Given those are the two options, it's time to start thinking about how we accomplish number one, or avoid number two. The answer (while we may not like it) is simple. Drum roll please……. Mr. Jay Cutler! In order to get the answers we need to predict the future we need to take a trip back into the past. Jay Cutler’s past.
We will start our search of facts back in 2009 when Cutler was traded from the Broncos to the Bears. In that year the new Bear threw for 3,600 yards with 27 touchdowns and 26 interceptions. He threw an interception on 4.7% of his attempts, and he was sacked on 6.7% of his dropbacks. That combined is 11.4% of plays that leaded to either a change of possession or a loss of yards. That’s up about 5% from the last season (in denver). It doesn’t get much worse than that, folks. Oh wait, It does. In the following years Cutler’s sack per pass attempt rate nearly doubled, shooting the percentage of dead plays up to around 15%. To put that into perspective, understand that every 6 downs Cutler either got sacked or threw a pick. Astonishingly, in his career, Jay Cutler has not thrown 30 touchdowns in a season.
Aside from the Bears’ decent 2010 campaign, Cutler has led them into a repeating cycle of mediocrity; if nothing is changed soon, the front office better have a whole-hearted apology to the public for extending Cutler’s contract through 2021.
Now how do the Bears manage to escape yet another bad season? The answer still is Jay Cutler. Over the last two years, Cutler has thrown his best touchdown to interception ratio at 5:3 and 7:4, respectively. Along with that, Cutler’s completion percentage has been at the highest level in his career, a solid 65%.
It is safe to say Cutler’s career has been far from awesome, however it is also safe to say that Cutler has significantly improved over his time as a Bear. Next season comes down not to the Bears’ struggling defense, but their aerial assault. This team has the pieces needed to put together a great offense, but it’s currently missing the part it needs most: a quarterback. If Cutler gets his game going (which is totally possible), maybe, just maybe, the Bears sneak into a playoff spot.