Chicago, Illinois-It's becoming more evident with each game that Jay Cutler might never be a franchise quarterback. We're seven games deep into the season, and Cutler continues to struggle and the offense keeps falling short of expectations.
Perhaps his ribs were still a little bit sore, but that was no excuse for the two fumbles Cutler had Sunday or the interception he threw into coverage. Even he admits his performance wasn't acceptable.
"I didn't play well," says Cutler. "It starts with me. Offensively the first three and a half quarters were ugly. We were getting good field position. The defense was fighting their butts off. We just couldn't get it going."
Cutler's teammates didn't exactly help him out. The line allowed six sacks. And the receivers had three drops. But Cutler is the leader of the offense, and franchise quarterbacks are supposed to elevate their team. We haven't seen much of that from Cutler.
You won't hear Lovie Smith criticize Cutler. He gauges quarterbacks by how they perform in the fourth quarter when the game is on the line. In this game Cutler marched the Bears downfield in position for Gould's game winning field goal.
"When you're a great quarterback most of the time in this league it's going to come down to no matter what happens early on what do you do in the fourth quarter," says Smith. "What do you do with two minutes left to go in the game, and for Jay he was getting us in position."
"I don't think you can hit the panic button offensively," says Cutler. "We've just got to keep getting better."
"We have a lot of work to get done," says receiver Brandon Marshall. "It's good where we're at right now, but we're a team that really thinks big. We dream big, so to achieve those things we have to get better."