I feel like we’ve seen this story line before, so you’ll have to excuse me if I’m not overwhelmed with giddiness. But what Jay Cutler is doing — with scrubs at wide receiver, no less — is cause for applause.
In Sunday’s 18-17 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, Cutler led the Bears on a second-straight game-winning drive with under two minutes to play in the game. This time, unlike last week when they settled for a Robbie Gould 49-yard field goal, Cutler took them the distance and tossed a well-placed ball to Matt Forte in the corner of the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown.
Earlier in the game, Cutler tossed a ridiculously accurate 22-yard touchdown pass — off his back foot, no less — over two defenders and into the hands of Marquess Wilson along the left side of the end zone. He finished with 252 yards passing and two touchdowns with no interceptions.
The numbers won’t spell it out because, let’s be honest, numbers are deceiving. And who can forget those two interceptions in back-to-back weeks against the Packers and Cardinals that were ill-timed? But by and large, Cutler is commanding the offense, working within the game plan and not trying to do too much, and as a result of it he’s having a solid season overall.
And once more, I feel obliged to say he’s doing it without Brandon Marshall — jettisoned to the New York Jets in the offseason — without rookie Kevin White, who has been injured since offseason workouts, and without Alshon Jeffery, who has missed most of this season with a hamstring injury. And even Cutler’s third receiver, Eddie Royal, has been banged up.
After nine years in the league — six with the Bears — we know what Cutler is not: an elite quarterback. The untimely turnovers are too plentiful.
But I hope he’s also proving why the Bears have held on to him for so long. There’s only a few players in the league with a skill set like his, and those teams have no intention of giving up their quarterbacks.