In the sixth season as the Chicago Bears offensive field general, Jay Cutler has exemplified the quarterback skill set to not only lead the Bears deep into the postseason, but to be a prominent quarterback in a league driven by elite gunslingers.
Looking around at the playoff contending teams in the NFL, they all possess one common piece: a consistently elite quarterback that makes plays in the most crucial of situations.
Although Cutler has struggled both in the postseason and to make the playoffs, which in partial has been due to a multitude of injuries throughout his Chicago career, he has demonstrated that his arm strength, pocket presence, accuracy, and even scrambling mobility are second to very few quarterbacks.
Last season, Cutler suffered a pair of lower body injuries that sidelined the former Vanderbilt standout for five games, ultimately resulting in the Bears wrapping up the 2014 campaign with an 8-8 record and missing the playoffs in Week 17 for back to back seasons.
A healthy Cutler for all 16 games is the only way that the Bears can contend for an NFC North division title and subsequently, would place Cutler in respectable consideration for the league’s Most Valuable Player.
The pieces are there for the Chicago. An established offensive line, the most talented receiving corps in Bears history, a top three NFL running back in Matt Forte, and a defense that while might not quite be as dominant as they used to be, have made the offseason acquisitions to obtain Pro-Bowl talent in Jared Allen and Lamarr Houston in addition to drafting Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller in the first round of the NFL Draft to eventually succeed Charles Tillman.
Offensively, Cutler is surrounded by an arsenal of playmakers including his rekindled connection with five-time Pro-Bowl wide out Brandon Marshall. Marshall, who entered the league in 2006 with Cutler in Denver, accumulated 33 percent of the passes caught in his first two years wearing the blue and orange. The two have become one of the NFL’s most dynamic quarterback-wide receiver tandem and with the addition of Alshon Jeffery’s miraculous play abilities, Martellus Bennett’s threat to haul passes in over the middle of the field, and the recent acquisition of veteran receiver Santonio Holmes lined up in the slot, Cutler can attack defenses at every level.
With the season nearing, the Bears have to feel confident in the offseason improvement of their 53-man roster. While injuries are a detrimental aspect of the game, they are unpredictable. For Cutler, this has been his experience in Chicago as injuries have sidelined the quarterback to halt the team’s momentum in the most untimely of situations.
Cutler is a field general, and while this Chicago Bears offensive attack may be stagnant without him, with him, they showcase a prolific offensive bombardment, one that has been long awaited in Chicago.