By Adam Hoge-
DETROIT (CBS) — General manager Phil Emery did everything he could this offseason to eliminate as many Jay Cutler excuses as possible.
They’ve been there and they’ve been legitimate. But they’re gone now and, good or bad, the results are on Jay.
For three weeks, those results were mostly good. Sunday in Detroit, they were bad.
“I think if I played better, this is a different ball game,” Cutler said afterward.
It’s an obvious statement, but a significant one nonetheless. He’s well aware of the weapons he has at his disposal and the offensive line is no longer the problem.
“I thought the offensive line battled all day long and did a great job, especially in the passing situations we were in,” Cutler said.
The protection wasn’t perfect, but it rarely is against Ndamukong Suh’s defensive front and it was “sufficient,” as head coach Marc Trestman put it after the game.
No, this one fell on the shoulders — more specifically the right arm and feet — of Jay Cutler.
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Four turnovers. Three interceptions. One very costly fumble.
Trestman gave Cutler a pass for the first interception as safety Louis Delmas made a great break on the ball and essentially ripped it out of Alshon Jeffery’s hands, but Delmas wasn’t looked off by Cutler and the ball was thrown into tight coverage.
There wasn’t any disagreement on the last two interceptions though.
“I was falling back on the one to (Brandon Marshall),” Cutler said. “I felt good about the one to Alshon, it just sailed on me. I’ll have to look at it and be careful with the ball. Both of them were open.”
They were open, but Cutler’s passes on both plays were some of the worst he’s had in a Bears uniform. The footwork on the ball intended for Marshall brought back flashbacks of Rex Grossman and the result was a floater that appeared to defy gravity in the air. Glover Quin pulled it down and returned it to the Bears’ two yard line. The Lions had scored on the play before and Stafford found Calvin Johnson one play later. Just like that — in three plays — a 10-9 Bears lead had turned into a 23-10 deficit.