Cutler remaining in game was fine … only if play calling remained the same

November 10th, 2013 - 3:20 pm

Between Daryl Johnston in Fox’s broadcast booth, friends and family who texted me, and the masses sending their thoughts on Twitter, the general consensus was that the Bears should have benched Jay Cutler sometime in the third quarter and handed the reigns over to Josh McCown. Instead, the Bears rode Cutler until he exited late in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury, and the Bears lost to the Lions, 21-19.

My initial thoughts when hearing the “murmur” for the quarterback switch was that it was not a good idea because McCown didn’t get any reps during the practice week and unless Cutler couldn’t move or complete passes, the Bears should have stayed with him. We did see a few bad passes by Cutler but we also saw him completing some plays down the field, so I knew he had enough in him to at least make plays.

Unfortunately, something changed radically in the second half, and that was the play calling by Bears head coach Marc Trestman. Suddenly, the Bears became far more conservative, and suddenly my view shifted.

If Trestman altered the play calling because he didn’t feel Cutler could run the offense that we saw in the first half, then — and only then — he should have pulled Cutler from the game. But if Trestman got conservative for no reason related to Cutler’s injury, then that was a big disappointment. There was no reason to fall off with their passing attack because the Lions showed no propensity to stop it.

Either way, the loss to an above average Lions team hurts because the Lions now have a tie breaker in addition to a one-game lead on the Bears in the standings.