Sports
Sports

A clean Cutler is a happy Cutler

For the past decade, the Bears were the team with great defense and special teams and juuuust enough offense to be competitive. This combo resulted in a couple of close calls, but no Super Bowl wins.

The recipe for NFL success changed, and we've bemoaned that fact on a yearly basis. We've bemoaned an offensive line that's given up 50 sacks per season for the past three. And Jay Cutler unfairly has taken much of the blame for the Bears' failures.

Then Phil Emery became general manager. Then Lovie Smith was shown the door. Then Marc Trestman was hired. Then Jermon Bushrod was signed, and Kyle Long and Jordan Mills were drafted. Then J'Marcus Webb was shot out of a cannon.

Now it appears the Bears are the team with a very good offense and juuuust enough defense and special teams. And it appears that the offensive line has been fixed.

That unit—Bushrod, Matt Slauson, Roberto Garza, Long, and Mills—has allowed only one sack in two games, having faced two of last season's top-five defensive lines. If they're able to keep Cutler off the ground Sunday night at Pittsburgh, it'll mark the first time in his career in Chicago in which he's been sacked a total of once in three consecutive games.

Read that again. IT HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE.

Cutler's not perfect. He still makes one god-awful throw per game. But he also makes eight awesome ones. This is the same Cutler who's always been here.

This year's difference is he's not picking Soldier Field outta his face every five pass attempts. When he's given the protection Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning routinely enjoy … well, he's posted a 95.4 quarterback rating over two games. He's engineered two game-winning, fourth-quarter drives. He's SMILING, dammit.

It's been three years since we watched the N.Y. Giants pound Cutler into the turf nine times in one half. (I'm still not convinced he didn't actually die that night.) Finally, it feels like that won't happen again anytime soon.

RedEye special contributor Alex Quigley can be heard on WGN Radio 720.

Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye Sports' Facebook page

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Jay Cutler celebrates

    Jay Cutler celebrates

    Bears quarterback Jay Cutler celebrates throwing the winning touchdown to Martellus Bennett against Minnesota on Sunday.

  • Chicago sues red light camera firm for $300 million

    Chicago sues red light camera firm for $300 million

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration has sued Chicago's former red light camera operator, Redflex Traffic Systems, for more than $300 million on grounds the entire program was built on a $2 million bribery scheme at City Hall that has already led to federal corruption convictions.

  • Marrow's 'The Gold Standard' raises the Chicago rock bar

    Marrow's 'The Gold Standard' raises the Chicago rock bar

    The four musicians in Marrow know quite a bit about bringing diverse influences to the table. After all, three of them, singer-guitarist Liam Kazar, singer-keyboardist Macie Stewart and bassist Lane Beckstrom were in Kids These Days, a now-defunct septet that combined jazz, funk, rap and rock in...

  • The Kids These Days family tree

    The Kids These Days family tree

    From its 2009 beginnings to its 2013 demise, Chicago's Kids These Days seemed like one of the most promising acts the city had seen in years. While the band split up at the height of its hype, its members have since gone on to do bigger and better things—seriously impressive considering the hip-hop/rock/jazz...

  • Solid 'Gold': How ex-Kids These Days members came back stronger as Marrow

    Solid 'Gold': How ex-Kids These Days members came back stronger as Marrow

    After the dissolution of Kids These Days, the much-buzzed about Chicago fusion-jazz-rock-rap septet that split in spring 2013 just a few months after releasing its only album, “Traphouse Rock,” some of its members spent what seems like all of 20 minutes bandless. "We were driving back from the...

  • Mr Twin Sister's 'In the House of Yes' is one of last year's hidden treasures

    Mr Twin Sister's 'In the House of Yes' is one of last year's hidden treasures

    Welcome to RedEye's "Song of the Day," an ongoing feature where music reporter Josh Terry or another RedEye staff member highlights something they're listening to. Some days the track will be new, and some days it will be old. No matter what, each offering is something you should check out. Check...

Comments
Loading
75°