I don’t think it’s possible to give the Bears’ coaching staff enough credit for what they’ve accomplished this season. They took a team that was miserable the past two years under Marc Trestman, and were getting embarrassed on a near-weekly basis, into a respectable team that has fought hard each and every week and has always remained within striking distance in the fourth quarter.
They managed to win some improbable games with fourth-quarter comebacks led by Jay Cutler against the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs — on the road, no less — and took out the mighty Green Bay Packers during Brett Favre Love Fest up in Lambeau Field on Thanksgiving night.
Most impressive of all, they finally cracked the code of the metaphorical safe that is the brain of Cutler. Whatever head coach John Fox, offensive coordinator Adam Gase, and quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains have preached to Cutler has seemingly worked. Cutler is on pace to finish the season with his highest passer rating ever (92.2), fewest interceptions (in a minimum 11 games), and his third-most passing yards in his career.
Cutler surely was overpaid by former general manager Phil Emery. But signing quarterbacks in the NFL is a law of supply and demand, and with so few great quarterbacks available, teams are going to pay high premiums just to secure a capable player — just ask the San Francisco 49ers and Colin Kaepernick.
Cutler is having this solid season while the Bears are missing a lot of parts, too, which is another testament to the coaching staff. Unfortunately, for as well as the coaching staff has prepared this team, and for as much as they’ve gotten out of what they have, the past two weeks have been key examples of how the air is coming out of the tires this season for the Bears.