I'm a stat man, and the stat I can't quite wrap my head around is the Bears offense going 10-for-10 on possessions ending in a punt. Before we move on to the Raiders or discuss the so-called fire sale, let's sit in that for a moment.
Ordinarily a team down 20 with zero points to their name will take a shot on a 4th-and-long and secure at least one possession that ends in a turnover-on-downs. Not these Bears. Losing 20-0, 23-0 and 26-0 late against Seattle, these Bears punted on 4th-and-1, 4th-and-2 and 4th-and-5.
They didn't even turn the ball over, becoming the first Bears team since at least 1940 to get shut out without committing a turnover.
That's a special sort of incompetence and incapability. Jimmy Clausen, welcome to the record books.
A few hours after Clausen & Co. placed that hideous bow on that horrible affair, Jake Arrieta won his 21st game for the Chicago Cubs. Arrieta's performance has been just about as big a surprise as the playoff-bound Cubs for which he plays, but even if the team weren't headed to the postseason Jake's 1.82 ERA, without the wins, would be something to celebrate.
I mention that because how Cubs fans view Arrieta's majesty is how I've viewed Cutler's since 2009. "Holy crap, can you believe we got a guy who can do THAT?"
When I wrote last week that I would miss an injured Cutler because "he's the best QB in Bears history," I wasn't being hyperbolic but I think I failed to underline the significance of that assessment. I don't care one lick if you agree with me about Jay being the best, or if you think it's Sid Luckman or even Jim McMahon. That's not important.
What is important is that Luckman retired in 1950, McMahon last played for the Bears in 1988, and here's this guy Cutler capable of some of the finest quarterbacking physically possible in the NFL, and he's ours, all ours. That's what matters -- that even if you think McMahon was a better QB, you're talking a 20-year period between his departure and Jay's arrival when the pickings were slim as Jake Arrieta.
(And fine, there were some people who responded on Facebook or these very message boards that Erik Kramer, by virtue of 1995 alone, is a finer QB historically than Jay. If you feel that way, I just don't know how to talk to you.)
Chicago sports fans don't know how to talk about their athletes, either. Our responses to our stars often make as much sense as 10 punts on 10 possessions.
Derrick Rose is reviled for getting injured and for talking about the very same career objectives that every other Chicagoan discusses -- financial security.
Patrick Kane beats up a cab driver and later is accused of sexual assault and Hawks fans create the #ISupport88 hashtag and lambast any reporter who dares wonder if, ya know, a criminal investigation might mean he's actually guilty.
Jay Cutler gets pounded into the turf for six years, and because he doesn't smile and is married to a reality star and throws more interceptions than we like, we collectively treat him like a tooth ache that just won't stop pulsing, mucking up our otherwise gorgeous smile.
I don't buy it. In a season shaping up to be historically atrocious, Cutler's talents should feel to us like an uninjured arm in a vicious car wreck. "I can't walk, my jaw is wired shut and I lost vision in one eye from that wayward dashboard, but hot damn, I can still write!"
Naturally, as the Bears tumbled toward oblivion against Seattle, Bears fans clamoured for Cutty. Of course plenty of others remained stubborn, claiming that "We'd still be losing even with #6 back there." Again, not the point. We all know this season will be rough. As I told my colleague Brian on Monday, "Pace yourself -- we have 13 more."
Do whatever you need to be able to appreciate Cutler. Pretend he is Matt Forte if you have to. Strip him of any positional importance and just enjoy the show that he, and no other Bears quarterback in at least two decades, can give us.
If you're looking for upside, Jay practiced this week. Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said he is preparing his team for both Cutler and Clausen.
Trust me: You want Cutler back this week. If I've taught you nothing else, let me teach you that.
If you're looking for additional, weirder upside, the last time we started 0-3 we bagged our first win against the Oakland Raiders. And the night we did, the Cubs wrapped their first postseason series victory since 1908. So perhaps we are in the midst of a footnote-laiden historical sports loop, and when I sit down to write this column a week from now our beloved Bears will be 1-3. I'd like that. I'm sure you would too.
Those 2003 Bears, by the way, rallied to finish 7-9. Coaxing seven wins out of this Bears team would be as much a miracle as the 2015 Cubs. I hope we get there. In the meantime, I just want something fun. Jay Cutler is part of Something Fun. Ignore that at your own peril.