You'd think 34 offensive points would be enough, but a mixture of poorly timed bad play, questionable playcalling, and to a lesser degree officiating took what felt like it'd be a Bears win and turned it into an ugly pre-bye loss.
Pushing the Bears to 2-4, and 0-4 in the conference, all but dashes most reasonable playoff hopes. But there's a lot to build on, and a lot of it starts with the quarterback. Should the Bears draft another soon? Yes, but they've got plenty to work with now, it appears.
Some Season Stats
|Jay Cutler Metrics||2015||Career|
As seen above, Cutler's above his career average in some of these stats, and below in others. Consider this, after the loss to the Lions, the following effects on his 2015 passing occurred:
- Completion percentage increased by .7%
- Touchdown percentage decreased by .5%
- Interception percentage held steady
- Sack percentage decreased .6%
- NY/A increased by over 1/2 yard
- Passer rating increased by nearly 1 point
As we discussed last week, these speak to certain things. Completion percentage up points to more accurate passing (the quality of those passes not withstanding.) Touchdown percentage going down is the result of a lot of throws with few touchdowns. Interception percentage you'd like to see go down, but it's a hell of a lot better than going up. Sack percentage going down speaks to either better protection, or better pocket awareness. NY/A means more success per pass, and passer rating is the somewhat silly combination of multiple factors that supposedly tells me how good quarterbacks are.
Overall, the eye test and the stats suggest to me that Cutler is comfortable in the system, is bought in, and is probably particularly happy to have real receivers back. No offense to Cameron Meredith. (#redbirdpride)
Dammit, Jay, just when I was getting used to not writing about these.
It's a bad pick, I'm not going to make some argument that it was good - I'm not 100% sure there's a "good" pick to be thrown. I don't think it's the reason they lost the game though. Let's paint a picture.
It's the first drive of the half, there's 11 minutes or so left in the 3rd quarter. You're down by 8. First down you just ran Forte up the middle for no gain (shocks all around.) You've got Alshon Jeffery. Throw him that jump ball, let him make the play, collect your touchdown, move on with life, right? That's clearly the idea. The only look from Jay is towards Jeffery.
I'm willing to let the hand fighting between wide receiver and defensive back go, though there is a little bit of pushing AJ off his route in the endzone, which is beyond 5 yards of LOS. However, I hate when ticky tacky stuff gets called.
However, the timing on this was always blown. Ball is already over their heads in this pic, and it looks like Jay was trying to throw it around, but the disruption of the route meant Jeffery never had the chance. Cutler should have held on a second longer and then thrown. I'm going to put this one on Jay, because it was avoidable.
I'm also not a huge fan of the call right there, but I get it, you have to test what he can do and if you get that, it's big. Ultimately, the Lions ended up punting almost immediately on the follow up drive. So while the Bears didn't score points because of the interception, they didn't give up points because of it, either.
3rd Down Jay Cutler is awesome this season, y'all
|Jay Cutler - 2015 3rd Downs|
Maybe this is why they keep running Forte up the middle - to make sure Jay gets chances at a third down.
Hey, I found the ridiculous Cutler take of the week
Jay Cutler Walking The Line Between Cool and Indifferent
Don't actually click and read it. I don't want them to get the page views.
Here's some highlights:
Cutler’s coolness under pressure is either an indication of his ice-cold competitiveness or a complete indifference to winning and losing.
Cutler’s demeanor was the same, calling into question again whether he was cool under pressure or just uncaring as to the final outcome.
And perhaps all of this mediocrity, in spite of all the talent and colossal amount of money thrown at him, would be more forgivable if he were disturbed by the loss or took ownership of it.
Oh, that last sentence, that's a real doozy. Did you know that you can tell someone's entire mental and emotional state by seeing a glimpse of them on a tv screen?
Now, I could write this article. I could come out each week and go "Man, that Cutler just doesn't look like he cares. Can you believe that he wasn't yelling at the top of his lungs when the Bears didn't convert? Can you believe that he - gasp - walked during a stopped clock?"
I could do this but I won't, because I'm not trolling for clicks.
This kind of stuff is just lowest common denominator work. This is the scraps at the bottom of the big trough. This is, quite simply, "I want page clicks, and I know how to do it - by not ever actually talking about the football being played." Let's not be those people. Tear him apart for his sometimes questionable on-field play, but let's give this business a rest.
Tried to Scramble
Check this one out - I'm still not sure his leg feels 100%.
Cutler sees everything brteak down and scrambles to his right. Old Cutler would hit it hard and go and probably drop a shoulder. He eventually gets tripped up a little from behind, but let's have a little bit of
Bennett turns around and blocks his guy and Cutler can make a line to the end zone. Let's hope that hammy heals a little bit more during the bye.
Sixth on 6
After six weeks and four complete games, I have to say Cutler really looks different to me. You can tell he's working well with his coaches, he's comfortable in the system, and he's building rapport with his teammates.
So is it weird that part of me misses the old him?
I'm not talking about the picks, and stuff, just a little bit of that "we're going to make this happen attitude. Old Jay would possibly override some of the late conservative calls, which has always been an expectation from this coaching staff. I like seeing the controlled Jay, but in a season like this where you're likely not playing for much, let him go after it every once in a while.
Also, I'd like to see more play-action deep shots. Perhaps now that he has real receivers again.
Next week we'll have a little different format since we won't have a game to talk about. See you then.