129 Interceptions and Fumbles in 72 Games
109 Touchdowns Thrown, 61.2 Completion Percentage, 84.0 Quarterback Rating
When the Denver Broncos selected Cutler in the first round of the 2006 draft, they thought they had their quarterback of the future. Especially after he made the Pro Bowl in 2008.
Then the Broncos suddenly traded him to the Chicago Bears for quarterback Kyle Orton, first- and third-round selections in 2009, and a first-round pick in 2010. The reviews on Cutler have been mixed since.
His first year in Chicago saw Cutler lead the NFL in interceptions thrown. While he reduced his number of interceptions in 2010, Cutler led the league in number of times sacked and yards lost off those sacks. Though his turnovers decreased, Cutler threw an interceptions seemingly every game with a 4.1 interception percentage with the Bears.
While Cutler led the Bears to the 2010 NFC Championship Game last year, he still throws a ton of interceptions. He also endured a wrath of criticism for taking himself out of that championship game after spraining his MCL, even though Bears head coach Lovie Smith stated he made the decision to take bench Cutler.
Cutler hasn't really justified that big trade yet, and he has already tossed four interceptions this year. The plus side is that he is entering the second year under offensive coordinator Mike Mart's system.
The down side is that the Chicago offensive line has been horrendous at times.. If they improve, giving Cutler more time to throw, perhaps he quarterback will decrease his turnover rate and show Bears fans why their team mortgaged so much of their future on his arm.
Donovan McNabb, Minnesota Vikings
215 Interceptions and Fumbles in 165 Games
234 Touchdowns Thrown, 58.9 Completion Percentage, 85.6 Quarterback Rating
It wasn't long ago quite a few thought McNabb was headed for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day, especially after earning his sixth Pro Bowl in 2009. Then the wheels came off.
After being the second overall pick of the 1999 draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, he started six games as a rookie. McNabb then proceeded to carry the franchise on his back the next decade. He is the Eagles all-time leader in career wins, pass attempts, pass completions, passing yards, and passing touchdowns by a quarterback.
He was then traded to the Washington Redskins before the 2010 season, where he ended up being benched for the final three weeks of the season. Not only were there whispers that his productive playing days were over, some claimed he was out of shape and couldn't grasp the new offensive system he was playing under.
Washington decided to trade McNabb to the Minnesota Vikings at the end of the season. He has continued to struggle, as have the Vikings, to an 0-4 record so far in 2011.
His quarterback rating not only has gone down the past two years, but the 15 interceptions McNabb threw last year was a career high mark. He will be 35-years old soon, but some critics are wondering if his days as an NFL starter are about to end sooner than expected.
McNabb has endured his share of criticism since being drafted. Not only did a bunch of fans boo his selection that day, but he has had critics question his competence. McNabb has handled everything with dignity and class, and his selection in 1999 rivals Champ Bailey and possibly Torry Holt as the best first round draft pick that year.
If Father Time has indeed caught up with McNabb, he won't go down without a fight. He still ranks ranks fourth best all-time in career interception percentage in NFL history. He was the NFC Offensive Player of the Year after leading Philadelphia to Super Bowl XXXIX.
History shows quarterbacks nearing the end of great careers mostly never turn it on again, but people like Kurt Warner, Y.A. Tittle and others have showed it does happen. McNabb, who last year said he wanted to play for many more years, and the Vikings certainly hope he has some greatness left in him.
Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers
91 Interception and Fumbles in 58 Games
55 Touchdowns Thrown, 57.7 Completion Percentage, 73.8 Quarterback Rating
Ever since Smith was the first overall draft pick in 2005, he has been on most lists as the worst starting quarterback in the NFL. He was probably put on the field too early, but the 49ers could not afford to give him time to sit and learn his position.
Yet Smith has only lasted a full year at starter once so far. He also may be running out of chances to be the starter, especially since the raw and athletic Colin Kaepernick was drafted this year. It hasn't always been Smith's fault that he he has yet to show why San Francisco drafted him, because he has been sacked 142 times in his career.
