision to go with Cutler over McCown seemed like a horrible idea early in the game. Basically, Cutler showed the rust of having missed several games, as many of his passes were off target, and it seemed as if he forgot that he has other valuable receiving targets outside of Brandon Marshall.
In the first half of the game, it looked so bad for Cutler and the offense that I found myself wondering, “McCown might not be the Bears quarterback of the future, but he might be the quarterback of right now.”
For the sake of Cutler’s potential future employment in Chicago, the second-half of the contest was a much better showing. Thanks to a combination of Matt Forte running the ball as well as Cutler targeting Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett and Earl Bennett, Cutler and the offense was able to post another 30-plus point game on the season.
In the first half, it appeared that Cutler was too out-of-sync with his teammates to get the job done, but that’s why they play two halves and four quarters of NFL football. If the Bears want to be in the playoffs and not just in the conversion, then their last two games are just as important to the team’s success as their victory over the Browns on Sunday.
Conversely, if Cutler wants to be the starting quarterback for the remainder of the season, then he’s going to have to get off to a better start. If not, the call for McCown to take his position won’t stop in Chicago.