The New Primetime

Forget Deion Sanders. A current player has taken over the title of “Primetime”. Unfortunately for this player, it’s for all the wrong reasons.

Jay Cutler has played in three primetime games so far for the Chicago Bears, and each start has been forgettable for the man who was supposed to be Chicago’s football saviour. It all began in Week One, when the Bears faced off against NFC North rival Green Bay at Lambeau Field. Cutler, in his Chicago debut, tossed four interceptions to a new-look Packers defence, and the Bears fell 21-15. Skip ahead to Week Six, and Cutler was at it again, this time tossing two picks at the Georgia Dome as the Bears fell 21-14 to the Atlanta Falcons. And then there was last night. On the NFL’s first Thursday-nighter of the year, Cutler throws five interceptions, and the Bears can’t even muster a touchdown in a 10-6 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

If you ask anyone watching those games, the Bears were the better team on the field. Not to say they were perfect, but Chicago could and should have come away with those wins. In those three games, Cutler has thrown three touchdowns and 11 interceptions. That ratio won’t even cut it in Cleveland. In Chicago’s non-primetime games, Cutler has 11 TD’s and six interceptions – three of which came trying to play catch-up against the Bengals in Week Seven.

In a discussion last night with some friends, I was asked if I’d rather have Kyle Orton at the helm, or Jay Cutler. It took me less than a second to answer: Cutler. The difference is simple. Jay Cutler can win you games, and he can lose you games (see Exhibit C – Week Ten vs. the 49ers). Kyle Orton can play games. He doesn’t win a game on his own, he doesn’t lose one for you – he just plays.

Any fan of the Chicago Bears has every right to be livid after watching last night’s game. Cutler tried to force the ball into too many dicey areas, and he was burned (picked off by a nose tackle? You’ve got to be kidding me). But before they go calling for General Manager Jerry Angelo’s head for making the move to get Cutler, consider watching the Denver Broncos passing attack. If Kyle Orton throws a ball over 20 yards, I’ll be amazed.

Chicago still has two more primetime games to go – next week versus Philadelphia Sunday night, and Week 16 versus Minnesota for the Monday nighter. For his sake, I hope Jay Cutler is able to handle himself a little better and cut down on the INT’s. If not, we may be looking at the NFL record holder for most interceptions in a season.

TWO POINT CONVERSION

– I don’t care if you hate both teams with a passion – watch the Bengals at Steelers Sunday afternoon. It will be the tough AFC North matchup the Ravens were supposed to give the Bengals last week

– ESPN’s John Clayton took a real chance when he predicted his Super Bowl match up earlier this week: New Orleans vs. Indianapolis. Wow, thanks for that John. Anyone can take the two undefeated teams and schedule them for the big game. Me? Right now I like the Steelers to play the Vikings

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