With the best receivers at his disposel in his career, Smith's 2011 season has seen him complete a career best 67.3 percent of his passes so far. He also has tossed just one interception, despite having no running game so far. New head coach Jim Harbaugh, a former NFL quarterback, has had a positive impact as the 49ers shot out to a 3-1 record.
Sometimes it takes a quarterback a few years to learn and get it all down. Canton has men like Len Dawson, Dan Fouts, Bart Starr and others as proof. So there is still a chance Smith can end up having a career comparable to those legends.
Tavaris Jackson, Seattle Seahawks
44 Interceptions and Fumbles in 40 Games
29 Touchdowns Thrown, 59.3 Completion Percentage, 77.2 Quarterback Rating
Jackson was drafted in second round of the 2006 draft by the Minnesota Vikings. He ended up starting in 19 games his first three season, but stayed on the bench mostly behind Brett Favre the next two.
He left Minnesota after 2010 and signed a contract with the Seattle Seahawks. Jackson not only has good receivers like Mike Williams and Kevin Boss, he rejoined former Vikings teammate Sidney Rice.
It is his first season in a new system, as well as the first time in his career he is the anointed starter. He already has five touchdown passes, which means he will pass his career high of nine soon if he stays healthy. But Jackson has already tossed four interceptions as well, which has helped the 1-3 Seahawks rank 29th in scoring so far in 2011.
Since Seattle can't seem to get their rushing attack going yet, they will rely heavily on Jackson. After being played too early at the beginning of his career, he should be as ready as he might ever be. Jackson's entire career has been played under offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, so system familiarity will not be a reason to hold him back.
Rex Grossman, Washington Redskins
71 Interceptions and Fumbles in 45 Games
46 Touchdowns Thrown, 54.6 Completion Percentage, 71.8 Quarterback Rating
The Chicago Bears used a first round draft pick on Grossman in 2003. He did start seven games in his first three seasons, but the Bears started him all of 2006. He played decently as the Bears defense led the team to a Super Bowl before losing.
He lost his starting game after seven games the next year, and was released by Chicago after 2007. After sitting on the Houston Texans bench for a season, he followed offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan to the Washington Redskins and ended up starting the final three games of 2010.
He is now the starter, but it may not be for long. Grossman still makes innumerous mistakes every game he plays, often forcing passes that often hit the defenders in the chest. Though he is in his ninth season, Grossman often plays like a rookie who has had minimal experience at the quarterback position.
With his high turnover rate, it will be interesting to see how long the Redskins will put up with him. They are a team rebuilding, but their 2011 schedule has had some luck in the fact that Washington has faced opponents bereft by injuries already.
At their current 3-1 record, it may be unlikely Grossman is benched even though the media has begun whispers a change is on the Redskins horizon. If this happens, it is probably the last legitimate shot Grossman will have as a starting quarterback in the NFL.
Mark Sanchez, New York Jets
63 Interceptions and Fumbles in 35 Games
35 Touchdowns Thrown, 54.5 Completion Percentage, 71 Quarterback Rating
Some fair-weathered fans might not like this selection of a guy who played college ball at USC, where he won a national championship, then has led a New York team a game within the Super Bowl each season since the Jets drafted him in the first round of the 2009 draft.
They basically gave up a second round draft pick to the Cleveland Browns, along with three players no longer in Cleveland, to get a player who became the first rookie quarterback to start for the franchise since their inaugural season. Both critics and fans of Sanchez have pointed to his lack of collegiate experience since that day.
Being a player in a fish bowl like New York is a double-edged sword. While a player may be severely overhyped much of the time, every move made is also met with scrutiny. Sanchez has handled this situation well so far.
Some call him a newer version of Trent Dilfer, a quarterback who once rode the Baltimore Ravens running game and defense to a title in 2000. The Jets are similar to that Ravens team in that their rushing game and defense is the main reason they reached the AFC Championship the previous two years.
Sanchez still makes a ton of mistakes, but he is in just his third season and was never allowed to sit and learn his position because of the $50 million he was given in 2009. But the Jets are winning, and that is all that matters at the end of the day. No matter who is manning the quarterback position.
