Bears Red Zone: Jay Cutler Breaks Two Long Standing Chicago Bears Records
What a perfect stage for Jay Cutler to break two all-time Chicago Bears’ records- Monday Night Football. We also got to see once again, Cutler rally the offense to another fourth quarter victory. Jay has now thrown more game winning fourth quarter touchdown passes than any other QB with 12 (since 2009).
At the end of the game, Jay broke Sid Luckman’s 70-year old record for most career passing TDs in franchise history. Cutler’s one-yard pass to Martellus Bennett, was number 137 to Luckman’s 136 and in beating the San Diego Chargers he attained his 47th win as a Bear QB. With that win, he surpassed Jim McMahon’s record for most wins as a Bears QB. Presently, With those accomplishments, Cutler now holds all major Bears’ passing records.
Now that the platitudes are over, let’s wheel back to the Chargers game. I think we all need to accept the fact no matter who the Bears play, we are going to be a fourth quarter team. I am sure Gase and Cutler would prefer otherwise, but it just seems to be playing out that way. It’s the old live and die by the sword, and that alone makes it exciting to watch.
I even remember telling people on twitter at halftime- relax it’s early in the game for the Bears offense. Down by nine is nothing, and sure enough, Cutler and his band of cardiac kids got it done and that was huge after two consecutive heart breakers.
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Looking back now, how did Jay Cutler play? He had two turnovers, that resulted in points, so that is not good. But overall, we are consistently seeing leadership, passion, and a control of the offense. Jay has the team believing that no matter who is in the lineup, they can get it done.
Now to those turnovers. We need to accept the fact that Jay is flawed in protecting the ball on sacks. I cringe now when he gets hit. After all the football Jay has played, this is the one flaw that will not be corrected. The only option is to protect him better. We just have to deal with it- when Jay gets sacked, it will be an adventure.
As for the interception, when I first saw the play, I was puzzled. Jay threw a bullet to the outside, that tells me he expected Alshon Jeffery to be there. Instead, Jason Verrett was and a pick six ensued. On the replay, it looked like Verrett grabbed Alshon’s jersey and yanked him into the inside, opening the outside to intercept it.
It looked odd, but you have to put it on Cutler for a bad throw. Usually, I wait and look at the coaches tape to determine what exactly occurred. After reviewing the tape, this is what I saw- Cutler drops back, Jeffery makes his break to the outside. Verrett is not there yet. Cutler throws and when the ball is about 5 yards out of Jay’s hand, Jeffery is open to the outside and Verrett closes in. So right there it’s going to be a tough play.
Here is where it gets interesting- when the ball arrives, Jeffery is now on the inside and Verrett is on the outside. Huh? How did that happen? Jeffery physically moved from outside to inside. It was like he and Verrett switched places. Remember the ball was thrown to the outside before Alshon broke. The problem was the coaches film cut off part of Jeffery/Verrett contact so hard to see if Verrett interfered with Jeffery.
After the game, Jay indicated there was a communication error. My gut tells me what I saw on the TV replay was the deal. Verrett grabbed Alshon and pulled him inside giving him the open path to the outside. Otherwise, Jeffery blew the route. Jay expected Alshon to be on the outside.
In conclusion, savvy play by Verrett and he got the INT and six points.
The good news from all this was it woke up Jeffery. Prior to that he looked like he was in a fog. He went to the sidelines and told Cutler, next play give it to me on a go route. Next play resulted in Jeffery getting 47 yards on a go route and Alshon was a beast the rest of the night.
Lastly, while it was a bogus call on Kyle Long for beefing out the referee for not calling roughing the passer, I was happy to see him let it be known that he will protect his QB at all costs.
One last note, kudos to Adam Gase for starting Ka’Deem Carey. It was a class move that showed respect to the second-year player that has seen almost no action this season. It also told Langford you have to earn the starting spot. I expect against a tougher Rams defense we will see a shade more of Ka’Deem.