AL HAMNIK: Cutler won't break the bank with days like that

2012-12-16T18:45:00Z 2013-09-21T21:01:07Z AL HAMNIK: Cutler won't break the bank with days like thatAL HAMNIK Times Columnist nwitimes.com
December 16, 2012 6:45 pm  • 

CHICAGO | Jay Cutler will earn a reported $8.47 million next season. Makes your skin crawl, doesn't it?

Here's why.

Cutler is not an elite NFL quarterback, but that won't stop him from demanding a big pay raise when contract talks begin after the 2013 season.

Can't do it. Can't give away the farm on this guy.

At best, Cutler is somewhere among the league's top 15 chuckers, but closer to the bottom.

He couldn't hold Aaron Rodgers' clipboard.

Cutler can't beat good teams and that hurts to say if you're a Bears fan, though he might argue otherwise.

He threw for 126 yards and four interceptions in the first meeting with Green Bay.

Sunday, the sorry totals were 135 yards passing, one interception and a 72.5 rating.

Against Houston, Cutler had 40 yards and two interceptions before leaving with a concussion.

He was inactive at San Francisco, luckily for him.

In the second meeting with Minnesota, he threw for 260 yards and two interceptions accounting for 14 Viking points.

All of these examples were losses.

Rodgers, meanwhile, continues to be automatic in games big and small, but the larger the stage, the more to his liking.

"Big team win. Now we're looking at improving our seed," he said after breaking the hearts of Bears fandom on Sunday and winning the NFC North once again.

"It's all about who's hot at the right time. You saw it with the Giants last year. I think this team is playing the right way right now."

Rodgers improved his record against Chicago to 9-2, while Cutler has lost seven of eight to the Packers since joining the Bears.

Cutler has 17 touchdowns and 14 interceptions this season. Rodgers' staggering numbers are 32 and 8, respectively.

He has thrown one pick 6 in 2,587 career passes and will take a sack rather than risk an interception.

Cutler, fearing for his life behind an offensive line that couldn't block a crosswalk, prefers to uncork risky passes while hoping for a big play.

It's not working. His Bears have now lost five of their last six games after starting 7-1.

Brandon Marshall, the team's only offensive weapon, is growing angry and is on the verge of imploding.

"It's very frustrating," Marshall said of a near-comical offense. "You can see it on my face right now. Self-explanatory."

Yes, the Bears are banged up. But so are the Packers, who had 13 starters miss a total of 66 games -- yet have still won seven games by 10 points or less.

A complete roster overhaul has to be considered, possibly a coaching change as well, before an injury-prone Cutler is allowed to beak the bank.

"We're down, but we're not out," Cutler said. "We need to remind the guys there are two games left, a lot of football left. We've got to piece this thing back together.

"It falls on me. I take full responsibility for this offense and for this passing game. I didn't get the job done and we lost the ballgame."

Actually, Jay Cutler had help once again, up and down a roster of misfits.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at al.hamnik@nwi.com

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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