Eli Manning, New York Giants
153 Interceptions and Fumbles in 109 Games
162 Touchdowns Thrown, 58.2 Completions Percentage, 81.1 Quarterback Rating
63-44 Record, Super Bowl XLII Champion and MVP
Manning made a few waves before he even played in the NFL after the San Diego Chargers used the first pick of the 2004 draft on him. Refusing to play with the Chargers, he was dealt to the New York Giants for Philip Rivers.
Manning started seven games as a rookie, splitting the duties with veteran Kurt Warner. The Giants were encouraged enough by Manning's performance to allow Warner to move on to the Arizona Cardinals.
While Rivers has gone to three Pro Bowls, as opposed to one for Manning, the Chargers have yet to reach a Super Bowl. Manning, despite leading the NFL in interceptions thrown in 2007, rode a strong rushing attack and smothering defense to Super Bowl XLII.
In a game most remember for a 32-yard prayer Manning heaved to David Tyree, who snagged the ball with one hand, the quarterback was awarded the Super Bowl MVP after two short fourth quarter touchdown passes helped New York win 17-14. That is enough legacy for most quarterbacks to hang their hat on.
Manning has two areas that both greatly help and sometimes detract from his true abilities. While playing in the fish bowl called New York, he is the little brother of future Hall of Famer Petyon Manning. His family has a rich legacy that carries him and often shades the reality of his skills.
Manning is coming off a 2010 season where he led the NFL in interceptions thrown for the second time in his seven seasons. Now entering his eighth year, he has thrown just two so far despite having several teammates hurt and many changes made to the Giants roster.
He may be the third best NFL quarterback in his own family, but Manning believes he is an elite player. That confidence will hopefully increase his completion percentage while reducing a high turnover rate.
Jason Campbell, Oakland Raiders
94 Interceptions and Fumbles in 69 Games
72 Touchdowns Thrown, 61.1 Completion Percentage, 83 Quarterback Rating
It has been a wild ride since Campbell began playing college football. It seems he has played in a new system under a new offensive coordinator annually. He has also played behind some porous offensive lines, leaving him vulnerable to being frequently hit.
Since being drafted in the first round of the 2005 draft by the Washington Redskins, Campbell has been inundated with tons of plays by several different coaches. He has been reunited with offensive coordinator Al Saunders this year, a man Campbell played under the first two seasons of his career.
After starting seven games as a rookie, Campbell has basically started since. He has proven to be pretty tough and durable over this time. He was making progress in Washington, but ended up getting traded for a fourth-round pick to the Oakland Raiders after the Redskins signed free agent Donovan McNabb.
He was benched by since fired head coach Tom Cable for three games, all of which Oakland lost, before coming back to lead the Raiders to their best record since 2002. While the Raiders rushing attack has been the star of this team, Campbell has tried to work hard and develop a repertoire with his young wide receivers.
It may seem Campbell has been around forever, but he will be only 30-years old soon. Oakland is headed in a good direction and have the right man for the quarterback job, but must get better play from the blockers and receivers to help him out.
Chad Henne, Miami Dolphins
37 Interceptions in 36 Games
31 Touchdowns Thrown, 60.7 Completion Percentage, 75.7 Quarterback Rating
Henne was drafted by the Dolphins in the second round of the 2008 draft. After sitting on the bench as a rookie, he has started since. The results have been mixed.
While Henne's progress has slightly been slowed by the single-wing formation, also called "Wild Cat," his team frequently ran the first two years of his career, he also continues to make mistakes in his reads. Miami got him an upgrade of receivers to throw to, but his completion percentage had shown no improvement.
Despite having a good size and strong arm, his ability to check down to secondary receivers and not force passes to covered receivers has held Henne back. After having veteran coach Dan Henning teach him at the beginning of his career, Henne is now in his first season under Brian Daboll as his offensive coordinator.
With head coach Tony Sparano seemingly in his last season with the team, Henne appears to likely to have a new coaching staff in his future. Whether that is with the Dolphins or not will be determined later, as will be his future as a starting quarterback in this league.
Tim Tebow, Denver Broncos
10 Games Played and Four Turnovers
11 Touchdowns Thrown or Rushed, 50 Completion Percentage, 82.1 Quarterback Rating
How can such an untested youngster make this list? When he is an overhyped entity, courtesy of the media and zealots whose view of him extends beyond the gridiron.
