The endorsement by Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall saying that quarterback Jay Cutler can be the 2014 NFL MVP raised some eyebrows in the football world. I’m not surprised to hear such a statement from a player who’s played five of his eight seasons in the league with Cutler. Furthermore, it doesn’t surprise me that Marshall would say such a thing to flatter the one player who is responsible for getting him the ball.
There may be some truth to what Marshall is saying. The Bears’ offense was ranked second in the NFL in scoring last year, has arguably the most talented group of pass catchers in the league and is predicted to be even better in the second year of Marc Trestman’s scheme. Unfortunately, I don’t think this will be enough to give Cutler the nod for league MVP.
First of all, it’s hard for me to see Cutler being the MVP of the entire NFL when he isn’t even the MVP of his own team. That title goes to running back Matt Forte. When Cutler went down last season, all of the attention went to backup quarterback Josh McCown. However, it was Forte’s play on the field that played a vital part of keeping Chicago in playoff contention.
Another reason why Cutler more than likely won’t be league MVP is because of the Bears’ tough schedule. Looking at the last three players who won MVP (Peyton Manning in 2013, Adrian Peterson in 2012 and Aaron Rodgers in 2011) two of the three led their team to a record of 13-3 or better.
The odd man out is Peterson, who led his Minnesota Vikings to a Wild Card berth with a 10-6 record. Helping lead a team to the best record in the league helps tremendously in winning MVP, and Chicago’s tough schedule will probably allow them to end the season with 11 wins.
Finally, the chance of Cutler putting up record-breaking numbers in 2014 is a far stretch. Yes, I think he has a great chance of producing the best statistics of his career, but to do what Manning, Peterson and Rodgers did in their MVP campaigns won’t happen.
Unfortunately, the past four seasons have shown us that Cutler is a lightning rod for injuries. Even behind a much-improved offensive line last year, Cutler missed five games. Even if Cutler does stay injury free in 2014, Forte is too talented of a running back, and with the ball in his hands he could be more of an MVP candidate than Cutler.
If Cutler stays healthy with everything that is set up around him in 2014, he should definitely be highly considered for the Pro Bowl. But with a brutal first half of the season and Forte potentially producing nearly one-third of the offense’s yardage again, NFL MVP is out of the question for Cutler.