Jay Cutler again maintained both his and the offense’s composure in a game that went from blowout to iffy in the third quarter. He completed 20-of-30 passes for 159 yards, one touchdown and, most important, zero interceptions for the first time this season.
[GIF: Cutler throws his shoulder into Pittsburgh DB]
“Number one,” said coach Marc Trestman, “is we took care of the football. That was number one. We took care of it.”
Cutler directed the offense to scores the first three times the Bears had the ball and, when it mattered most, the next-to-last time he had it. That was a 74-yard drive that lasted nine plays, including a 13-yard scramble for a third-down conversion and a 41-yard completion to Brandon Marshall for another third-and-long conversion.
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“Jay is doing a really good job of understanding what coach [Marc] Trestman is trying to do,” Marshall said, marveling at Cutler’s handling of the avalanche of new offense material thrown at him. “I don’t know how he’s so successful right now. It’s tough.”
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The crucial drive culminated in a 17-yard pass to Earl Bennett, thrown where Bennett or no one was going to catch it. The pass came as the Pittsburgh Steelers had closed to 27-23 and had outscored the Bears 20-3 over the previous 29 minutes.
Cutler’s yardage and highlights were not the overall key. His 67-percent completion percentage resulted in positive plays in key situations and three drives of 50 yards or longer.
Moon's Grade: A