Bears

Shepkowski: A Deeper Look At Cutler’s Clunkers

Jay Cutler. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Jay Cutler. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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By Nick Shepkowski-

(CBS) Same story, different day.

The Bears play their biggest rival and their first true “franchise quarterback” in the NFL’s modern era lays yet another golden egg.  Now in his fourth year as a Chicago Bear, Cutler now sits just 1-7 in his career against the Packers as he’s thrown 16 interceptions and just 8 touchdowns in those 8 games.

Last night’s flub ended with Cutler going just 11 of 27 while throwing 4 interceptions and accumulating a quarterbacking rating of just 28.8.  Woof.

The problem with Cutler’s awful performance wasn’t that he was seen screaming at J’Marcus Webb – legendary quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have done before and will the same thing to their teammates and coaches.

The problem with Jay Cutler’s clunker of a game is that it happens way too frequently, regardless of what’s around him.

Last night was the fifth time Cutler’s quarterback rating finished under 40 since he was traded to the Bears prior to the 2009 season; a period that includes 45 starts (2 in playoffs).   One in nine games isn’t bad, right?

Try this – in that same time Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan and Matt Schaub all haven’t had one game with a rating under 40.  Furthermore, Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers and even the often criticized Tony Romo and Michael Vick’s have had just one.  Matthew Stafford has had two in that time (often injured but both in rookie season) and Joe Flacco has put up under-40 duds four times (twice in the 2009 playoffs).

What about if you move the number up to 50, are some of these guys just barely escaping the horrendous numbers Cutler accumulates?

No.  It gets worse.

Since the 2009 season Peyton Manning, Brady, Brees, Roethlisberger, Rivers, and Schaub haven’t had an under-50 quarterback rating in a regular season game while both Brady and Roethlisberger each put up an under-50 effort in the AFC Playoffs over the past 3+ seasons.

Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan and Michael Vick have each had just one such outing since 2009 (Vick didn’t start in Philadelphia until 2010) and Eli Manning and Tony Romo have each had two such performances in that stretch (note – Romo only had 2 pass attempts in one of his).

Matt Stafford and Joe Flacco have had 6 such outings in that time but it should be noted that five of Stafford’s came in his rookie season while four of Flacco’s came in just his second year in the NFL.

Where does Cutler fall in?

Keep going.

Since Jay Cutler was traded to the Bears in 2009 he has had 9 games his quarterback rating has failed to reach 50.  That number is equal to how many under-50 rating games Peyton Manning (0), Tom Brady (1), Drew Brees (0), Ben Roethlisberger (1), Matt Ryan (1), Aaron Rodgers (1), Matt Schaub (1), Eli Manning (2) and Tony Romo (2) have combined to have.

Let that sink in for a second.

You can go ahead and place all the blame on the offensive line as they didn’t do much of anything to protect Cutler last night, you can place it on Brandon Marshall dropping a sure touchdown pass and you can place it on a game plan that didn’t run the ball enough early on.  All of those things are fine to do, but don’t let yourself dismiss #6 from his more than justified criticism.

Follow Nick Shepkowski on Twitter @Shep670 for all kinds of Bears stats and information throughout the season.