By Dan Durkin
(CBS) After three efficient performances, quarterback Jay Cutler took a step back in the Bears first loss of the 2013 season.
Here’s my rapid reaction to the Bears 40-32 meltdown in Motown.
In the Bears three wins, Cutler (27/47, 317 yards, 2 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 65.6 quarterback rating) limited his negative plays to 3 interceptions and 1 fumble. Those totals were matched in today’s game alone. Cutler’s early interceptions completely derailed the Bears offensive game plan.
From the outset, Cutler’s mechanics and decision-making were off. His footwork was sloppy, frequently throwing off his back foot which led to passes sailing on him, and his delayed decision-making led to forced throws into coverage. Cutler’s turnovers directly led to 17 Lions points.
Cutler’s first interception came on an excellent play by Lions safety Louis Delmas. Lions cornerback Rashean Mathis left the game the play before and was replaced by rookie Darius Slay. Anticipating Cutler to target Slay, Delmas read Cutler’s eyes, jumping a dig route to Alshon Jeffery (5 receptions, 107 yards, 1 touchdown).
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The Bears took some pressure off of Cutler on their ensuing drive going 80 yards on two running plays, highlighted by Matt Forte’s (117 total yards, 1 rushing touchdown) 53-yard touchdown run. However, Cutler never fully rebounded. His second interception came on an underthrown ball to Brandon Marshall (7 receptions, 79 yards), and his third was on an overthrown ball to Jeffery. It just wasn’t Jay’s day.
Heading into today’s game the Bears ranked ninth in third down efficiency, a statistic that’s certain to change after today’s performance. They didn’t convert a third down (1-13 on the day) until there were :47 seconds left in the game. It’s impossible to score points when your offense can’t sustain drives.