Aug 29, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) during the first half against the Cleveland Browns at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears: Five Stipulations For Jay Cutler MVP Run


To the surprise of more than a few, NFL.com writer Dan Hanzus listed Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler as an MVP dark horse.  Is it possible?  Here are five things that must happen for it to take place.

Start all 16 games and make the NFL playoffs

The mark of an MVP is a player that is always there when his team needs him and plays well enough to get them to the NFL playoffs.  For Jay Cutler that means doing two things he hasn’t done in awhile, which is play all 16 games in the regular season and play well enough to make the post-season.  The former is an objective both he and head coach Marc Trestman have targeted since the off-season started and are convinced is the key to accomplished the latter.

Top 4,600 yards passing and 35 touchdowns

To win Most Valuable Player in this day and age, it is going to take stats.  Peyton Manning won it last year with 5,477 yards and 55 touchdown passes.  Nobody is saying Cutler has to do that for the Chicago Bears, but it’s clear if he wants any hope of even sniffing the award, he’ll need a career year.  That means at least 4,600 pass yards and most likely 35 or more touchdown passes.  On top of that is the efficiency, meaning less interception.  Most likely it will take 13 or fewer.

Don’t ride Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall

Another part that will be critical for Cutler to get voters on his side is to show that he can run an offense.  What that means is learning not to lean heavily on his best weapons, most notably wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall.  It would be easy to do so given how excellent both players are, but if Jay wants to prove his worth as an individual he must spread the ball around, getting other players involved.  It shows his mastery of the system, his ability to lead and confuses defenses.  When he won the award in 2011, Aaron Rodgers completed at least 10 passes to 10 different receivers for the Green Bay Packers.

Stay out of trouble on camera

National and local pundits have said the Chicago Bears quarterback has matured a great deal since his early days with the team.  People still remember his nonchalant attitude, pouty expressions and occasional blowups with teammates or coaches on camera.  It led to a lot of scrutiny for Cutler and has remained a primary reason why he often gets overlooked.  Not all of it is his fault, but a good portion of it is.  Now he’s a father.  He’s 31-years old and has a brand new seven-year contract that will secure him financially.  If Jay wants to get people on his side, it must start with staying humble in interviews and staying out of trouble when cameras find him on the field.

Find a way to get a “signature” win against a good opponent

The last and probably hardest accomplishment Jay Cutler must fulfill in order to win MVP is carrying his team to a crucial victory against a good team during the season.  Experts often call it a “signature” win.  There will be plenty of opportunities in 2014.  Beating the powerhouse San Francisco 49ers in their new home stadium.  Taking down Tom Brady and the Patriots in Foxborough.  Finally ousting the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.  There is no shortage of chances.  If Jay can get the Bears out of one of those games on his own personal will, voters are bound to take notice.

Tags: Alshon Jeffery Brandon Marshall Chicago Bears Featured Jay Cutler NFL Popular

  • Folt

    I like the thought, but see little chance Cutler will win MVP. With forte possible getting upwards of 1500 yards rushing, that forces less emphasis on pass thus less stats. If the Bears finish with 12 or so wins, he may get some consideration, but probably to much Ill will and too many stat cobblers like manning for him to win it. With that being said Cutler is an will still be the Bears MVP.

    • Erik Lambert

      More than likely you’re right. Too many obstacles in his way besides just a host of other great quarterbacks. Still, there is always a chance. Being the 1st Bears passer in history to top 4,000 yards would be a great way to start.

  • trinity

    I don’t think he has a shot in hell personally. I think he’s mega talented, but he always gets hurt. Plus for all his talent, he just never seems to make THE play at THE moment. there’s always something missing with Jay Cutler.

    • Erik Lambert

      That’s not entirely true, trinity. For his career Jay has 20 game-winning drives and 16 comebacks in the 4th quarter. Just last year what about that drive against Pittsburgh? Bears are clinging to a lead 27-23 on the road. Steelers D is swarming. Cutler picks up three huge third downs, one with his feet, one with a huge back shoulder fade to Marshall, and one with a pinpoint strike in the corner of the end zone to Earl Bennett for a touchdown. He’s not perfect and he has his health issues, but Jay has made plenty of plays.

      • trinity

        I’m surprised to hear about that play, because i didn’t see that. I would be shocked to see him do that, because I’ve seen a number of his mistakes. I don’t know. I definitely believe your stats, but when I picture Jay Cutler in big moments, I picture him riding that damned exercise bike looking moody in the NFC championship game. I do think he is a great talent outside of his mistakes though. He’s not in my top 10, but he’s not far out of it. Having said that, he’s not winning the MVP this year. I just don’t see it.

