No Room Left For NFL Divas?

The time has arrived for the top players in the league to step up. No more tantrums on the sideline, no more contract demands, no more ultimatums. It's either time to produce, or risk fitting the label critics leveled at them; that of the NFL Diva.

The NFL's two biggest diva quarterbacks took the field for the first time with their new teams with live bullets on Sunday, and had very different experiences.

The offseason was dominated by news and speculation - more the latter than the former - about where Brett Favre and Jay Cutler would be come Week 1. Cutler engineered his way out of Denver and to Chicago, while Favre engineered his way out of a few weeks of training camp before joining Minnesota.

Favre might be the prima donna of the Vikings, but it's Adrian Peterson's team. Peterson ripped off 180 rushing yards in a route of Cleveland, leaving Favre to manage a bit of a passing game while working on chemistry with his receivers.

"I had a blast," Favre said. "It wasn't a 400-yard passing game, but it doesn't have to be. As long as we win, that's what it's all about."

Cutler forced himself into a situation that carries far loftier expectations. In Chicago, he's expected to be the franchise quarterback for years to come who leads the Bears to the Promised Land.

In his regular-season opener for Chicago, however, all Cutler learned was how good he had it in Denver for three years. There he had an excellent offensive line, playmaking wide receivers and a coach who loved to spread the field and let Cutler sling the ball around.

In Green Bay on Sunday night, Cutler was constantly harassed by the pass rush and at least one of his four interceptions was directly due to a poor route run by a rookie receiver.

"It's still a learning process," Cutler said. "We haven't been together that long, but that's no excuse."

And Cutler's job won't get any easier. With middle linebacker Brian Urlacher suffering a dislocated wrist, there will be an even bigger burden on the offense to consistently put points on the board.


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