Cutler can't be labeled the comeback king

Jay Cutler is supposed to be Chicago's franchise quarterback, but he has a losing record with the team in position to make a fourth-quarter comeback.

Not that anyone's keeping track, but Sunday night's loss to the Eagles was the second game in a row that "franchise quarterback" Jay Cutler had a chance to lead a fourth-quarter comeback and came up short.

That makes four times this season that Cutler has had an opportunity to lead the Bears to a game-winning or game-tying touchdown in the fourth quarter but didn't get it done. In fairness, Cutler did direct fourth-quarter, game-winning drives against the Steelers and Seahawks in Weeks 2 and 3.

But it's fair to expect a better record than 2-4 in those situations from a Pro Bowl quarterback.

After the Eagles went ahead 24-20 Sunday night with 5:31 left, the Bears failed to get a first down for the third consecutive possession.

Then, when Chicago got the ball back with 1:51 left, Cutler picked up one first down before he was intercepted trying to force a ball to Greg Olsen, who was tightly covered.

In the previous game, the loss at San Francisco, Cutler and the Bears went three-and-out immediately after falling behind 10-6 with 10:11 left. They got one more chance, but Cutler was picked off in the end zone, again trying to get the ball to Olsen.

In Week 6, Cutler led a 92-yard, fourth-quarter drive that tied the Falcons 14-14. But, after Atlanta went back ahead 21-14 with 3:06 left, Cutler and the Bears went 78 yards but gave the ball up on downs at the Falcons' 10-yard line with 29 seconds left.

In Cutler's defense, the Bears committed three offensive penalties in the final 65 seconds of that game, which hindered the last drive.

And let's not forget the season opener. With 1:11 left, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers connected with Greg Jennings for a 50-yard TD and a 21-15 lead after the two-point conversion.

Cutler's first pass after the kickoff was intercepted by Al Harris.

NOTES

  • QB Jay Cutler has thrown 12 interceptions and four touchdown passes in the Bears' four night games this season. He has one more chance to redeem himself in prime time, when the Bears play host to the Vikings on Monday night, Dec. 28.

  • RB Matt Forte is averaging just 3.3 yards per carry, down by six-tenths of a yard from his rookie campaign last year. But he's second on the team with 42 receptions and is averaging an impressive 9.5 yards per catch.

  • TE Greg Olsen has 18 catches for 188 yards and three touchdowns over the past three weeks, but all the scores came in the same game.

  • WR Devin Hester has slumped in his past two games. Despite catching 11 passes, he's managed just 66 yards and has gone four straight games without a touchdown. He was targeted nine times Sunday night but caught just four passes.

  • WR Earl Bennett has quietly caught 15 passes for 177 yards over the previous three weeks and has 40 receptions for 511 yards this season but has yet to score a touchdown. He leads the Bears with a 12.8-yard average per catch.

  • CB Charles Tillman forced three fumbles last week, two of which were recovered by the Bears. He has six forced fumbles for the year.

  • LB Lance Briggs hit double figures in tackles for the third straight week, with 11, and got his second sack of the season. He is 10th in the NFL with 82 tackles.

  • CB Zack Bowman's team-best fourth interception of the season last week was his third straight game with a pick.

  • RB Kahlil Bell, who had a 72-yard run last week on his first NFL touch last week, finished with 81 yards on four carries, and he should get a few touches a game behind Matt Forte, with Garrett Wolfe on injured reserve with a lacerated kidney.

  • TE Kellen Davis has three touchdowns on just nine catches, including a 15-yard score last week.


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