Sep 13, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) reacts following a play during the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. The Packers defeated the Bears 23-10. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

Jay Cutler is NOT the Quarterback to Lead the Chicago Bears to a Championship

It’s hard for me to write this, but I’ve put a lot of thought into this.  I waited far more than a typical 24 hour cooling off period after another frustrating Bears loss to the Green Bay Packers to arrive at this conclusion – Jay Cutler is NOT the quarterback that’s going to lead the Chicago Bears to another championship.

I’ve sat back the last 3+ years supporting Jay and made excuses for him.  I’ve stood by like a star-struck cheerleader, awed by the rocket arm and tremendous talent while looking past the body language and facial expression and leadership questions.  Those things don’t matter, WINS DO.  This is a results-oriented business.

You can say that the offensive line is bad and up until this season the wide receivers were poor.  You would be 100% correct.  But Super Bowl winning quarterbacks raise their level and the performance of those around them beyond their potential, they overachieve.

This isn’t going to be another post about body language or leadership that came in droves on Friday morning.  This isn’t a question of Cutler’s talent because it’s clear that he is the most talented QB to roll into this town in my lifetime.  This post is based on facts, hard numbers that back up why Cutler is not the man to lead the Bears back to the promised land.

There was plenty of hand-wringing about Jay Cutler sideline confrontation with left tackle J’Marcus Webb.  I don’t mind that stuff.  Of course no one should be shown up on the sidelines and that should be handled privately, but we’ve seen plenty of fiery interactions between the best teammates.  I’m not overly upset about Jay Cutler’s post-game press conference.  Could he have handled himself with more class and saved some of the bus throwing for the meeting rooms?  Sure.  So what is this big epiphany that I had watching another Cutler implosion on Thursday night in Green Bay?  It’s pretty simple – JAY CUTLER IS A FRONTRUNNER. That means when it’s going well, Jay excels but when things are not going his way, Jay turtles.

When things are going well, Cutler is the best teammate.  He’s joking on the sidelines, chumming it up with every but more importantly, he’s playing well.  It feeds on itself.  On the flipside, when things aren’t going well, when he’s facing a little bit of adversity – be it a missed blocking assignment, a dropped pass, or a play call he doesn’t like – Jay’s sphincter tightens up tighter than a snare drum and he implodes.  When he’s bad, he’s really bad.  Jay let’s the frustrations translate into a poor performance of the field.

Since this is a results-oriented business, I decided to look at some results to support my argument.  Jay Cutler has a record of 26-19 as starting quarterback for the Chicago Bears.  That’s a very respectable 0.580 winning percentage.  But what happens when Jay faces a winning team, a more difficult opponent?

I decided to look back at Jay’s career in Chicago and break down his record against teams with either winning or losing records at the time when they face off.  All Week 1 opponents are obviously .500 teams.  In total, Jay has faced 7 teams that had a .500 record at the time the Bears have played them and they’re 4-3 in those games for a winning percentage of about 57%, closing mirroring his overall 58% winning percentage.

Jay has faced 18 opponents in his 3+seasons in Chicago with a losing record heading into the contest.  Jay has won 83% of those games, with a record of 15-3.  Those are the impressive dominant numbers you would expect from an elite quarterback.  Those are the numbers you see and say, sign him up for another five years at $100 million or whatever insane new contract he’ll probably get.

Let’s also keep in mind that Jay’s lone career playoff win came at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks, who qualified for the playoffs with a 7-9 record before scoring a fluke home field upset over the New Orleans Saints to earn a trip to Soldier Field for a matchup with the Bears.  So heading into that playoff matchup, the Seahawks were…. yup, you guessed it, a losing team with an 8-9 record.

Now for the other side of the coin.  Jay has started 19 games vs teams with a winning record at the time of kickoff, but the Bears have won only 7 of those games.  That’s a win about 35%  of the time.  Are those the kind of numbers that an elite, Super Bowl winning quarterback puts up?

The Bears will pound the Rams next Sunday and depending on what the Cowboys do vs the Bucs next week, should have a winning record before the Bears head to Big D for another prime time matchup.  What’s your confidence the Bears will go into Dallas and hold off DeMarcus Ware and the Cowboys?

