If you think you are seeing a better, smarter Jay Cutler, you are. After going back and watching each game this season, the Bears QB is making the decisions that are keeping his team in games. Take away the interceptions against the Lions and Vikings, and the majority of Cutler's decisions are solid.
Marc Trestman wants the ball out of his hands quickly and Cutler is responding. It's clear watching the tape that he's sped up the clock in his head. In the Giants game he threw a ball away in the second quarter when he was pressured and didn't immediately see anyone open. In the third quarter, he found Matt Forte on an outlet pass, and earlier in the game he felt pressure and scrambled for a positive gain. The old Cutler may have taken more risky chances.
The good decisions are showing in Cutler's efficiency. He's completing 65.9 percent of his passes because he's taking what's given to him. His ball placements have been excellent too. In the first quarter of the Giants game, he threw Brandon Marshall away from the coverage and opens him up by the throw. A couple minutes later he dumped the ball off to Tony Fiammetta. Cutler is no longer looking for the big play all the time, but the play that will keep drives alive.
Problem number one for the Bears is the defensive line. They generated little, if any pressure on Eli Manning. There was a play in the second quarter when Manning hit Rueben Randle for a touchdown. The Bears had David Bass, Landon Cohen, Zach Minter and Julius Peppers in the game, but they didn't get any push. The lack of pass rush will likely be a problem all season because of the Bears' injury problems.
We'll be talking about all of these topics and more Friday night on Playbook with Jim Miller at 10:30 p.m. Miller will share his thoughts and you can get a bird's eye view of exactly what's happening on the field each week.