Critics say Tebow is basically a fullback at this stage of his career, and Denver has run him 44 times already in a career that started last season after the Broncos used a first round pick to acquire him. Despite a terrible 2011 preseason that obviously showed he isn't ready, his legion of fans cry his name all game.
The media has peppered Denver head coach John Fox with more Tebow questions than questions about the Broncos team, exacerbating the hype. Even with the Broncos coaches and players showing support for starting quarterback Kyle Orton, the media and a few fans keep harping on Tebow.
Tebow may not be ready until 2013, if the recent preseason was any indication of his progress, but that will not stop the factions who impatiently want him out there now. There used to be a time a quarterback would sit and learn how to be an NFL quarterback, and time is something Tebow needs a lot of.
Yoooooooo! Dis iz 7thStone again! Yo, I didn't dat hot las weak, going 11-5, I iz now 39-25 overall
Letz get two it, I tolds yous I iz on da run.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Buffalo Bills
Yo, I get dis fealin dat Fred Jackson will run over dat week Eagles run defense, making dis a wire job where yous flip a coin.
Bills 30 Eagles 28
Arizona Cardinals @ Minnesota Vikings
Yous got to teems wif too new quarterbacks dat ain't exactly lighting it up yet. Da run game, which has carried dese squads, will make da differense if dem quarterbacks keep stinking.
Vikings 23 Cardinals 20
New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers
Expect like 80 passes in dis one, but I like Drew Brees here.
Saints 37 Panthers 28
Kansas City Chiefs @ Indianapolis Colts
When too turds hit da toilet at once,one has to float two da top furst.
Colts 24 Chiefs 20
Oakland Raiders @ Houston Texans
I just dont tink much of da Raiders defense. Capeesh?
Texans 27 Raiders 24
Cincinnati Bengals @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Too rookie quarterbacks here, but I'm liking da Bengals defense more den da Jags defense.
Bengals 21 Jaguars 17
Seattle Seahawks @ New York Giants
Da G-Men wont have Brandon Jacobs, but I'm tinkin dat Ahmad Bradshaw will get over 100 yards rushing dis weak.
Giants 28 Seahawks 24
Tennessee Titans @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Yo, dese defenses are good. But dem Steelers are long in da toof. I'm thinking the quietyly red-hot Matt Hasselbeck will bee da edge.
Titans 23 Steelers 20
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ San Francisco 49ers
I like da Niners defense and pass catchers, but I tink da Bucs got da better QB and RB.
Buccaneers 27 49ers 23
New York Jets @ New England Patriots
Da fact iz...da Jets ain't lookin two good lately. Not sayin dem Pats look like world beeters, but dey got a much better quarterback in Tom Brady.
Patriots 31 Jets 20
San Diego Chargers @ Denver Broncos
I bet both Kyle Orton and Philip Rivers get 300 yards passing, but Ryan Mathews makes da difference.
Chargers 30 Broncos 21
Green Bay Packers @ Atlanta Falcons
Game of the Week
Da Falcons haven't been clicking yet, and this game iz a good measuring stick of how good dey will bee in 2011. Da Pack are da class of da NFL right now and Atlanta's defense has given up at leest 30 points in three contests alreddy.
Call me crazy, but I don't tink Green Bay goes 16-0 in 2011. This will be loss number one, if Michael "Burner" Turner gets off.
Falcons 37 Packers 35
Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions
Da Motor City will be Detroit Rock City Monday night, as dey proudly root on da Lions. Chicago will make it close, but Detrot celebrates at da end wif da las undefeeted teem in football.
