PRO FOOTBALL

Cutler, Rodgers could light up scoreboard in winner-take-all game

2013-12-28T17:15:00Z 2013-12-29T22:55:15Z Cutler, Rodgers could light up scoreboard in winner-take-all gameAl Hamnik al.hamnik@nwi.com, (219) 933-4154 nwitimes.com
December 28, 2013 5:15 pm  • 

CHICAGO | First of all, let's set the record straight.

Jay Cutler is not playing for his job today in the monster game with Green Bay, against whom he is 1-8 overall with nine touchdowns, 17 interceptions and a 59.9 quarterback rating.

Neither team's defense will make your knees wobble. The Bears are ranked 29th, the Packers 26th.

On the offensive side, Chicago averages 27.8 points per game (3rd) and Green Bay was at 25.6 (9th) while Aaron Rodgers' cracked collarbone was healing.

So, what will this winner-take-all NFC North alley fight come down to? Think French Revolution. The guillotine.

"Execution," said Bears offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer. "We must execute. It's going to be a dog fight."

The Bears prevailed 27-20 on Nov. 4 in Green Bay after knocking Rodgers out with a broken collarbone, but the franchise QB is healed and ready to rumble.

"Any time you're playing in a championship game, like this is, you can throw records out the window. You gotta do your job and coach your positions better than you ever have -- and on a consistent basis," Kromer said.

Cutler said today's rematch with the Packers -- he missed the first meeting due to a groin injury -- is not about proving himself and that all 11 players on offense must contribute.

Particularly the guy under center.

"The quarterback is the focal point of the football team," Bears coach Marc Trestman said. "He flies the plane and essentially it's on auto pilot and he's got to fly it in all kinds of weather."

Kromer, again, said it comes down to proper execution.

"When you miss assignments at the beginning, that can snowball on you and that's what happened (at Philadelphia)," Kromer said. "It happens to the best teams, it happens to the worst teams."

But this late in the season, with so much at stake?

"It can happen at any time," Kromer said. "When you're doing it on all three sides of the ball, that's when the thing snowballs.

"None of us were able to pull ourselves out and help the other unit (at Philly). It's really about executing and out-techniquing your opponent."

Forget the abysmal defense. Fans believe the Bears will win if they score 30 or more points.

"We feel like, as an offense, that when we go on the field, we should score," Kromer said. "We do not expect 3-and-outs.

"We expect to drive the football and get a touchdown or a field goal. That's just the expectation of a good offense."

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