Maybe the addition of Brandon Marshall will make all the difference in the world?  It’s quite possible that the Bears will bounce back after this Green Bay loss to have a fine season.  But as gamblers always say, the trend is your friend, so if we follow the trend, Jay isn’t the guy to step up and perform at a higher level when he faces a tough challenge.  Let’s face it, in the playoffs you’re not getting too many teams with losing records coming in.

What do you think?  Am I way off base on my assessment of Cutler?  Can he lead the Bears to a Super Bowl win in the future?  I know you’ve got an opinion on this one, so post it in the Comments.  You can use your Twitter or Facebook login to sign in and comment.  So what are you waiting for?


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Tags: Chicago Bears Jay Cutler

  • Phil_x

    Good article Boom. I don’t think there is much more to sat. This lays it out with facts. Jay makes teribble decisions when things aren’t going well, and that’s not the makign of a GREAT QB. What frustrates me even more (sorryt o change the subject), is the fact that Lovie and Tice didn’t have the team ready for this game. It’s the “freaking” Green Bay Packers!!!! How can everyone on offense not be ready for this game? Then the lack of adjustments on that side of the ball during the game is baffling. You know me, I am not a big Lovie fan….couple of more of those games and Ole Phil Emery will be looking elsewhere for a coach.

    • BearGogglesOn

      Thank Phil. If I were going to lay blame for this specific game, I’d throw a big chunk of it on Tice. When the Packers threw the 2-Man coverage at them, it’s like they’d never seen it before and had no idea how to counter.

  • Cool_Moe_Joe

    i’ve made that comment since watching that horrible game is that the Bears were destined to fail before they even took the field w/ that mike martz game plan in hand. they fell in love w/ the deep passing game and thought they could force feed it against a very good green bay game at home. no idea why they didn’t make the adjustments during the game either. right away it was evident what the packers were going to stay in the 2 deep coverage……how do you beat that you ask? RUN THE DAMN BALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • jay


  • Chris

    You’re right on. I have talked about this since Cutler first arrived. I call it ARROGANCE vs. CONFIDENCE. A QB with CONFIDENCE takes the tough breaks, bad plays, etc and says “we can come back and win this”… They elevate their game! The QB with ARROGANCE falls apart and says “I am the ONLY ONE who can fix this, and I just can’t do it by myself”. Confidence is strong, arrogance is fragile. Confidence is accountable, arrogance pouts. Confidence thrives under pressure (see Eli Manning), Arrogance crumbles (see… Umm… Jay Cutler).

    Jay Cutler needs confidence. What he has is arrogance. And the problem is, arrogance is very very very tough to change. It is easier to turn no-confidence into confidence than it is to turn arrogance into confidence. And that is why you are correct – Jay Cutler is not the guy.

    • BearGogglesOn

      Really solid points Chris. It’s funny that you bring up Eli because I am curious about his W-L record in a comparable timeframe as Cutty. He’s got two rings, so what does he do when the lights are the brightest. Back to do more research.

      • Charles Johnson

        The main difference between Eli and Jay is his teammates stepped up. If David Tyree doesn’t catch that ball on his head, NE wins. Yet Eli gets the credit. That is how it worked.

    • Charles Johnson

      The thing is often it takes just one play to change everything. If Brandon Marshall catches that pass, that changes things. Arrogance turns to confidence. It is easier to have confidence when you have teammates around you step up instead of mess up.

  • Ben Eiserle

    You provided some very sound facts, but I still have all the faith in the world in Jay. Did he have a horrible game? Yes, but he has to have some kind of time to do what he does best: fire that “freaking” pigskin into the tightest of windows. The bears game plan was shitty, Webb might as well not stepped on the field, dumb penalties to stall drives (Carimi) , dropped touchdown by Marshall, forte goes down, lucky/freakish/rare special teams mishap, etc. but Jay is taking all the heat and they only lost by 13. I think once some of the other issues are cleared up the bears will be fine and if given even the slightest opportunity Jay will be leading the way.

  • flowermike

    Boomer, you’re making the diagnosis by distinguishing the symptom, not the disease.

    The offensive line has been an issue for the last how many years? We may not have one single lineman at any position of quality. Our latest bad choice for an offensive coordinator is once again, the only person who would accept the job. Our GM was saddled with a failing head coach. We made cosmetic improvements to our skill positions which have no way of succeeding without adequate protection, gameplanning and game time adjustments which has been a hallmark of Lovies stoicism.

