Discussing the Jay Cutler Turnovers Week 2

After a week 2 comeback victory, praise soon became criticism among fans and critics alike after Jay Cutler led the Chicago Bears to a stunning comeback. The Bears won, all should be good with the world. However, being a Chicago sports fan we have all become too accustomed to late season breakdowns, almost as though the wheels were coming off the proverbial bus. Fans of the White Sox, Cubs, and Bulls are all too familiar with this late season phenomenon. Most Blackhawk fans are still coming to grips with their team's ability to break the mold of the Chicago franchise. So amid the glory of a week 2 victory, the uncertainty of a long season quickly sullies our jubilance.

Can Jay Cutler get us to the next level? Can he limit those turnovers just enough to make the offense shine? Let's take a deeper look at the three turnovers accredited to Jay Cutler this week.

1. Goal line interception in the 2nd quarter

2. Fumble recovery for a Touchdown in the 2nd quarter

3. Harrison Smith's interception in the 4th quarter

No turnover looks good. However, every offensive player that touches the ball will likely commit one over the course of his career. These three turnovers lead to bigger questions that might possibly take those metaphoric wheels off.

Are these turnovers going to be reoccurring problems?

Was the turnover more indicative of a good defensive play or a horrible offensive decision?

What can be done to limit these errors?

The Goalline Interception

How it sets up.



The play looks like a Gruden Favorite "Spider 2 Y Banana" play that was immortalized in his Andrew Luck interview last year. The playcall looks like the following:



The play is is designed to look like a power run. It is set up by the flurry of run plays called by Trestman preceding this play. The playfake should bait the defense and give the Bears a favorable matchup on either Fiametta (43) or Bennett (83), with the primary receiver being Fiametta. Defenses of lesser discipline would have bit, but not Leslie Frazier's group. On this play, the Vikings linebackers were particularly disciplined in not biting on the playfake and covering their man coverage responsibilities.

Marvin Mitchell (55) takes away the first option, Bears FB Fiametta (43), and Chad Greenway takes away Bennett (83) with help from Vikings defender Harrison Smith (22). Steve Maneri sneaks into the endzone uncovered and very possibly wasn't even supposed to be part of the progression of receivers. Jay Cutler realizes he is open, baits Vikings LB Erin Henderson (50) to open his hips towards the sideline and trys to sneak the pass behind Henderson for the touchdown.

Easy touchdown, Jay looks like a hero. Unfortunately, something broke down. Rookie linemen are expected to make mistakes, however this one might have been costly. Kyle Long looks like he blocks the wrong defender (or disengages) and Jordan Mills is left blocking two defenders. Vikings DE Griffin Everson (97) is able to blow by Mills just as Cutler is in his throwing motion and has what was probably the easiest batted ball of his career. Maneri knowing he is outnumbered in the secondary, should have become the defender, but rather he plays for paydirt. All of the sudden, a Bears seemingly effortless touchdown drive becomes a Vikings interception.

is this going to be a reoccuring problem?

Before last Sunday, Jay Cutler's last goal line interception came in 2010. His decision making in the endzone is, surprisingly, very sound. I do not expect this to be an issue, especially considering the scrutiny that Trestman is bound to give this error throughout the week.

Good Defense or Bad Decision?

Minnesota nailed the coverage and Griffen makes a great play on the ball. Jay Cutler probably didn't see the Defensive Lineman ripping through his rookie offensive tackle which would've necessitated him throwing the ball into the stands. Good Defense.

How is this avoided?

First, the rookie linemen have to stay engaged on their blocks. Secondly with Cutler's first two options covered, he should have either thrown the ball into the stands or lofted the ball towards the back of the endzone where TE Steve Maneri has to make a leaping catch.

2. Fumble Recovery

On Jay Cutler's fumble this was how the play is seemingly set up:



The WR routes are hard to determine because of the camera angle, but I believe they are relatively unimportant. The play is designed to go to Forte on a delayed release into the flats (toward the sideline). Slauson, the LG, plays a delayed block and then becomes the lead blocker for a Forte reception. If the play happens, it would've been a huge play. The first defender would've been Nickle-back AJ Jefferson (24) against Matt Slauson.

What Happened?

Jared Allen happened. Matt Forte didn't have his head on a swivel and Jared Allen used him to scrape off his blocker, Jermon Bushrod, for the strip sack.

The full analysis of the blocking assignment breakdown can be read on Lester Wiltfong's Sackwatch article at the following hypertext address:

is this going to be a reoccuring problem?

The fumble looks to have been caused when Cutler was tucking the ball into his body. The ball just slips out of his hands. This is one of the reasons that it's hard to play in the rain. This offensive line has shown that it can be very staunch this year, I don't foresee an issue with strip sacks as a result.

Good Defense or Bad Decision?

This is a bad decision, on Matt Forte. He needs to keep his head on a swivel. The breakdown in this play rests squarely on him.

How is this avoided?

Matt Forte will learn from this and Jay Cutler might have to pull the ball in sooner in such a scenario. This play is just bad luck, because if the fumbled ball doesn't take such a great Vikings bounce the play would've just been a turnover and not a score.

3. Harrison Smith's interception in the 4th quarter

This is a harder play to break down. due to camera angles.



What I can see is that Harrison Smith and the Minnesota Defense was in a Cover 2, with the safeties being the last defenders against the deep ball. Cutler pump fakes and trys to make Smith(22) bite on Martellus Bennett's route and then flings it to Marshall on the sideline. Harrison Smith baited Cutler well. Smith gives Marshall enough room to look open on the sideline, but where he can make a play. Interception.

Is this going to be a reoccuring problem?

This will undoubtedly reoccur throughout the season. Jay Cutler is going to take his shots downfield. Every so often, the safety will make a great play on the ball. However, these big plays can secure games quickly and an offense has to stretch the field to keep the the short routes effective. In this scenario, you have to trust the quarterback rather than criticize. Jay Cutler could have hit Alshon Jeffrey on his slant route for a ten yards and some yards after the catch, but Jay saw his buddy BMarsh running open. Had he thrown the ball a little further or towards the sidelines, it also might have been a reception. It is hard to criticize a QB over the difference of a yard when he throws the ball 40 yards in the air, even though we will regardless.

Good Defense or Bad Decision?

This is a good play by Harrison Smith. It is also a poor decision by both Brandon Marshall to not defend the pass and Jay for thinking he had looked off the safety.

How is this avoided?

Don't force the ball downfield, but is that really fun?


So while the play of Jay Cutler looked suspect on Sunday in spotlighted turnovers, there should be little fear that these turnovers become endemic. As the offensive line continues to build rapport and the offense gains proficiency in the Trest Coast Offense, these type of turnovers should become increasingly sparse.

Giving You Your Daily Dose, BDSH


<em>This FanPost was written by a Windy City Gridiron member, and does not necessarily reflect the ideas or opinions of its staff or community.</em>

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