Lions 34 Bears 27
1. Green Bay Packers
2. Detroit Lions
3. Baltimore Ravens
4. Houston Texans
5. Tennessee Titans
6. Pittsburgh Steelers
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
8. New England Patriots
9. New Orleans Saints
10. Buffalo Bills
11. San Diego Chargers
12. Atlanta Falcons
14. Washington Redskins
14. New York Giants
15. San Francisco 49ers
16. Chicago Bears
17. Oakland Raiders
18. New York Jets
19. Dallas Cowboys
20. Philadelphia Eagles
21. Miami Dolphins
22. Arizona Cardinals
23. Cincinnati Bengals
24. Carolina Panthers
25. Cleveland Browns
26. Jacksonville Jaguars
27. Seattle Seahawks
28. Saint Louis Rams
29. Minnesota Vikings
30. Denver Broncos
31. Indianapolis Colts
32. Kansas City Chiefs
OK, I iz outta dis peace! I iz gunna get a peace off dis chick I know now.
When will athletes get it?? Is ESPN nuts!! My 2 cents on Jay Cutler and B.J. Raji in this edition of Rants and Raves.
Athletes-gone-wild seems to be the one of the hot topics for this weeks edition of Rants and Raves.
Running Back Laurence Maroney was arrested by St. Louis police and held on unlawful weapons and drug charges. The Broncos player was arrested with five others while being pulled over during a traffic stop. Cops believe Maroney and his friends were smoking weed. Laurence’s publicist, Jane Higgins, told a TV stations that Maroney just happened to be behind the car “by pure coincidence.” Supposedly Maroney holds a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
Baseball’s problem child, Seattle Mariners outfielder, Milton Bradley was arrested by Los Angeles police for allegedly making threats against a women. He was released after he posted $50,000 in bail. Hopefully more will be revealed at a court appearance scheduled for February 8th.
Janoris Jenkins, a Florida Gator, was arrested on a marijuana possession charge in a Gainesville nightclub. Jenkins had less than 20 grams of marijuana, which is a misdemeanor. He was not taken to jail. He signed a notice to appear in court on February 17th. This is the second arrest for Janoris. The first was in May 2009 during a downtown fight.
If Athletes are supposed to be role models for our children, is this what I am expecting my kids and grandchildren to be like??
Are you kidding me!! ESPN inks a mega deal with the NFL and they won’t show the playoffs or Super Bowl. Who is the moron in charge of this idiotic deal?
It is reported that ESPN has reached a deal with the NFL for 9-10 years worth nearly $2 billion a year. ESPN will still do Monday Night Football but will not be in the rotation for the rights to the Super Bowl or playoffs. This is a 70% pay increase in the annual rights fees to show the profitable “Monday Night Football.” By comparison, Fox pays $720 million, CBS pays $620 million and NBC pays $603 million. DirecTV pay about a $1 billion a year for Sunday Ticket service. ESPN and the NFL have said both sides are still in discussions but no agreements have been reached.
I think Jay Cutler was the driving force in the Bears trip to the NFC Championship. But, there comes a time when you have to step it up, regardless of how you feel, or how your hurting. I can see the Bears front office sticking up for him, saying it was they who held him out. This stuff would never have happened before the 2000’s. Players would have played with a severed fingers, bloodied faces, broken noses, etc. He could have played with a sprained MCL.
With that being said, hats off to Bears QB Caleb Hanie, who under a difficult situation guided the team to two touchdowns, one rushing by Chester Taylor and Caleb’s first NFL touchdown pass.
B.J. Raji dance, please don’t try this at home:
Pictures by: Laurence Maroney - multimedia.heraldinteractive.com/images, Milton Bradley - www4.pictures.zimbio.com, Janoris Jenkins - gatorcountry.com/images, ESPN Logo - washburnim.files.wordpress.com, NFL Logo - midwestsportsfans.com, Jay Cutler - blogdownchicagobears.com, Caleb Hanie - chicagobears.com,
Yeah, it's been all about the blow job lately...One of the smartest things I've done in my life, was striking a deal with my wife...If she drops and gobbles, I'll get up with the baby that night...It's worked out very well so far...I've always been able to run on little sleep...She's happy because she gets a good night of sleep, and I just got blown! I've gotten more blow jobs in the last month than I got all of last year! There's a life lesson folks...Marriage is all about give and take...I'm giving loads and she's taking them!
Next up, a quick birthday shout-out to Wayne Gretzky...Wayne Gretzky is 50 years old today...That just seems crazy to me...