    See how SF is doing with a consistent system and protection for Alex Smith. It’s not a coincidence that his play is elevated.

    The Packers exposed our weakness and it’s plain as day to anyone not named Angelo, Lovie or now Embrey.

    Games are won in the trenches. Blocking and Tackling. It really is that simple.

    • BearGogglesOn

      Fair point Mike, but when the Packers won the Super Bowl Aaron Rodgers was the most sacked QB in the league. Cutler crumbles under the pressure. Period.

      • flowermike

        You can’t equate one situation with another Boom. Cutler has been under pressure his entire tenure with us. Rodgers has been groomed in one system for how many years?

        Not suggesting Cutler is of Rodgers ilk, but support and development is still not a hallmark of Lovie.

        Remember, they get off the bus running without blocking except they are throwing…well, kind of…

        I love how confident you all were after a win against INdy. Talk is cheap.

        The Mc Caskey’s awarded Dick Jauron for his one miracle year. Lovie was extended at an awkward and conveniently desperate time for Angelo. WE live with the hangover and it has nothing to do with Cutler.

    • jim g

      Sorry. not that simple. every team needs a leader. cutler is sorely lacking as a leader. More of and immature, petulant, whiney boy

  • Augeydoggy

    I felt exactly the same. I blamed Martz for all the problems since Cutler’s arrival, but against the Packers could not see any difference in the offence. I think Cutler moved up in the pocket once, and otherwise either stood still until he was sacked, or threw from his back foot. No rollouts called, one of his supposed strengths. And the offensive strategy didn’t change a bit during the game, just like with Martz. Just how IS the Tice offense different?

  • Charles Johnson

    I refuse to give up on Jay Cutler as long as the offensive line is worse than the ones Rex Grossman played behind. The Bears made the Superbowl with REX GROSSMAN. I supposed to write off Jay Cutler after witnessing that? Let’s examine the Aaron Rodgers comparison. Statistically, Rodgers lead the Pack to the Super Bowl while getting sacked the most, right? Problem is not all sacks are the same. Cutler is far and away the leader in getting sacked under 3 seconds, Which means the pressure in on him often as soon as he gets the ball. Secondly, Rodgers and his teammates have played in ONE system in 3 years, whereas Cutler and his teammates have played in THREE. Not to mention the vast disparity in talent no only at wide receiver but at tight end. We narrowly the gap considerably at WR with Marshalll and Jeffrey, but who is our Jermichael Finley? Before you write off Cutler, make sure you fix everything else. I doubt at any point GB’s offensive line was as bad as ours no matter what stat you come up with. Rodgers and his teammates have such chemistry from playing in one system he could probably complete passes blindlfolded and his wrs will be in the right spots. We are not there yet. So slow your roll in giving up on Cutler until the Bears prove that they can develop a QB at all. Winning cures a lot.

  • jim g

    I heard a commentator say the years ago mike holmgren was near giving up on bret farve and his wild gunslinger personality and frequent interceptions. But, that favre was able to mature, with holmgren’s help and direction, and become the great quarterback he was. The same is possible with cutler, yet highly doubtful. He is extremely immature, petulant, and plays the victim when he loses again good teams. In sum, he is not, and probably, never will be a leader of men. The trade is a mistake and the bears will pay for it for many years.

    • Celestino Shinn

      A mistake??? The Bears would have went where with Orton or “Sexy Rexy” last year (or two years ago or this year)???

  • steve

    I think it is most definitely premature to make that claim. Lets not forget he had us at 7 and 3 last season surrounded by a bad line and less than mediocre receiving corps. Thursday night was a poor performance but I do not think we can truly judge jay until we see how he finishes this season surrounded by a much better offense.

  • Adam Lewis

    I think your discounting the fact that Lovie is THE worst coach on Sundays period when you assign those losses to better teams to Cutler. Better teams have better coaches who are better than Lovie. Hell, even bad teams have coaches better than Lovie on Sunday.

  • Roy

    I think it’s too early to call Cutler a failure right now let the season play out and let’s see how the offense. Does as a whole they started terrible last year before they figured out how to best use the talent they had which was far less than they have now.

