So I recently heard the news, read the news about KC Joyner’s column about Jay Cutler. How Cutler is going to remind Bears fans a lot more of Rex Grossman, than of anything we think we have in the actual Jay Cutler.
I thought to myself instantly, okay this guy obviously attacked this column with some sort of solid analysis and evidence to back it up. He obviously used some aspects of the column to stand on solid footing with his claim. Let me take a look at the column and then read what all the fuss is about.
So thank you to google.com I found the column and read through it. I figured sure there were things that Cutler has as far as shortcomings. 18 INTs is a shortcoming and causes me a lot of worry. The fact that his 4,500 yards passing came with an obscene number of pass attempts really shook me up too.
These were all points that I made in a column that occurred prior to the Jay Cutler trade even happened.
But there are other facts that have since come to light that I have touched on but I have gleaned from other sources. Most notably this one simple fact brought to you by none other than the most hated man in Chicago media history, one Jay Mariotti. Mariotti’s stat that he put in his column while praising the Bears for making this deal? Cutler’s record as a starter is 13-1 when the Denver Broncos defense gave up 21 points or less.
No mention of this in K.C. Joyner’s column. He glosses over how bad the Broncos defense was by simply stating
I know there are those who will defend this by saying that Cutler worked with a horrible defense last year, but when he took over the Broncos in 2006, they were less than a full season removed from hosting the AFC championship game.
Some how that little remark is supposed to make his point even harder to overcome? Huh? What? That point is useless and preposterous on a completely different level. But Joyner decided to throw it out there and try to shoot it down all in one fell swoop.
Joyner ignores simple facts though that coincide precisely with what myself and everyone else has said about the Broncos’ defense in 2008. They were horrible, therefore they put Cutler in a position where he had to play from behind. When you have to make plays coming from behind in a football game, you take more chances, bigger risks and by virtue of this you’re a lot more prone to mistakes.
When you have a defense that surrenders so many points and allows the team to score so consistently it always puts your offense in a bad position. More often than not Cutler and the Broncos’ offense started out down, and even if they did score first more often than not the other team racked up three to four straight scores to really put Cutler in a bad position in the fourth quarter.
Additionally you have to take into account just how many pass attempts had during the season. Those obscene number of attempts also led to the likelihood of Cutler throwing more picks than the average QB in the league. But the truth is Cutler didn’t throw more INTs per attempt than the league average. He was actually below average in this equation and this was only his second full year in the league as a starter.
When you combine all the variables in Cutler’s performance you can see that he will be a solid if not spectacular QB for the Bears in 2009. While from a fantasy football stand point he may not put up the 4,500 yards passing he did last year. 25 touchdowns and less INTs would easily put him in the Pro Bowl next year.
The nice thing about the team heading into 2009 is that Cutler’s play may off set some of the other shortcomings that held the Bears back last year.
Overall an improved defense should give the Bears one to two more wins, improved QB play will give the Bears another one to two wins there as well. In the end the Bears are easily looking at the likelihood of a 11 to 12 win season.