Many have argued whether Gretzky is the greatest hockey player of all-time...Many say Gordie Howe, because he had the physical game, to go with so many of the records Gretzky broke...Many say Bobby Orr, because he changed the way the game was played, and how defensemen played...I wasn't lucky enough to see either of those guys live and in living color...But I saw plenty of Gretzky...He had a feel for the game that was unmatched...In my eyes he's the greatest, and I don't see these young stars knocking him off that pedestal...
So, who watched the big State of the Union speech? I watched porn! Why should the DC douchebags be the only ones sitting around stroking their egos! I actually did catch the speech...It was a well done, well thought out, rah, rah speech...'We should do this, and we should do that...I want to do this, I want to do that...America Yay!' But there wasn't much in the way of how we are going to do this and that...The President talked about making advances technology that could be this generations "Apollo" moment...Well isn't that funny...Invoking Science, Technology, and NASA after basically shutting NASA down...I wonder if people realize how much of what we use in our every day lives is because of research that had been done by NASA?
The speech was filled with ass kissing aimed at both the left and the right, but mostly down the middle...And at first I liked it...The man has a way with giving speeches...But then I went over it and realized the lack of substance, and that this was more of a motivational speech...Sadly we've seen little motivation from most people in DC, so why would they start now?
President Obama made a great speech in Arizona after the shootings a couple weeks ago...And after last night's speech I realized what had happened...The Speech in Arizona was the first of his re-election campaign...Last night was number two...Politics is politics...
I know this is either boring some one or bothering some one, so let's get Bill Burr in the mix talking about Brett Favre's Masseuse trouble...
As a man who has bee to massage parlors, I say damn right Bill!
There has been almost non-stop talk about Jay Cutler being a pussy...Players, former players, talking heads, all blasted him on Twitter, and TV, and Radio...I think it was kinda shitty how he got blasted without people even knowing the extent of the injury...But what's worse, are the people who who back-pedalled after the reports came out on his jacked-up knee...Like Maurice Jones-Drew, who after wards tried to play the, "I was only joking" card...No you weren't! Fuck you! You're a punk ass bitch that sat out the last couple games of the season cause your knee was hurt...Fucking cunts!
Now to the good stuff...This week, it's the battle of Olivia...So on this Hump Day, which of these lovely ladies named Olivia would you most lie to unload in, or on...
While several former and current NFL players complain about the toughness of Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, his teammates vehemently defend Cutler and claim there was a sound reason for Cutler leaving his team early in the third quarter of a 21-14 NFC Championship loss to the Green Bay Packers.
When Chicago mortgaged their future on Cutler in 2009 by dealing two first-round picks and a second-round draft selection, along with quarterback Kyle Orton, to attain his services, they expected a franchise quarterback to lead them to the promise land. Though he struggled in his first year with the Bears, he took them within one game of a Super Bowl appearance in his second season.
Critics have said he is not an upper echelon quarterback, but his 2010 statistics were not far off those who are considered the best at the position. The Packers Aaron Rodgers is one of those lauded as a top tier quarterback, yet Cutler had just five less touchdown passes and five more interceptions than Rodgers in 2010 with a lesser talented receivers corps.
That does not ease the anguish of Bears fans after Cutler completed just six of 14 passes for 80 yards before bowing out of a loss to their arch rivals. The media has spent their time since his departure trying to find the moment Cutler hurt himself, something Cutler himself was unable to pinpoint. Critics also wonder why Cutler was allowed to walk to the locker room at halftime instead of having his injury treated.
Bears center Olin Kruetz thought he saw Cutler hobbling towards the locker room, so the question has to arise if Cutler failed to mention his injury to the Bears training staff or if anyone else failed to alert them considering it appears they failed to notice the hitch in Cutler's gait themselves. "I know my body", he said, “I was going to keep playing but, you know, they made the decision that giving Todd (Collins) a shot would better suit the team.”
The critics were also found in the Bears own clubhouse after the defeat. "I don’t see a brace on that knee. Do you?”, said one Bear player left unnamed.
Whomever the blame is temporarily laid on, Cutler, the Bears coaches, or training staff, the problem mostly symbolizes the modern day NFL quarterback that Roger Goodell has molded. One who is so coddled that he is considered gutless when he stands on the sideline claiming his knee aches yet surrounded by cameras when his team wins because of a superior defensive effort.