        • Erik Lambert

          Probably not because the Bears don’t emphasize singular players. They are a team-MVP mentality. First it’s Marshall, then it’s Forte and then it’s Jeffery. No single player runs the show like in Denver, Green Bay and New Orleans. That’s just how the system is.

          • trinity

            Do you think Cutler could succeed in a system like that? If it was less team MVP, and more him having to be the one guy who runs the show like Aaron and Peyton?

          • Erik Lambert

            To answer that I ask the question could he succeed under a guy like Mike McCarthy or Sean Peyton or Bill Belichick? In those cases I say absolutely.

          • trinity

            I’m not so sure. Because when you look at those guys, particularly Peyton, they don’t make that many mistakes. If you look at Jay’s entire career, in every single year, his interception totals nearly match his touchdown totals. Every year from rookie until now. He has the talent where he won’t suck in any system, but i think he makes too many mistakes to be a show runner. Which is why I think Chicago suits him. He just has to get over the hump.

          • Erik Lambert

            In fairness those other guys have enjoyed teams building around them and maintaining stability, something Jay is only starting to get used to in Chicago. The thing is Jay doesn’t need to run the show. Remember, Russell Wilson wasn’t the reason Seattle dominated last year. He just understood where to go with the ball and trusted his defense to keep it close. If Jay can at least do that, they can win.

          • trinity

            All good points. I’m expecting a monster offensive year from Chicago as a team. I think they can get in at least as a wildcard.

          • Erik Lambert

            I’m in total agreement.

  • Chad Jensen

    Ain’t gonna happen. If he stubs his toe getting out of bed on Gameday, he’ll have a terrible outing. He’s been a moody, b***ch since his days in Denver.

    • Erik Lambert

      Are you still sore about that, Chad? I understand Denver fans resent the way he left but given the success you guys have had the past few years, don’t you think it’s time to let it go?

      • Chad Jensen

        I could be no more sore about that than I could be sore that the sky is blue. It’s simply the way it is. Besides, how could I be sore? Peyton Manning quarterbacks my team. First world problems….

        • Erik Lambert

          The race isn’t over yet. Would’ve been if Denver had hoisted the trophy last season. Jay still has time to prove people wrong. Not saying he will, but the winds are certainly in his favor.

          • Chad Jensen

            I was waiting for the obligatory Super Bowl shot. I’d be hurt IF I hadn’t seen it coming from a million miles away. Truth is, I hope Cutty can one day realize his Herculean potential. I’m just not gonna hold my breath. :-)

          • Erik Lambert

            Yeah, unfortunately the Broncos drew the worst possible opponent to face in that game. Maybe they might get luckier this year. I feel Jay has a shot to realize his talent, but at some point the light has to go on and stay one because it’s basically a strobe effect at this point.

          • Chad Jensen

            All clowning aside I’m a huge believer in Jay Cutler. I was super bummed at the time to see him go. YouTube Cutler to Walker. 60+ yard bomb, on a rope, for a TD. Amazing talent.

          • Erik Lambert

            It’s not just that he can throw the ball hard. What’s so disgusting about it is he makes it look so effortless.

          • Chad Jensen

            Indeed. His limitations stem from his head. If he could reconcile his mental side with his athletic and arm talent, sky’s the limit.

          • Erik Lambert

            He’s got a great teach with him now in Trestman. It’s now or never.

          • metalhead65

            his limitations stemmed from the fact he played for a coach who did not believe offense was part of the game and a gm who could not evaluate talent if his life depended on it. it is like smith looked at what made him good in denver and that’s nice but we don’t do that here. obviously they did not have the same talent but you are telling me you could not design a offense that let him roll out to buy time and find a open receiver? he had the worst o-line you can have and a different o.c every year except for 2 years of hey this offense worked great 15 years ago so let’s get Cutler killed martz. then you had tice as his oc. even peyton would not have thrived in that offense. I and bears fans could care less about his “expressions”, if manning or brady would have yelled at his lineman they would have talked about their passion but because he is not a media suck up he has a attitude problem. and I guarantee you had those guys taken the punishment Cutler did and survived they would have yelled at their line! funny how less than a year after Lovie and angelo get canned the bears have a solid offensive line and a real top of the line NFL offense. everybody got hurt on defense last year or they would have won the division.

  • Josh Landers

    While Brady, manning, and brees still draw breath, this will never happen.

    • Erik Lambert

      Don’t tempt fate, Josh.

  • John Colvin

    The picks are my only concern. It’s less chances to score and will exhaust our defense as it did last year. If he has changed so much then his poise should be what leads us deep into the playoffs.

    • Erik Lambert

      No argument there. Efficiency will tell the tale of his 2014 season.