As the NFL heads into the second half of the season, the weather will start getting cold and rainy, and things can become challenging for a lot of teams. With that said, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at how Jay Cutler has fared in the months of November and December during his career.
Cutler took over the starting role in Denver at the end of the 2006 season, with all games played in December:
2-3 record, 58.7% completed, 9 TDs/ 4 INTs.
November: 2-1 record, 61.7% completed, 5 TDs/ 2 INTs
December: 2-3 record, 61.7% completed, 7 TDs/ 4 INTs
Totals: 4-4 record. 61.7% completed, 12 TDs/ 6 INTs
November: 3-1 record, 57.7% completed, 6 TDs/ 3 INTs
December: 1-3 record, 66.5% completed, 4 TDs/ 5 INTs
Totals: 4-4 record, 62.1% completed, 10 TDs/ 8 INTs
Overall in his career, Cutler's numbers are:
November: 5-2 record, 59.7% completed, 11 TDs/ 5 INTs
December: 5-9 record, 62.3% completed, 20 TDs, 13 INTs
Total career in Nov/ Dec: 10-11 record, 61% completed, 31 TDs/ 18 INTs
Even though Cutler is only in his third full season as an NFL starter, clearly he has much better production in the November games than in December. Looking at the rest of Chicago's 2009 season, we play...
November: vs Arizona, @ San Fran, vs Philly, @ Minnesota
December: vs St. Louis, vs Green Bay, @ Baltimore, vs Minny, @ Detroit
The weather should definitely play a factor for the rest of the season, but Cutler is used to the winter. Sitting with a 4-3 record right now, Cutler will need to see an increase in productivity than in years past. If we can get 2 wins in November, we'll need to win 4 out of 5 in December to get to the wild card number of 10-6, and that's if 10 wins can get us a WC.
The NFC East will certainly have one of the WCs, and the Saints win over the Falcons this past week in the South was huge. I'm not yet backing off of my bold 12-4 prediction for this season, but with the terrible play from our offensive line, Cutler can only do so much.
Bears management acquired 3 new offensive linemen during the offseason in Orlando Pace, Frank Omiyale, and Kevin Shaffer, and so far, none of them have met expectations. Here's hoping that our coaches can get it together as we head into the winter months...