Jay Cutler is easily one of the two most polarizing starting quarterbacks in the league. Look no further than a simple Twitter search of Cutler's name to see the difference of opinion about his signing.
Many fans are right in questioning the decision. In his five seasons Cutler has missed 12 games due to injuries, he's led the team to only one playoff appearance and one postseason win.
There are about as many ways to judge a quarterback as there are to prepare an egg. Stats, rating, comebacks, game-winning drives, playoff wins, Super Bowls, etc., etc.
Phil Emery and Marc Trestman see something in Jay Cutler that many fans do not. They see a quarterback who can play at a championship level, one who works hard and has become a student of the game and is driven to succeed. I think he can but I also wonder, does he have a legacy yet?
In his five seasons, what is Jay Cutler's signature win? One game where he rose to the occasion and played at an elite level and went toe-to-toe with a truly great quarterback or beat a great defense? What is his defining game as a Bear?
I have several nominations:
Week 16, 2009 vs. Minnesota - The Vikings with Brett Favre came to Solider Field at 11-3 and looking to lock up a bye week. The Bears were 5-9 and disappointing in Cutler's first season in Chicago but Cutler came out firing and went 20-of-35 for 273 yards, four touchdowns and an interception in a wild 36-30 overtime win.
Week 2, 2010 at Dallas - The Cowboys once again had expectations to fulfill but Cutler and the Bears had other ideas. Cutler completed 21-of-29 passes for 277 yards and 3 TDs in a 27-20 win.
Week 12, 2010 vs. Philadelphia - The Bears and Eagles squared off with both teams sporting 7-3 records. The Bears, as the home underdogs, beat the Eagles 31-26 with four Cutler TD passes.
Week 16, 2010 vs. New York Jets - The two 10-4 teams met with the Jets featuring one of the league's most formidable defenses led by cornerback Darrelle Revis. Jay threw three TDs and an INT leading the Bears to a 38-34 win.
Divisional round, 2011 vs. Seattle - In Cutler's only playoff victory he accounted for four touchdowns, two passing, two rushing and passed for 274 yards against the worst playoff team ever, the 7-9 Seahawks.
Those are some of the games that stick out to me as his best as a Bear. Others that come to mind are his come-from behind victories against the Bengals and Vikings this year as well as the week one game against the Falcons in 2011. But in those games he had mistakes, bad turnovers and the like.
I think Jay Cutler is the right quarterback for the Bears for the next three years (which is what the contract is really for) but I can't point to one single game and say "that's it, that's the one that shows he's the guy."
What is Cutler's signature win as a Bear?
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