It seems like the end of a classic underdog flick. The hard-luck kid who seems to have everyone against him must once again take on the opponent he can never bear. For Jay Cutler, the climax is approaching for his story in Chicago, and he must topple his greatest foe if he wants a happy ending.
Marc Trestman needs Cutler and not the defense to come through
Not much has changed in regards to the Cutler Question through 15 games in 2013. Many believe the 30-year old has looked good enough to warrant a long-term extension next year while others believe he should be cut loose or given the franchise tag in order to buy time to find a replacement. There is one inescapable fact about him as far as this season is concerned. Cutler is 4-5 starting for the Chicago Bears in 2013. After a solid start, injuries began to take their toll on him and he’s looked shaky ever since. Head coach Marc Trestman has expressed unflinching belief in his quarterback, which is admirable but also misleading. Trestman isn’t the one who picked Cutler. He agreed to inherit the veteran when he took the job in order to see if he could revive the Pro Bowl form Jay flashed in Denver. It isn’t exactly shaping up like a dream scenario. Heading into week 17 the Bears are reeling from their spanking in Philadelphia and now must defend their home field against an opponent that has beaten Cutler eight out of the last nine meeting. In every one of those losses the offense was held under 20 points. For whatever reason Jay plays his worst football against the Packers, which is not a good reputation to have in Chicago. Trestman knows he will need a top performance from his quarterback too, because it’s unlikely the defense is going to help much, if at all.
Chicago Bears 2014 NFL draft plans hinge on the outcome
It seems fitting that things would turn out this way. Things really began to go sideways for Cutler back in 2010 when the Packers knocked him out of the NFC championship game with an MCL sprain. Since then many have questioned his toughness and his ability to play under pressure. In a perfect full circle scenario, he must go through that same Green Bay team again not only to reach the playoffs but also secure his future. Like it or not, the finale at Soldier Field means more to Jay Cutler than any other player. Losing that game would result in yet another mediocre finish for the Chicago Bears and the fourth of five seasons missing the playoff in the Cutler era. Regardless of the physical potential and all that, the one inescapable indictment of a quarterback is whether he wins. Having one playoff appearance in five seasons says it all. It really isn’t hard to see what lies ahead. If Cutler gets his team past Green Bay, the likelihood of him getting a long-term deal skyrockets because it would be validation that he can win with the pressure on. If he can’t, the 2014 NFL draft plans will alter slightly from rebuilding the defense to finding a replacement.
Jay Cutler has long suffered a reputation as a selfish player who bucks authority to do things his way on the field. That hasn’t and won’t fly against the Green Bay Packers. Of all the players buckling the chinstraps on Sunday, Cutler will be the one who absolutely, positively has to have it.
You can still find Bears tickets available for this Sunday’s game so make sure to grab some now to see if Cutler can lead them to the playoffs.