Cutler sharp in return from concussion

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Cutler sharp in return from concussion

Wide receiver Brandon Marshall saw the drive in Jay Cutler earlier this week.
He was fiery, his sense of urgency the most Ive seen all year, Marshall said of the Bears starting quarterback. His ball had a lot of zip on it all week. He wanted it perfect in practice. He was ready to go, he was fired up.
Indeed, after missing last week with a concussion, Cuter was showing the moxie. His passes were sharp, his release quicker as the game continued. And then there was that one big hit, that lick after which you waited to see how long it would take Cutler to get up.
Fortunately, it wasnt long.
And after passing the necessary tests off the field entering Sundays game, Cutler passed them all on it, too, completing 23 of 31 passes for 188 yards and a touchdown in the Bears 28-10 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
On a day when the Bears needed the best from their quarterback, they got it. Cutler got protection from his offensive line, which took some big injury hits, adjusted when necessary and got the Bears up early. Save one interception a high pass off Brandon Marshalls fingertips that Minnesota cornerback Antoine Winfield caught Cutler had a strong outing.
He does a great job of controlling the clock, putting us in the right situations, Bears tackle Jonathan Scott said. He made some great audibles when we saw some interesting defensive fronts. I cant say enough. It was just a great performance.
Cutler had to take one big hit on the day, when Minnesotas Jared Allen leveled him from behind near the end of the first half. But Cutler got up without issue. The quarterback had to pass the necessary protocol to be cleared for Sundays game, but Cutler said he wasnt worried.
I felt confident about it, said Cutler, whos now 27-10 in his last 37 starts with the Bears. It was just a matter of going through the motions and talking to the doctors. I had a good week of practice. Guys really had to dial in to mentally prepare.
So did Cutler, which apparently wasnt a problem. It helped that the Bears had a solid run game to compliment, and take pressure off, Cutler. And even on the run...well, Cutlers usually fine there, too.
We had (Cutler) off his mark a few times and he was running around and Jay can make some throws when hes scrambling, Allen said. You just have to get him on the ground.
Fortunately for the Bears, Cutler wasnt on the ground much. He was too busy frustrating the Vikings.
Every team doesnt have a guy like we do at quarterback, Bears coach Lovie Smith said. When plays break down, weve got a guy who can scramble and make a play, can complete any throw you ask him to. And its just the confidence that comes with having your guy, your quarterback. No matter how its looking, guys have confidence that with Jay leading us, we can come back.

Fast Break Morning Update: Blackhawks give up season-high seven goals

Fast Break Morning Update: Blackhawks give up season-high seven goals

Here are some of Saturday's top stories in Chicago sports:

Five Things to Watch: Bulls visit Bucks in final regular season meeting on CSN

Jonathan Marchessault's hat trick leads Panthers rout of Blackhawks

Javier Baez won’t change his style around Cubs after World Baseball Classic: ‘We’re not showing anybody up’

White Sox: Carlos Rodon feels reassured after clean MRI

Marian Hossa named Blackhawks' nominee for 2017 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

Brett Anderson’s personality mixing well with Cubs: ‘I don’t hate anybody yet’

Former Bulls center Joakim Noah suspended 20 games for violating NBA's anti-drug policy

Rule 5 pick Dylan Covey takes advantage of showcase as White Sox down Indians

Joe Maddon breaks down the Matt Szczur vs. Tommy La Stella decision for Cubs

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Illinois OLB Dawuane Smoot

Five Things to Watch: Bulls visit Bucks in final regular season meeting on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Bulls visit Bucks in final regular season meeting on CSN

Watch as the Bulls take on the Toronto Raptors tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Bulls Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Bulls.

Five Things to Watch:

1. Can the Bulls get one on the Bucks? The Bulls are 0-3 against the Bucks so far this season and it hasn't been pretty. The Bucks have won the previous three meetings all by double digits and by an average of 19 points. The youth and athleticism of the Bucks has been a tough matchup for the Bulls so far.

2. Containing Giannis. There may be no stopping Giannis Antetokounmpo, but the Bulls can at least try to contain him. Antetokounmpo is averaging 23 points and nearly nine rebounds per game. In three games against the Bulls this year he has averaged 29 points, 10 rebounds and 7.3 assists per contest. If the Bulls are to stay in the game, they will need to keep him to numbers lower than that.

3. Playoff implications. The Bulls playoff hopes are still alive with nine games remaining, but things are looking a bit bleak. The Bulls are a game and a half out of the eighth playoff spot, but only 3.5 games behind two teams tied for the No. 5 seed, the Bucks and the Atlanta Hawks. The Bucks have won three in a row to improve their position.

4. Mirotic on a roll. Streaky play is nothing new to Nikola Mirotic, but he's on a good run currently. After scoring a season-high 28 points on Wednesday against the Pistons, Mirotic followed that up with 15 points against the 76ers. Since missing three straight games earlier this month, Mirotic has scored in double figures in five of the last seven games and is averaging 15.6 points during that stretch.

5. Beginning of a tough stretch. The Bulls' playoff hopes could be made or broken in the next three games. After taking on the Bucks, which occupy a playoff spot, the Bulls host two more Eastern Conference playoff teams in Cleveland and Atlanta. The Bulls need to string some wins together and this is not an easy stretch to do so against.

- Check out the latest stats and standings to make sure you're ready for action

- Channel Finder: Make sure you know where to watch

- NBC Sports App FAQ: All your questions answered

- Latest on the Bulls: All of the most recent news and notes

- See what Bulls fans are talking about before, during and after the game with Bulls Pulse