Chicago Bears Red Zone: Jay Cutler Week 8


Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

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Even though the Chicago Bears lost a tough one to the Vikings, the offense again turned in a solid performance. They put up 20 points and again regained the lead going into the final minutes. Was it perfect? No. There were some crucial mistakes, and once again the referee’s affected the outcome. So let’s start with offense as a whole then finish with Jay Cutler‘s overall performance.

A lot of the Bears media and fans did not like the first part of Gase game plan. They remarked too many bubble screens and no imagination. I watched the tape and the play calling was not bad, just not properly executed. Yes, the bubble screens (4 in all) did not do well and to Gase credit were quickly abandoned.

When you look at the offense as a whole, and the fact you have a piece meal offensive line, a revolving door of receivers and Forte getting injured, the did admittedly well. Cutler got sacked once, two holding penalties and no false starts. I would grade it C+ to B-.

Cutler played another effective, controlled and well executed performance. No interceptions. Hit Alshon Jefffery in the end zone perfectly. This was the same play the Lions intercepted Jay two weeks ago. The difference? Alshon Jeffery was not held and Jay made the perfect pass. Jay’s touchdown run will make the season highlight film (the link is at the end of the article), he clobbered Harrison Smith, considered one of the hardest hitters in the league. Jay once again rallied the offense to take the lead going into the final minutes of the game. (Side Note: Check Klemko on Cutler)

In watching the tape, I could not find one play where I thought Jay missed it or made a mistake. There is little doubt as I said last week, Cutler has found himself in Gase offensive scheme. We are seeing the Jay Cutler, Angelo traded for several years ago, and unless something wild and crazy happens Jay will be under center in 2016 and probably 2017.

The last thing I want to touch on were three plays that affected the Bears loss the most (From an offense perspective).

1. Robbie Gould missed FG. His first and statistically speaking the law of averages were going to catch up with Robbie. If he had made that 53 yarder it would have put the score at 16-10. Vikings would not have started on their 41, probably their 20.

2. Jeremy Langford‘s dropped pass on third down with 1:10+ to go. The pass was a shade behind him but he had his hands on it and needs to make those catches. In all fairness, we have seen many great receivers and running backs drop passes at critical moments, even Forte. It was just the wrong one to drop. However, Langford’s mistake was outdone by the head referee on the next play.

3. The blown call on Pat O’Donnell. It was a pure and simple running into the kicker and the referee was looking right at it and waved it off. I looked up the rule, and the only exception is when a defensive player is blocked/pushed where his path has been altered to where he runs into the kicker.
Again, I watched the tape and the defender slid through a seam and might have been brushed by a blocker as he passed by but in no way was his path altered. It was clear. That would have been a five yard penalty and automatic first down with 1:10 to go.

The offense did their job and continue to get better every week no matter who is in the line up. That is a huge testament to Jay Cutler’s leadership abilities.

“That was awesome,” outside linebacker Pernell McPhee said. “He sold out his body for the team. Jay’s one of our leaders and everybody respects him, and that’s what leaders do, sell out their body for the team.”

Cutler TD Run