CHICAGO IL - DECEMBER 26: Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears looks for a receiver as David Harris #52 of the New York Jets rushes at Soldier Field on December 26 2010 in Chicago Illinois. The Bears defeated the Jets 38-34. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Through the years, there have been many phrases coined about how a professional football team becomes successful. Paul 'Bear' Bryant once said "Offense sells tickets; Defense wins championships." Gomer Jones, who put together those great Oklahoma offensive lines for coaching legend Bud Wilkinson back in the 1950s, believed whole-heartedly that the game was won or lost in the trenches. And, there is an entire other group who believes that the largest responsibility falls on the shoulders of the quarterback.
None of those ideas are more correct than the others, as it all depends on the type of team you have. Sure, the idea of a "Championship Team" is that all three phases of the game are sound (offense, defense, and special teams), but modern day football teams can't really be put into a mold.
Take, for example, the 2010 Chicago Bears. Top-3 defense in the league, top-3 special teams unit in the league, and an offense that never even sniffed the top half of the rankings this season.
The Chicago Bears road to the Super Bowl will depend directly on the performance of Jay Cutler.
In the team's five losses this season, Cutler has thrown 1 TD and 9 INTs, with an average passer rating of 48.2.
During his ten wins (remember, he didn't play against Carolina), he threw 22 TDs and 7 INTs, with an average passer rating of 105.1.
Just think about that for a minute. Such a huge difference in those numbers...
The defense, while not across-the-board dependable, will undoubtedly show up and do their job. The special teams unit will undoubtedly do the same. But, what offense will show up in the playoffs? Dominique recently talked about Cutler's golden opportunity to hush his critics, but we really just don't know at this point...
Yes, Mike Martz has a huge responsibility to put Cutler into a position to succeed, and Mike Tice has the responsibility to find ways to compensate for weaknesses in our offensive line. But look at those stat lines above again... for the 2010 Chicago Bears, our championship hopes lie with the most important position on the field-