Cutler can't step up

On Cutler's other interception, on the next drive, his pass over the middle for Marshall sailed high, where only Vikings safety Harrison Smith could catch it. Smith brought it back 56 yards for the score.

"I couldn't really follow through," Cutler said of pass rushers around him. "We got the coverage we wanted, trying to get it across the middle. It sailed on me."

Cutler wasn't the cause of all the Bears' offensive problems, but he wasn't the solution either.

He is supposed affect the game to a much greater degree than Christian Ponder, who was booed as he jogged onto the field in pregame introductions and was a Vikings asset mostly for his ability not to fumble handoffs to Adrian Peterson.

"There were a lot of problems offensively," Cutler said. "I didn't play well. You have to start with me offensively. Interceptions, doesn't matter how they happen, they happened."

Yes, Cutler's teammates let him down Sunday. But in the NFL standings, there is no asterisk for having good excuses.

As bad as it all seems now for the Bears and their quarterback, Cutler will have a chance for redemption in seven short days.

The quarterback needs to carry the day.

Now.

dpompei@tribune.com

Twitter @danpompei

CHICAGO

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