  • shinrich

    Sorry Boomer I love this site, but this is hack meatball crap. IT’S THE SECOND GAME! Trends have context to them.This is way to soon to be make this kind of snap judgement. A starting QB yelling at a scrub 8th round pick is not a big deal. I usually think thi site is much better than the boo ya’s. This is not a popularity contest its football. I understand that you don’t like to lose to the Packers year and year and I don’t either, but if we can get to a Superbowl with Rex Grossman we can win one with Jay. Cool down a little wait till we smoke the Rams and re think this article.There is no takebacks once you post…….

  • Bubba

    That was a very good analysis, and one that I reluctantly agree with. Too many times Jay plays the blame game, instead of the accountability game….once again contrary to what elite quarterbacks do. Elite quarterbacks find ways to win despite of the obstacles. Be truthful, after Jay through the second pick, eventhough the Bears were still in the game, did anyone really think that Jay would be able to compose himself long enough to somehow pull of a victory? You may have hoped that he would, maybe even prayed that he would, but did you believe that he would. People always believe that elite quarterbacks will somehow pull it off, I don’t think that Jay has earned the benefit of the doubt.

  • David

    funny how the chicago bears scouts missed Tony Romo of Eastern Illinios University and Michael Turner of Northern Illinois University…. maybe the problem is quality scouting.

  • John Mack

    The best way to sum this up is Keith Schultz’s quote for the beloved in this week’s Power Rankings “The Bears always play a bad game early in the season in prime time before getting on a role! Relax and Breathe.” With emphasis on the relax and breathe!

    I see points on both sides here. I support Cutler, but what I would like to have seen more of is Cutler trying to make something out of nothing. If you can audible and the passing lanes are shutdown then show the defense a spread look, have them play off and then audible a run or some play-action. I didn’t see Jay go down fighting. Bad game or not, in the week prior at San Fran Rodgers went down fighting. He didn’t just quit. And I’m sorry but I do think Jay just quit, as he tends to do when confounded. I still like Jay’s talent and ceiling so I’m not panicked. But calling what I see as a fan and observer (we’re all entitled to our opinions after all). And to clarify, what I mean by quit is he just start throwing, thinking and acting irrational when he should have found some seem in the defense. This is another aspect that separates the Rodgers and Rothelisbergers from the Rivers and Ryans *personel aside*.

    But I put last weeks loss more on coaching and not making adjustments than I do on Cutty. I think and we’ve seen as mentioned below that when things started synching up for us Jay had a much less talented and same line Bears @ 7-3 and the hottest thing going in the NFC. We were the team no one wanted to play. Give it time, the players and coaches are just as frustrated as we the fans are. Them moreso because they’re actually on the field.

    So I’ll leave this and say Cutler is the franchise and the ship will get righted. We just completed the 2nd game of the 1st Qtr of the seasons. The sky is NOT falling. But now Phil Emery knows he’ll be using pic #1 or #2 on the O-Line next year! Cutler will do find, mark my words.

  • flowermike

    Fire ANgelo!

    opps, already did.

    whose next?

    One win against Indy bore the child of super bowl inevitability.

    One loss against GB?

    least the baby has fingers to point.

  • NameUhPete

    Jay is not cool under pressure but we need to scheme better, look at the Peyton in the Broncos game. He stayed cool but he and everyone knew the air show wasn’t working so they switched to the run game until he felt more confident/time was running out. Bears NEVER do that (at least early in the season). We need to rely on the run since we have a weak o-line. J’Webb for instance should be expected to make a few big plays a game, not pro-bowl up for the entire game. Cutler can do it, one or two picks happen in a game, three and four should not. We have to run to calm him down (even if Cutler was cool under pressue thats what we should do).

  • Chris

    So th rest of the bears are all top notch at their jobs? They are flawless and it’s all cutlers fault? Haha! I’ll let you in on a little secret….you can’t pass the ball when you only have 2 seconds to find an open receiver and throw it. You know what happens instead? Sacks and picks. Green Bay brought the heat and the o- line couldn’t handle it, like usual. This has been happening since cutler arrived and even before. You can get big #1 receivers and good rbs but if ur qb has no time to even look at a receiver then they will fail. I don’t care who the qb is.

  • hung le

    boomer is act like boomer.heeeeeeeeeeeeee

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