Jay Cutler can play when given the opportunity to use his full complement of skills. Cutler flashed a little bit of everything in the Chicago Bears 23-11 preseason win, according to CSN Chicago, over the Indianapolis Colts. The Bears quarterback placed the football in tight spots, ran when a play was not available, and never seemed to force things during the half that he played. The only downside to Jay Cutler’s night is that he did not get credit for a touchdown.
The Bears are looking for solid quarterback play, and Jay Cutler provided it, completing eight out of nine passes for 69 yards. He also ran for a first down on a 13-yard scamper.
What the numbers do not include is a couple of good plays negated by untimely penalties. Cutler’s first down scramble put the Bears in position for a first and goal during the second offensive possession. A play for positive yards, a Colts sack of Cutler followed, then a holding penalty called on Bears’ second-year right tackle Charles Leno stopped any momentum built.
The penalty wiped out a Jay Cutler touchdown run and pushed the Bears back, forcing them to go for a field goal.
Jay Cutler treated Bears fans to a glimpse of what his leadership could look like going forward. It is just the second game of the preseason, but it appears that Cutler gets it. The question now is can he keep this up? The Chicago Bears’ coaching staff wants to establish a balanced offense, and mixing in passing plays with the run is a good formula for success. It minimizes the mistakes and generates an efficient offensive attack.
Versus the Colts first string defense, Jay Cutler showed a zip on his passes.
Cutler got the ball out of his hands quickly. There was little to no sign of panic from him as he seemed to show confidence and trust in his teammates. Cutler also displayed the grit that made him a desirable trade choice when the Bears acquired him seven years ago. You could not tell that he was playing with a short-handed team, according to ESPN Chicago.
Perhaps Jay Culter was inspired by playing in his home state of Indiana. Maybe, just maybe, this was a new Jay Cutler.
The embattled quarterback spoke to reporters after the game. According to David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune, Cutler told the media that “it was good to be back in Indiana.”
Jay Cutler grew up in Santa Clause, Indiana. It is rare that he gets the opportunity to play football in his home state, given that he plays for a team in the opposite conference.
What Jay Cutler showed us is that he is capable of being trusted to lead a team. He is entering the second year of a huge contract extension but has disappointed everyone with high expectations. The Chicago Bears have no choice but to rely on him since they are tied to him with a large salary cap hit attached.
He is capable of performances better than the preseason game against the Colts, and Saturday’s performance would have looked better on paper had it not been for the penalties. Cutler will have to exhibit patience with Charles Leno learning on the job at right tackle, provided he did enough to stay with the first team offense.
It was noted a few weeks ago that Jay Cutler was going to be the key for any potential success the Bears will have this season. Performances like Saturday night do not cost teams a victory; they actually put teams in a position to win. It is only the preseason so there is room for a backslide, but there is also room for improvement. An improved Jay Cutler is an efficient Jay Cutler. In Chicago, that is all the Bears fans ever asked for.
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