A lot was made of all of the assets that the Bears gave up to get Jay Cutler. There was even people, who not too long ago, would rather have Kyle Orton leading the team.
But, just like every other quarterback in the NFL, Cutler receives more scrutiny with the more he wins he gets. The Monday night win over the Vikings, that clinched the NFC North, was a big step in Cutler’s career, and now he must focus on the next step.
“Well it was [a big step], and it’s been a good year for him,” NFL Hall of Famer, Troy Aikman said on the Mully and Hanley Show. “It’s been a great year for the Bears.”
LISTEN: Troy Aikman On the Mully And Hanley Show
We’ve seen Cutler grow from the 26 interception quarterback last season, to the efficient and winning quarterback of this season. But Cutler won’t be able to rest on his accomplishments for very long, because he now has another step to reach.
“With each game that you win, and with the more success that you have,” Aikman said. “Then the more scrutinized you become. Or in some ways, the less you’ve achieved.”
“And what I mean by that is, until you get to the post season, people are initially saying ‘well you can’t win and you can’t get your team to the playoffs’.”
But once you do, unless you can win it all, you become a quarterback who can’t win the big game.
“The pressure and the scrutiny continue to mount,” Aikman said. “And it’s no different, certainly, for Jay Cutler and what was given up to get him to Chicago. This was the first step. The first reason they brought him in was to get them to the postseason play and to give them a chance to win, and win big.”
And that’s exactly what the Bears will have the opportunity to do, once the playoffs start.