Joniak: A First For Jay Cutler
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (WBBM) This is a first for Jay Cutler. Bears doctors in concert with an independent physician conclude it is best if the Bears starting quarterback sit out the game in Carolina Sunday.
The decision ends a streak of 57-consecutive starts for Cutler, who is dealing with the after effects of a concussion. He will be evaluated early next week to determine if he can play at Soldier Field against Seattle. You can thank Giants cornerback Aaron Ross and Perry Fewells’ blitz package for the damage.
Ross’ hit on Cutler was severe enough to cause Cutlers’ head to bounce off the new Meadowlands Field Turf. That stuff does not give.
But what will Todd Collins give the Bears in just his 21st NFL start in this his 16th NFL season? I assume solid play. It is his first start since 2007 in Washington. That’s a long stretch between starts for a 38-year old. Do you remember what happened in 2007? The Redskins won four straight at the end of the season with Collins replacing the injured Jason Campbell. They went to the playoffs under Joe Gibbs.
Collins can be a band-aid. It will be up to coordinator Mike Martz to put Collins in the best position to succeed. It is my opinion running the ball with a goal of a balanced attack would be the best option.
With the offensive line still in mix-and-match mode due to injuries and performance, the Bears should be stubborn about running the ball.
The Panthers front seven is young and fast, particularly at linebacker. They have been stingy in four games against the run, allowing only 3.3 yards/carry with a long run of 39-yards and two rushing touchdowns.
In four games, opponents have dropped to throw 144 times, and run it 136 times on the Panthers. It is the balance I am talking about. The result has been four wins by the opposition. The Giants, Bucs, and Bengals all scored 20-points or more, while the Saints eked out a 16-14 victory last week.