15 on 6: Cutler Making All the Right Moves

15 on 6: Cutler Making All the Right Moves

Sunday, September 27th

Two weeks in a row Jay Cutler has been carving up defenses with his decision making. When you go 21 for 27 you are working the neurotransmitters pretty hard to diagnose the right guy to deliver the ball. If Jay does not process all the information from his defensive keys, he still has the ability to adjust the velocity of his throw when he knows it is going to get harry.

Two glaring examples of Jay processing all the information happened in the first half of the victory over the Seahawks. First, the first quarter slant route to Bennett. Jay forced Earl with his throw to throttle in the hole when he diagnosed the safety was rotating weak on the snap of the ball. Earl Bennett is a young player. He has to see the safety also and should have geared down on his route. Jay threw it behind him purposely as to not get him blown up. It may have looked like an acrobatic catch and it was by Bennett, but he can make it easier on himself next time.

Secondly, the TD pass to Greg Olsen on the 4th and goal Bootleg right before the half. The Bears were stuffed on third and goal in the run game. Offensive coordinator Ron Turner gave Jay the option between two plays. Jay chose the Naked Bootleg during their sideline meeting. Ron's decision to leave it up to Jay signifies he does not want to call a play in crucial situations that his QB does not feel comfortable in executing.

Why call it if the QB does not have confidence in it? It is a hard sell to the guys in the huddle as a QB if you do not even believe in the play call coming from the sideline when the game is at stake. All Jay did was beautifully dissect, with his presnap read, that safety Deon Grant was the end man on the line of scrimmage. The play is called "Naked Bootleg" for a reason. You as the QB are responsible for the end man as he always will be unblocked. You are coming out of your fake "naked or exposed" so to speak if you are not ready for that man.

Jay knew he was coming and came out of his fake with a deeper drop in order to negotiate the blitzer enough to get the ball off. That was text book and a huge play for the Bears to go in at halftime with a score.

Jay is settling into the offense nicely and should be looking forward to a good game against the Lions in Week 4.

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Five Things from Blackhawks-Canucks: Corey Crawford rebounds

Five Things from Blackhawks-Canucks: Corey Crawford rebounds

The Blackhawks’ starts have been all over the map this season but their finishes have usually been strong. That was the case again on Sunday night as the Blackhawks took a lead, lost a lead and regained a lead for good in their 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

This one featured a little bit of everything. So let’s just get to the Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ victory over Vancouver.

1. Jonathan Toews breaks through. If the Blackhawks captain’s confidence was a little shaken with his lack of scoring this season, it should’ve gotten a boost with his Sunday outing. Toews’ goal and three assists were as big for him as they were the Blackhawks, who needed every bit of it late against the Canucks. In his last 12 games Toews has three goals and eight assists. He’s getting there. Said coach Joel Quenneville, “it seems like he was around the puck way more and when he does that, usually good things happen.”

2. Great start. This hasn’t been written very often but it was more than evident on Sunday night. If this wasn’t the Blackhawks’ best opening period of the season it was pretty close, as they broke out to a 2-0 lead against the Canucks. The Blackhawks, outside of a 3 ½-minute sequence without a shot on goal, were tenacious and ready to shoot, taking an 18-9 shots-on-goal edge in that first.

3. Corey Crawford rebounds. Quenneville considered Scott Darling for this game, an understandable thought with Darling coming off a 30-stop shutout. But he wanted Crawford to get back to where he was prior to his appendectomy, and Crawford took a step in that direction on Sunday night. In stopping 25 of 27 shots Crawford got his 18th victory of the season and 200th of his career. Quenneville said Crawford “looked like he was in control.”

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4. Michal Kempny’s tough stretch. When Kempny has been good this season he’s been very good. When he’s been bad... The defenseman was in the penalty box when the Canucks scored their first goal and he was beaten by Bo Horvat on the Canucks’ second goal. Kempny didn’t play the final 14 minutes of the game. Quenneville, who liked what Kempny brought on the team’s road trip, said Kempny just has to work through some things. “Coverage with awareness and knowing sometimes it’s man coverage, sometimes it’s playing the puck and clearing the loose stuff,” Quenneville said. “Defenseman is a tough position as you’re growing and learning it, but the more you play the better you play and I still think he’s making progress.”

5. Brian Campbell gets to keep No. 500 this time. Campbell thought he had his 500th point against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night but it was taken away. Well he got it back on Sunday night, setting up Richard Panik’s 11th goal of the season in the first period.