After an impressive victory against the Dallas Cowboys this past Monday night, we can safely say that Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and wide receiver Brandon Marshall have rekindled the flame that, for a while had been extinguished.
Cutler had, by far his best game of the year, completing seventy five per cent of his passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns. Perhaps more importantly, and for the first time this season, he didn't throw an interception.
One of those touchdowns went to Brandon Marshall, who also had his best game so far as a Bear. Marshall caught seven balls for 138 yards, averaging 19.7 yards per catch.
Speaking on ESPN 1000 yesterday, Cutler said:
"He played within the system. We've got a lot of plays designed for Brandon. Whenever we do get a lead teams are going to play single high, try to come get us and stop the run, so it's going to open him up. Whenever he plays within the system and lets it come to him instead of trying to force it ... I felt the first three games he wanted to make big plays so badly that he was getting a little bit out of rhythm, doing things that he shouldn't do. I felt this game he did exactly what we asked him to do and whenever the ball came to him he made plays for us."
Cutler looked relaxed out there. Dare I say, he almost looked like he was enjoying himself at times. I am sure a lot of this had to do with not constantly getting sacked or pressured. The Cowboys only managed to sack Cutler twice, which is impressive considering they have one of the best pass rushers in the NFL in DeMarcus Ware. Credit must go to the Bears offensive line, who this week turned in a good performance.
Cutler plays his best football when he has the time and protection to throw the ball. He's OK if he can escape the rush and pass on the move, but not so good with a defensive lineman breathing down his neck. The Bears must ensure that Cutler's protection remains strong and consistent, and I have no doubt that we will see more games like this from the offense.
Couple this with a dominating defensive performance from Chicago and they have the ability to beat most teams in the NFL. They just need to do it consistently. I just want to be really self indulgent here and say how pleased I was to see my favorite Bear (and it should be yours) D.J Moore grab an interception against the Cowboys. He had a good game all round racking up ten tackles. Hope he sees the field some more going forward.
Although Marshall caught the most passes, it was good to see Cutler spreading the ball around. What was most pleasing for me was seeing Kellen Davis getting in on the action. We know Lovie Smith has faith in him and I think he is a good tight end, and it adds another dimension to the offense if they can keep him involved in future games.
So, bad words from me this time round about Cutler. See, I am a fair man. I will say when he plays well, and I enjoyed watching him against Dallas.