The game today has very few leaders willing to pull a Johnny Unitas and hobble out onto the gridiron in order to be there when his team needs him most. A player willing to gamble his contract, endorsements, and football future all for a shot at winning a championship ring.
One Packer the Bears fans disliked but respected was Brett Favre. Favre was built like other legendary Green Bay leaders who defeated Chicago too often for their fans tastes. Packer Hall of Famers like Arnie Hebner and Bart Starr who were renowned for their gritty leadership as much as any other intangible they had that made them champions. Like them, Favre built his legend on picking up his slammed carcass off the turf and winning the game at the end.
Part of the reason the Bears fans dislike for Favre is the fact they haven't had a tough quarterback of their own for a long time since Hall of Famer Sid Luckman retired in 1950 after having won four championships. Bill Wade was fairly tough at times, leading them to a title in 1963, but he was a Bear for only for six years and split time with Ed Brown and Rudy Bukich most of his career. Jim McMahon led Chicago to a title in 1985, but he was hurt and missed several games in each of his seven seasons with the team.
Luckman's 14,686 passing yards still leads all Bear quarterbacks 61 years after he retired. A yardage total Drew Brees has almost surpassed in just his last three years with the New Orleans Saints. Cutler was brought in to finally topple Luckman from the top of the Bears passing yards mountain, but now there are members of the media questioning if he will return next year after his latest actions.
Caleb Hanie was put on the field with a erroneous gamble by the Bears coaching staff that luckily paid off almost to a Super Bowl showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers. After the 39-year old Collins, most likely playing in his last NFL game, failed miserably in a few passing attempts, Chicago inserted a second-year pro who had 14 career passing attempts that resulted in eight completions and an interception.
The problem was that the move happened before the third quarter ended, thus nullifying Cutler and Collins from the rest of the contest. If Hanie had been hurt from that point on, Chicago would have been stuck with inserting another position player behind center. Hanie stayed upright and almost led his team back, going 13-of-20 for 153 yards and a scoring pass. He also threw a key pass that led to another score, but tossed two key interceptions. One was returned for a touchdown and the other sealed a Packers victory.
The next six months should find Cutler hiding from the voracious Chicago press if his knee does not require any surgical procedure. Many will question whether or not Cutler has that rare intangible to be a champion, even though he took his team just 60 minutes away from playing for one. Critics will point out how he failed to win much in college or in his three seasons with the Denver Broncos.
Giving Cutler credit for a nice season goes away with him standing along the sideline when his knee was reportedly keeping him from playing. Bears fans respect toughness. They have legends like Gale Sayers and Dick Butkus in the Pro Football Hall of Fame after excelling on the field with injuries that included them playing several seasons on one good leg.
Maurice Jones-Drew, the Pro Bowl halfback of the Jacksonville Jaguars expected to get a few MVP votes this year said," All I'm saying is that Cutler could have finished the game on a hurt knee. I played a whole season on one."
But this is how the Bears quarterbacks have been since Luckman left. Long before Goodell put a protective bubble around the position to hinder the defenses. These rules almost ruined the NFC Championship, which was supposed to be lauded as an intense defensive battle between the two longest running rivals in NFL history. When Bears Pro Bowl defensive end Julius Peppers hit Rodgers with a clean shot in any other era but the Goodell Era, he got a 15-yard penalty that luckily resulted in no points for Green Bay.
Chicago still houses a generally young team with enough experience to load up for another run next year. This will be boosted by a sound draft, but the luck of staying healthy and having lucky breaks like they had the first game of the season is a trick hard to replicate. It also would be the second season Cutler would be under offensive coordinator Mike Martz's system, assuming Martz returns.
The only way for Cutler to shed his new branded label is to win. Much like how Ben Roethlisberger has quelled the chatter of his sexual assault charges by taking the Steelers to a third Super Bowl in his young career, or how Michael Vick quieted talk of his past by being successful with the Philadelphia Eagles this year.
