The only mistake Jay Cutler may have made against the Packers on Sunday is that he did not win the game. Cutler, who was playing for the final time under his current contract with the Bears, went 15-of-24 for 226 yards and two touchdowns in a 33-28 loss to Green Bay.
“He played great,” Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk said after Green Bay clinched the NFC North for the third straight season. “It didn’t look to me that he made any mistakes. He didn’t do anything wrong. He seemed to be pretty on fire and we couldn’t get to him as much as we would like.”
Despite playing in only 11 games this season, Cutler had a career-high 89.2 passer rating, an improvement Hawk and the Packers defense certainly noticed.
“This is a very explosive offense,” Hawk said of the Bears. “Everywhere you look, they have weapons."
Hawk pointed out that Cutler, who threw an interception on a Hail Mary attempt on the final play of the game, and Bears running back Matt Forte have both had stellar seasons in large part because of the guys blocking up front.
"Their offensive line play is where it starts," Hawk said. “When you team up an offensive line like that with the weapons they have on the outside, it’s tough to stop it.”
Although the Bears are definitely gaining ground on the Packers, the NFC North is still owned by Green Bay, just as it has been for the previous three seasons.
So, is it ironic to Hawk that the Packers put on division championship hats and T-shirts in the same guest locker room at Soldier Field that they celebrated in following a Week 15 NFC North clinching win a year earlier?
“I guess, yeah we’ve had some success here, so it feels good," Hawk said. "Hopefully some of that residual energy we kind of grabbed onto today.”