Jay Cutler has faced the New York Giants just once but it was memorable, for all the worst possible reasons. The only question is whether Cutler remembers much of the encounter, or whether he still wakes up at night screaming for J’Marcus Webb to block Justin Tuck.
That was a Sunday night in what was to be a very successful 2010 Bears season and the Giants sacked Cutler nine times in the first half of a bizarre game that would end badly for the Bears. Cutler missed the second half, having gone off the field at one point toward the Giants’ sideline owing to the effects of a concussion that would take him out for the second half and the following game.
With Mike Martz operating a scheme that insisted on seven-step drops whether the Bears could block for them or not, Cutler was sacked 19 times over less than three games, the most violent 10 quarters of Cutler’s NFL career – losses to the Giants, Seattle and Washington.
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Cutler recovered from the Giants’ beating but only Cutler, Roberto Garza and Matt Forte are still starting for the Bears and Garza at center instead of guard. Some of the Giants pass rushers involved that night – Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul, Linval Joseph – are still in place.
“Good team,” Cutler said. “It is kind of surprising they haven’t won a game. A lot of veteran guys, a lot of guys who have been in the league a long time.
“They’ve been successful. Coach [Tom] Coughlin, his track record speaks for itself. Eli, some guys on the defense have been on some very winning teams. We can’t overlook them by any means. We’ve got to prepare for these guys.”
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But the New York pass-defense is 22nd and allowing 269 yards per game. More to the point of Cutler’s health, the Giants have managed just five total sacks; they had that many in the first 20 minutes of the 2010 game.
Opposing quarterbacks are averaging 95.9 for a passer rating against the Giants (the Bears are allowing an average of 95.1).