But Chicago fans need Cutler to accomplish this for many more years every game to break the revolving door around the quarterback position. He will be just 28-years old when the next season kicks off and he has been durable enough to miss just one start the last four years, which occurred this season.
All Bears fans need is at least one Super Bowl win over the next seven years where he takes practically every snap. If Cutler does this, he should top Luckman on the passing yards list thanks to the offensive-friendly rules of the game now. He'll never surpass Luckman in their hearts, even with multiple titles and an induction into Canton, but even doing well gets you a life long pass in the hearts of the loyal Bears fans. McMahon is proof of that even though he never played more than 13 games in a season for the Bears.
The teams future is still mortgaged on Cutler even though it appears to some that he went on vacation at a crucial time. Though a few lucky breaks are needed, he is under contract with the team until 2013. If he fulfills his potential, let alone expectations, Cutler could very well have the Bears on the verge of a Super Bowl again. What he does with it remains to be seen, but it would be almost on par with almost every other quarterback that followed Luckman that his NFL epitaph has the 2010 NFC Championship Game Bailout engraved on his resting stone.
Only respect could be thrown to Washington Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall after tying an NFL record for picking off four passes in one game in the Redskins 17-14 win over the Chicago Bears yesterday, which included a career long 92-yard game winning return off one swipe.
Hall has already been nominated for NFL defensive player of the week in the first week of the season. He had eight tackles, two defended passes, then forced a fumble, recovered it, then ran 32 yards for the winning points in the Redskins 13-7 win over the Dallas Cowboys.
Most NFL fans would look at the 27-year old Hall, who already has 31 interceptions and six touchdowns in his seven NFL seasons so far, and give him at least the respect of being considered an above average defender.
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has a different impression, it appears. " I'd go at him every time." was his response to the question on why he kept testing Hall. Cutler was forced to throw the ball 40 times, even though the Bears averaged close to five yards per carry with their running backs. The game plan was to keep firing away, per offensive coordinator Mike Martz's instructions.
Not often does a player get to lead the league in interceptions this deep into the year after just one previous pick. Cutler claims he would go after Hall if the Bears were to face the Redskins tomorrow.Hall would like for this to happen as well. It would give him a chance to go after the NFL record of 14 interceptions in a season, set by Hall of Famer Richard "Night Train" Lane.
Instead of saying he would attack a guy who victimized him four times, including once that cost his team the game, Cutler should work on his stubbornness. None of Hall's interceptions were extremely difficult, in fact they looked like gifts lollipopped into his bosom off of Cutler's charitable arm.
Some may point to the Bears struggling offensive line, which gave up four sacks. The Redskins line struggles itself, and gave up two sacks along with two interceptions. In a sloppy game that saw nine turnovers, Washington also enjoyed great fortune. Their players fumbled six times, but only lost one to Chicago.
DeAngelo Hall might shake Jay Cutler's hand, but it might be hard to do with the Bears signal callers back turned to him. Cutler may not want to acknowledge the NFL record he helped tie, and continue to say he'd go after Hall time and time again. He claims, ""I've played against Hall before. There's no reason to shy away from him."
Facts show Cutler has only opposed him once in a regular season game before yesterday. It was the first week of the 2008 season when Hall played for the Oakland Raiders and Cutler was with the Denver Broncos. Cutler tossed two scores in 24 attempts as the Broncos won 41-14.
If Cutler is parlaying his expertise on that lone meeting, on a team Hall was released from seven weeks later, then maybe the effects of past concussions suffered by him are more serious than previously thought. He also seems to neglect his 2008 Broncos coach, Mike Shanahan, now coaches Hall and might have filled the defensive back in on some habits to expect.
Maybe Cutler has the right idea to be a gunslinger without a memory. If the two face off again, it would be tough to expect Hall to match a record that has been around since 1943, when Hall of Fame Redskin Sammy Baugh first did it. There have been 17 players after Baugh to do it before Hall joined their select family this weekend.
Instead of throwing respect at Hall after a game where he was embarrassed by his stubbornness to try other defenders to pick on, Cutler chose a cocky approach. As several heads shake in wonderment at his bizarre point of view, Hall can thank Cutler for allowing him to be etched forever into NFL lore.