Eight sacks. Several more quarterback hits. Countless defenders in his face. Limited time to throw the ball or even set up in the pocket. Only 86 passing yards and his team trailed 7-0 at the half.
Bears fans, this is not Jay Cutler. It was the immortal Aaron Rodgers, considered by many to be the best quarterback in the NFL, in the first half of the Seahawks game Monday night.
But it sure sounds like a script out of the Bears offensive game plan, doesn’t it?
I’m not comparing Cutler to Rodgers, believe me. In fact, the big difference between the two is that Rodgers takes care of the ball and doesn’t take risks like Cutler does.
But the point is: not even the best quarterback in the NFL — arguably — could get anything done without pass protection. Which is why I maintain my steadfast position that we cannot crucify Cutler until he has better protection up front.
It’s difficult to see the art work — that the Bears offense could be — while missing the middle of the puzzle pieces.
What happened in the second half of the Packers-Seahawks game? The Packers game plan was adjusted to combat the pressure, the offensive line protected Rodgers and kept him from getting sacked, and Rodgers led the Packers to a would-be victory, finishing with 223 yards on 66% passing.
This isn’t rocket science and I have no idea why critics insist on pinning Cutler with the blame. He needs to take care of the ball, absolutely! But he, like the best in the business, needs time to throw the ball.