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The Chicago Bears are currently 2-1, but there hasn't been a great deal for Bears fans to get excited about. After a great start to the season against the Colts, the Bears have looked pretty mediocre, including a dismal display against Green Bay. Quarterback Jay Cutler must surely have to shoulder some of the responsibility; after all, there are 30 passers that are currently playing better than him.
To clarify, when I say there are 30 quarterbacks that are currently better than Jay Cutler, I am talking in terms of passer rating. Yes, there are flaws to this, as there are any statistics, but it still provides a decent barometer when gauging a quarterback's performance. Take a look here to see the stats in full.
To put things in perspective, only Ryan Tannehill has a lower rating than Cutler. I'm going to just throw out a few names here who are playing much better football than Cutler.
Vikings QB Christian Ponder has the fifth highest passer rating in the league. Kevin Kolb is at number three (believe it or not!), Blaine Gabbert is having a much better season than Cutler, as are all the rookie passers, except Tannehill.
Cutler is surely better than his rating suggests. Isn't he?
Over three games, he is tied for 25th place with just three touchdowns. He is also joint first in terms of interceptions, having thrown six so far this year. Cutler is placed 25th again for yards per game, averaging 214 yards. And although it might not always be his fault, only four quarterbacks have been sacked more than Cutler this season.
To continue, he is in 29th place with a disappointing 52.7 completion percentage, and 25th on the list with just 642 total passing yards.
Many fans and experts alike think that Cutler has the ability to be great. We are constantly told that he can be one of the league's elite. He has all the attributes necessary to be a big time quarterback. Well, to be fair, none of that has been on show so far this season.
And I say 'so far' for a reason. We are only three games into the campaign, so I am in no way about to start suggesting he should be benched. For the record, I still think he gives the Bears the best chance of winning. But his play will have to improve dramatically.
It's already been a wild start to the season with lots of upsets, coupled with what many see as inept officiating, and Cutler is not alone in terms of quarterbacks who we would have expected to play better.
In regards to passer rating, Aaron Rodgers is 16th, Tom Brady is 11th, and Drew Brees is 25th. Not many people would have predicted that. But to remind you once again, Jay Cutler is in 31st place on that list. Only one player has a worst record than that.
We have all been guilty of getting excited about the Bears chances this year, and with good reason. Chicago has definite weapons at wide receiver, something they have lacked for a long time. Matt Forte and Michael Bush provide a formidable backfield tandem, and the defense has been looking good this year, with special mention currently going to Tim Jennings who has been playing great football.
It would be a crying shame if Cutler's play doesn't improve. Throughout his career, his quarterback rating has been pretty much in the high 80's, so hopefully he can move towards those sort of numbers, which will in turn lead to more victories. I do feel that the Bears winning football games will be very dependent on the play of Cutler.
A lot is resting on his shoulders, and I have faith that he can rise to the occasion. But it has to happen sooner rather than later. I'm giving it until the halfway point of the season to see a marked improvement. If he is still only better than Ryan Tannehill, then I don't think I'd be alone in wanting to see someone else taking the snaps for the rest of the year.