12:13 AM CDT, October 2, 2012
Jay Cutler’s behavior always seems to be a story, so I guess it’s good that all you really need to know about the Bears’ “Monday Night Football’’ tilt in Dallas is that the supposedly creaky defense outscored Tony Romo’s supposedly talented Dallas offense.
Charles Tillman, pick-six. Lance Briggs, pick-six. Bears defense 14, Romo’s offense 10. Ballgame.
For a while, I was wondering if the rickety old guys on the defense could teach that to the explosive young guys on the Bears offense.
But look at that: Cutler found Devin Hester for a score to start the third quarter and found Brandon Marshall for another touchdown to end whatever suspense remained.
Cutler found magic in the second half, completing 11 of 12 passes for 219 yards and two scores without an interception to finish with a stunning quarterback rating of 140.1. If Cutler has problems at night, it certainly wasn’t Monday night.
Oh, wait, Cutler did have a problem. He appeared to show up offensive coordinator Mike Tice as he sat down beside Cutler in the first half. Cutler tried to brush it off after the game. He acted as if he didn’t know what anybody was talking about.
Yeah. Right. Whatever. Look, child, stop it. Just stop it.
The Bears have a good thing going. They’re atop the divison, tied with a Minnesota team that won’t be there at the end and a game ahead of a Green Bay team that owns the tiebreaker for now.
The defense is unleashing a hellacious pass rush, which makes everybody else better and turns into such things as five interceptions. The offense, meanwhile, is stocked with playmakers who made big plays at big times against Dallas.
Cutler certainly is one of those playmakers. In fact, he was the best of the playmakers in the second half, and it started immediately after a mediocre first half.
On the first series of the third quarter, Cutler hit all four passes for 71 yards on a 73-yard drive that ended with a spectacular bomb that Hester dived to catch as he slid into the end zone.
In the fourth quarter when the Cowboys were still a threat, Cutler turned a D.J. Moore interception into the killer touchdown. Taking over with 8:30 remaining in a three-score game, the Bears tried to eat clock. But they faced a couple third downs, and Cutler was a stud.
On third-and-2 at the Bears 41, Cutler gave Kellen Davis a chance to fight for the ball, and the inconsistent tight end eventually came down with it for a 24-yard gain.
On third-and-6 at the Dallas 31, Cutler threw short to a wide-open Marshall, who ran it in so easily that Jerry Jones could’ve seen it without having his glasses cleaned.
Those types of big plays backed by a smothering and deadly defense is a championship combination, so the Bears don’t need silly acts in the heat of a game by the most important player on the team. That doesn’t pass for leadership. That gets you sent to your room without dessert.
Copyright © 2014 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC