The Chicago Tribune’s Mike Mulligan has two different sources that claim Chicago Bears’ head coach John Fox is done with Jay Cutler.
If this is true, then John Fox is a dumbass.
Jay Cutler played the entire game week one against the Houston Texans and he played almost three quarters of the Philadelphia Eagles game week 2. Brian Hoyer replaced Cutler with :32 seconds left in the 3rd quarter of that game when Cutler’s thumb injury was too much to play through.
Hoyer went on a good statistical run during his time, but Chicago’s offense wasn’t scoring touchdowns. Fans were starting to get restless for Cutler to return, even though Hoyer was interception free and racking up consecutive 300 yard games.
I’ve written and talked a lot about the play of Chicago's offensive line during those first two weeks of the season and how them gelling was a big reason why Hoyer was able to find some success.
To illustrate the pass protection difference, during Hoyer’s time under center he was sacked on only 2% of his pass attempts. That’s actually a league low so far this year, but Jay Cutler was sacked on 14.8% of his drop-backs during his 1+ games this season.
Last year when Fox and GM Ryan Pace were perfectly fine with how Jay Cutler performed, Cutler had a sack percentage of 5.8% while putting up a career best 92.3 passer rating. The Bears only won 6 games last year, but Cutler was far, far, far down the list of problems that team needed to solve.
So if John Fox is really going to base being done with Jay on this small 2016 sample size, when his pass protection was atrocious, then he certainly is a dumbass.
Here are Cutler’s numbers broken out by first and second halves, because both the Texans and Eagles didn’t really get their pass rushes ramped-up until after halftime. Cutler was a combined 20 of 26, for 301 yards and 1 TD, while getting sacked 3 times in the first halves of those games. That sack percentage is still quite high at 10.3%, but Cutler still managed to perform well enough to keep his team in each game.
In the combined 2nd halves of his first two games, Cutler was 8 of 20, for 72 yards, with 2 interceptions, while getting sacked 5 times for a sack percentage of 20%.
Come on man...
I’m not even going to get into the numerous quarterback hits and pressures that Cutler faced when he was in there, because if you don’t get that Hoyer had a cleaner pocket than Jay did, then I doubt that you’ve been watching the games.
For a little more perspective, the Indianapolis Colts are widely thought of to have the worst pass protection in the NFL this season, remember the Bears got to Andrew Luck 5 times when they played. Luck’s sack percentage on the season is league leading 8.3%, which is still way off of Cutler’s 14.8% in about 7 quarters of football.
I’ll give you that Hoyer was getting the ball out quicker, but that’s partly on the gameplan he was asked to execute. His strength isn’t going downfield, so coordinator Dowell Loggains had shorter route combinations and more check downs built in for Hoyer.
There’s no way to know what Fox’s plan was had Hoyer not broken his arm, but when Cutler was asked if his head coach supports him, he replied "He doesn't have a choice, I guess, at this point. Brian is out, so I've got to go.”
These last few years Jay has always taken the high road on these controversial topics and he did so again this time. "I've had good conversations with Foxy this week, last week, the week before. There's never been any strain in our relationship. We're both very open and honest, and we're on the same page. We just want to win football games."
After practice today, Fox addressed Mike Mulligan's Chicago Tribune report and he denied it, saying "There’s absolutely no truth to that.”
So if this is a case of Mulligan or his “sources” making something up, then we have a new dumbass or two to discuss.
What do you guys think about this whole situation?