If one were to just compare the physical abilities of the two quarterbacks scheduled to start in Chicago this Sunday, Jay Cutler would come out on top every single time over Bucs starter Josh McCown. Cutler has the bigger arm, has more upside, and of course has the bigger contract. But for someone who recently was paid like a franchise quarterback, Cutler remains an enigma.
Looking at the numbers, Cutler is pretty good, but hardly great. While most teams could accept that type of performance from their starting quarterback, the Bears cannot. Cutler was paid to be elite, and so far that just hasn't happened.
NFL Films Greg Cosell, who joined Fan Interference on Thursday, says the only thing consistent about Cutler is that he is inconsistent. "Cutler in many ways plays the same every week," Cosell said. "He makes great throws, he misses some things, and he makes some bad decisions. But I think he essentially plays the same every week."
Cutler had a pretty decent game against the Vikings last Sunday. He threw for 330 yards and three touchdowns, but he was also picked off twice for the second straight week. In fact, he's thrown half of his 12 interceptions in the last four games.
Word coming out of Chicago is that the team will continue to move Cutler around in the pocket just like they did against Minnesota. This allowed Cutler to move his feet and deliver the ball without taking hits. Cutler feels like that made a big difference against the Vikings. “It was great,” Cutler said. “We got to keep doing it. We got to keep doing it in different ways, showing different looks, get off the spot as much as we possibly can because it helps with everything."
Of course for Cutler, having Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall as receivers certainly makes his job easier. As Cosell said the other day, the Bucs secondary will have their hands full. "Jeffery and Marshall are open when they are covered and that's the way Marshall catches a lot of touchdown passes. And they can also get vertical, particularly Jefferey. So I think the burden is on their secondary this week, it's going to have to play well."
On paper, the Bears have the advantage at the quarterback position. But unfortunately for the Bears, the game will be played on the field Sunday afternoon. If Cutler plays this Sunday like he's done his whole career, the Bucs have a real shot at getting win number three.
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