There were two things fans were worried about yesterday when it came to leading the Bears offense into the playoffs against the Seahawks. One was that Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz would continue to call for the ball to be thrown recklessly around the yard like he did against the Packers in the last regular season game. The other was that quarterback Jay Cutler would try to do too much to make plays on the big stage.
I was pretty confident that Martz would control himself – which he did. I was a lot less confident about the second concern.
David Haugh at the Chicago Tribune comments upon the Performance of the Bears quarterback yesterday:
“There’s no telling what Cutler really wanted to say after Sunday’s game to those of us who have been critical of his demeanor. But what was clearest and most relevant was that Cutler began the process of joining the ranks of the NFL quarterbacking elite with a nearly flawless playoff performance.”
Flawless it wasn’t. But Cutler clearly did exactly what he had to do to allow the team to win.
The worst pass of the afternoon was when Seattle safety Jordan Babineaux dropped an easy interception at the goal line. But really that was more a result of a brain cramp than a desire to make a play that wasn’t there, I think.
Other than that, Cutler was calm and cool. And he didn’t do anything stupid with the ball. He even threw it away a couple times. And, instead of throwing into coverage, he decided to run with the ball. Vaughn McClure, also at the Tribune comments:
“Bears quarterback Jay Cutler implied last week he might sling it all over the field Sunday, depending on what the Seahawks’ defense gave him. Well, judging by the running lanes Cutler discovered on his own, the Bears were wise to keep it on the ground.”
Not only was it effective but it gives the Packers one more headache to have to deal with as they prepare for the game this Sunday.
As one of those people spending too much time psychoanalyzing Cutler as a leader last week, I’d like to also give him all the credit in the world for what he did as an individual on the field. He did a great job yesterday as much because of what he didn’t do as what he did.