GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 13: Quarterback Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears looks turnover pass under pressure from free safety Morgan Burnett #42 of the Green Bay Packers in the second quarter at Lambeau Field on September 13, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
After everything that has happened in the last eight days (jeez, I cannot WAIT for the Bears to play, it's been that long), it seems obvious that Jay Cutler would bounce back and have a great game. The game after a meltdown is usually when the coordinator and QB strive to make the most of the bad and play well. They'll focus on the things they did wrong and play to the strengths of the offense. Sunday should be no different.
However, for all as obvious as this is, there is statistical evidence to back it up. Cutler generally bounces back from bad games.
Cutler has bounced back from sub-50 quarterback ratings six times in eight such games with the Bears. Each of those six times he was able to come out the next game and get a 99 or better QB rating. Even when he didn't bounce all the way back, he still improved. For example, in 2009 he followed up the San Francisco clunker (a 33.6 rating) with another loss to Philadelphia but his rating improved to a less-vomit inducing 63.2.
Here is a rundown of his bad ratings followed by his improved ratings:
Green Bay - 1 TD, 4 INT 43.2 in a loss
Pittsburgh - 2 TDs, 0 INT 104.7 in a win
San Francisco - 0 TD, 5 INTs 33.6 in a loss
Philadelphia - 1 TD, 1 INT 63.2 in a loss
Baltimore 0 TD, 3 INTs 7.9 in a loss
Minnesota - 4 TDs 1 INT 108.4 in a win
New York Giants - 0 TD, 1 INT in half a game 40.7 in a loss
Seattle - 0 TD, 0 INT 69.4 in a loss
Washington - 1 TD, 4 INTs 54.3 in a loss
Buffalo - 2 TDs, 0 INT 97.6 in a win
New England - 0 TD, 2 INTs 32.9 in a loss
Minnesota - 3 TDs, 1 INT 106.6 in a win
Green Bay - 0 TD, 2 INTs 43.5 in a loss
Seattle in the playoffs - 2 TDs, 1 INT 111.3 in a win
Green Bay in the playoffs - 0 TD, 1 INT in half a game 31.8 in a loss
Atlanta to open 2011 - 2 TDs, 1 INT 107.8 in a win
Carolina - 0 TD, 1 INT 46.7 in a win
Detroit - 1 TD, 0 INT 99.6 in a loss
In fact, except for the Detroit and Carolina games he has also followed up sub-50 QB rating games with wins but all other sub-50 rating games were also losses. However, this could be explained by a correlation between QB rating and a team's overall record and say something even larger about how QB is the most important position on the field.
For the sake of the list I also included his 4 INT game against Washington because, while it didn't fit the sub-50 rating category it shows that he has a history of bouncing back from 4+ INT games to have better games.
Another reason to be positive is that in 2011, the only time Cutler in his time with the Bears has had the same offensive coordinator for two consecutive seasons, he posted only one sub-50 rating and had zero games with three or more interceptions. That will be something to look forward to for 2013, assuming the coaching staff stays in tact.
Another fact; with a great game Sunday, Cutler can make significant movement in the Bears history book. If Cutler ends up with 282 yards and 3 TDs, he will move into second place on the franchise list for TD passes and will be the fifth QB in team history to throw for over 10,000 yards. I will be looking for Cutler to improve vastly this weekend over his sorry week two performance for a lot of reasons, but the main reason is because history suggests he will.