Jay Cutler’s place on Chicago Bears Top 100 List is a Joke

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 31: Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears reacts after the Chicago Bears defeated the Minnesota Vikings 20-10 at Soldier Field on October 31, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 31: Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears reacts after the Chicago Bears defeated the Minnesota Vikings 20-10 at Soldier Field on October 31, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears Top 100 list includes a very questionable order of the quarterbacks especially with Jay Cutler.

Let me start off this article by saying that I really respect Dan Pompeii and Don Pierson. Both of them are award-winning sports writers. They know the history of the Chicago Bears well and tabbing those two to come up with the list of the 100 Greatest Chicago Bears makes a lot of sense.

The Bears are unveiling this list on Twitter and via their website as they gear up for the franchise’s 100th season. To this point, they’ve unveiled spots 51 to 100. There’s always plenty to debate (Khalil Mack is 60th after one season where he only played 14 games, I love him, but really?), but what has to be debated is the quarterbacks on the list and how they are ranked.

After looking at the quarterbacks, I have to wonder if Pompeii and Pierson spent some time in Colorado when they were making this list and if they were, pass some of that stuff over here.

You can find the list here, but let’s cut to the chase and show you what QBs have been unveiled thus far and what their overall ranking is:

88. Joey Sternaman

85. Jay Cutler

82. George Blanda

69. Bill Wade

55. Johnny Lujack

54. Ed Brown

53. Jim McMahon

It’s a safe bet to say that the only remaining quarterback on the list is going to be Sid Luckman. Luckman will probably be top 10 all-time on the list, and I take no issue with that decision. Luckman is the best QB to ever play for the Chicago Bears. His stats when compared to the era were incredible.

In 1943, Luckman threw for 2200 yards with 28 TDs and 14 INTs. Tony Canadeo was a Green Bay Packer QB that finished 3rd that season in both yards and TDs. He had 875 passing yards with 9 TD passes.

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By comparison, Matt Ryan was 3rd in the NFL this year with 4900 yards passing and 35 TDs. If Luckman outpaced Ryan in 2018 at the same rate he outpaced Canadeo in 1943 he would throw for 12,320 yards with 109 touchdown passes, in one season.

Anyone have a problem with Luckman as the best QB in Bears history? I didn’t think so.

I also won’t argue McMahon as the second best QB in Bears history. He led the greatest single season team in the history of the NFL. He was the Bears only Pro Bowl QB over the last 50 years until Mitch Trubisky finally made the squad last season. His teammates loved him and he was very underrated. He was clutch, had great touch on his passes, was great throwing on the run, had the ability to scramble, and if he could stay healthy, he would have been spoken about in high regard.

Now, let’s get to the ridiculous problem with this list and that’s Jay Cutler.

Forget the overall rankings of the QBs (and Cutler at 85 is insulting), let’s just focus on where Cutler ranks against these other QBs.

They chose to put Cutler behind Blanda, Lujack, Brown and Wade? If I cursed in my writing, there would be a profanity-laced tirade right about now. That is an absolute joke.

Let’s start with Bill Wade who quarterbacked the Bears to the title in 1963. Outside of the magical 1963 season, Wade had a combined losing record in all his other seasons with the Bears. He was a game manager on a meager offense. The Bears were completely built on defense in this era. His Pro Bowl year came in 1963 largely due to the Bears’ success. But he was 9th in passing yards and 8th in passing TDs (out of 14 teams). He was average at best for his era. He started for just four seasons in Chicago.

If Pompeii and Pierson want to argue George Blanda’s positioning on this list due to his ability to kick and punt and all the other aspects of his game, that’s fine, but as a quarterback playing in Chicago, Cutler being behind Blanda is laughable. Blanda started 21 games at QB for the Bears leading the team to an 8-12-1 record. Yes it was a different era but a 48 TD to 72 INT ratio is not good in any era. It’s a ridiculous idea.

Lujack could have been a great Bears quarterback. He was well on his way after being on the Bears roster for four seasons. Lujack couldn’t stand George Halas. He was sick and tired of Halas’ ridiculous contract negotiations and was sick of playing for peanuts. With Halas’ continuing cheap tactics, Lujack finally had enough and called it quits at the age of 26. Lujack is a story of what could have been, but what could have been should not earn you a place 30 spots ahead of Cutler.

Ed Brown is next. In fairness to Brown, he probably should settle in as the fourth or fifth best QB in the history of the franchise, but to put him ahead of Cutler? Please. Brown was another game manager who played for Chicago in the 1950s and was great at handling the ball off to Rick Casares. He did lead the Bears to the NFL Championship in 1956, but the Bears came up short.

He made two Pro Bowls, but to put that in perspective, Eagles QB Bobby Thomason made 3 Pro Bowls in that era. In 1956, Thomason threw 4 TD passes with 21 INTs (and made the Pro Bowl!). He was the lowest rated passer in the NFL that season, so it’s hard to put too much stock in Brown’s Pro Bowls in an era quite thin on QBs.

CHICAGO, IL – OCTOBER 31: Jay Cutler
CHICAGO, IL – OCTOBER 31: Jay Cutler /

Jay Cutler: why do they hate you? Look, I am well aware of Cutler’s short comings. But you can’t ignore the facts. Cutler started for eight seasons. He threw for more yards and TD passes than anyone in the history of the franchise.

He led an incredible offense in for a couple of seasons and he’s also the highest rated passer of any Bears QB with 30 or more starts.

To say that Cutler is the seventh best QB in the history of the franchise is just ridiculous. There is zero way to put him any lower than third. Personally, I would rank him ahead of McMahon, but I won’t argue against those who want McMahon second.

What’s the criteria here? The only reason Bill Wade would be ahead of him is because of his championship, but if that’s the case, none of these other QBs other than McMahon won titles. Ed Brown reached a title game in 1956, but Cutler reached an NFC Championship game in 2010.

If you are going to reward Brown, Wade, McMahon and Lujack for having better records (other than Brown they aren’t significantly better), you are punishing Cutler for having several mediocre teams and a revolving door of coaches.

Must Read. The 50 month evaluation of Ryan Pace. light

Cutler was in a terrible situation in Chicago. He basically had a new offensive coordinator every year, his offensive line was downright dreadful at times, and the fans and media were constantly all over him. Some of that was Cutler’s fault, but a lot of it was just being the face of a mediocre franchise.

Nobody is ever going to be happy when these lists come out. Nobody applauds these lists and everyone complains. But putting Jay Cutler as low as they did was either to just get a negative response from fans (congratulations, it worked), a personal issue with Cutler, or just incompetence.

I’ve never thought Pierson or Pompeii to be incompetent, so the thought that they genuinely felt Cutler deserved to be in the spot he’s placed is truly hard to believe. A mongoose has more sense than what Pompeii and Pierson showed with that decision. Cutler 85th overall and the 7th best QB in Bears’ history?

That decision in one word? Stupid.