When discussing Jay Cutler's seasons thus far, it's impossible to pin down which Cutler is the quarterback of the Bears. Is he the man who led the team to a win over Dallas with three touchdowns, or the player who threw four interceptions against the Redskins?
His stats don't tell the full story. Despite being sacked 27 times and throwing seven picks, he's never fallen in yards production. In fact, his 1,483 yards are good enough to rank him in the top half of the league, even though he missed six quarters of play after sustaining a concussion against the Giants. His quarterback rating, which at one point topped 120, has fallen to 84.1.
Cutler's best game was unquestionably the 27-20 win at Dallas. He was perfectly in sync with the offense that day. The offensive line allowed only one sack, and Cutler went 21-29 for 277 yards. With it being just the second game of the season, Bears fans were excited about the team's prospects.
That joy and optimism was crushed two weeks later in a 17-3 loss in New York. The Giants sacked Cutler nine times in the first half, injured him and knocked him out of the game after the first half. Before he left, he threw one interception and fumbled the ball three times. That game and the concussion have had a lasting effect on Cutler, as he has not been the same in the two games he's played since the injury.
Still, the most frustrating part of Cutler has not been his turnovers or sacks. It's been his attitude. It's not that he has to be cheery and excited to meet with the media, but his surliness has turned into a stubbornness that will do nothing for the Bears. He, along with offensive coordinator and good pal Mike Martz, have held onto game plans that just aren't working. That attitude will not only keep the Bears from the playoffs, it will keep Cutler in danger as he doesn't deviate from a game plan that has gotten him sacked 27 times.
The attitude also does not inspire confidence in Cutler as the long-term quarterback for the Bears. The greatest athletes are ones who can admit their mistakes, learn from them and move on. If Cutler doesn't learn to do that, he'll be one more bust of a quarterback in a city that hasn't had a great signal caller since before the advent of color television.