The Bears have now strung two wins together, thanks to consecutive 4th quarter comebacks from a Jay Cutler led offense.
You know...the guy who isn't clutch. Don't believe me search "Jay Cutler Not Clutch." Go ahead I'll wait.
Anyways, we saw another really good performance from Jay Cutler. Were there some negatives? Yeah, but there was a whole hell of a lot of good. Let's dig in.
Some Season Stats
|Jay Cutler Metrics||2015||Career|
Hey, look, David Taylor was kind enough to make us a graphic.
Fundamentally, I don't put a lot in things like "total yards" or "attempts", because they're not necessarily indicators of good or bad. Above are some statistics I wanted to highlight for Jay this season.
It's good to have your interception percentage be less, particularly when your football image includes you being prone to throwing them. Completion being down is sort of understandable - we've seen a lot more drops as he works with receivers who wouldn't normally be starting.
And here's one I left off of the table: 3rd down Completion Percentage. Specifically, Jay Cutler is completing 69.44% of his passes on 3rd downs this season. Compare that to a career 58.64%, and you can see the Bears are in a lot better situations on 3rd downs. Cutler is taking advantage.
Let's take a look at sack %. As you can see, he's getting sacked about 1.2% less than he has generally has, and this is due to some increased pocket presence. Don't believe me? Take another look at the game winning touchdown:
The botched exchange, in previous years, might have turned real bad. It would, at best, likely have turned into a sack, loss of yards, and the use of the last timeout. At worst, it could have become a fumble. But not here. Why?
Watch Cutler closely - when he doesn't get the snap, he doesn't panic, he doesn't try to grab it with one hand and start running. He crouches, picks it up with two hands, and while standing backup notices both the pressure and the fact that Forte got past his guy. He delivers the ball to Forte, who looks back to see (his defender doesn't) the ball coming his way, and boom. Endzone.
This shows me a quarterback comfortable in his abilities, comfortable with the offense, and in this case, with fundamental faith in the receiving target.
*Side note: is it just me, or does it look like KC is dangerously close to getting a penalty for going low on Jay? He's clearly past Slauson before Grasu even understands that something has happened. Oh well. All's well that ends well.
I've shown a lot of restraint in not even getting to this until point #3. Let's watch it:
Painting the picture, the Bears are in 2nd and 11 from their own 8 because Zach Miller false started and then there was a short completion to Matt Forte. Cutler drops back to his own goalline, and has one split second to get rid of the ball. He does not utilize it.
The breakdown in the middle of the line is unfortunate. Let's take a look at where the receivers are in that split second:
There's no where to throw, and the defensive line is on a jailbreak. Life happens, move on. Cutler has to be more cognizant of where he is, what's happening, and force his way back into the field of play or locate Matt Forte's feet immediately. I'm not willing to put too much of the sack on him, but the fumble is all him.
The good news is he wasn't doing what he so often does when he fumbles - hold it one-handed at his waist. He had two hands on it, the Chiefs just made a really good play to bumrush him in his endzone, and were able to get enough on it to jar it lose.
Bad luck, but they won so woohoo!
It's a quick note, but have you noticed that these coaches seem to actually, y'know, work with their quarterback instead of just riding him and then blaming him for their shortcomings? Says coach John Fox:
"I've gotten a lot of questions on that guy since I got here," Fox said. "And I couldn't be more pleased or impressed with how he's handled himself. Forget about (Sunday) and last week and the week before that. It's been since we've been here."
High praise for a coach who has seen the gamut of quarterbacks, from Jimmy Clausen to Peyton freaking Manning.
OMG SRSLY THAT WILSON TOUCHDOWN
I'd love to embed it for you. I really would, but the NFL hates freedom and free press, so go here and watch - I'll hang out.
Hey, you're back. i don't have a ot on this one, other than OMG CAN YOU BELIEVE THE TOUCH ON THAT PASS.
Also, that's the kind of pass that shows that Jay Cutler doesn't just zip it to the open guy. Sure, that's his go-to, but that pass is hard. Just too hard. Most probably wouldn't try it, but when you're on the cusp of letting your season get away, you let your quarterback do some stuff.
Thing to Watch
Jay Cutler built some on-field chemistry with Cameron Meredith on the final drive of the game this week. At the same time, he and Marc Mariani had some struggles. As the other wideouts slowly filter back into the rotation, expect to possible see Meredith more, and Mariani less.