Tale of the tape: Cutler vs. Smith

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Tale of the tape: Cutler vs. Smith

It's unlikely Jay Cutler will play Monday night and there is still question whether San Francisco QB Alex Smith will be fully ready to go. Regardless, it's interesting to see how the two signal callers stack up against each other, statistically.

Smith has always been referred to as a game manager, a guy that doesn't blow you away, but takes care of the football.

Cutler, according to Bears' brass, is Mr. Can do-it-all.

So here's a look at the numbers:

Smith is the NFL's third-rated quarterback with a 104.1 passer rating, trailing only Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers respectively. Jay Cutler is 24th on the list with an 80.4 passer rating. Interestingly both rank near the bottom in pass attempts, Cutler is 28th and Smith is 31st.

Smith leads the league in completion percentage with 70 percent, and Cutler is near the bottom at 59.2 percent.

Smith has 13 touchdown passes and five interceptions, while Jay has tossed 12 scores and 10 picks.

The numbers don't mean Smith is a better quarterback than Cutler, but he has been more efficient in his offense despite being crticized for the way he plays. What it really shows is that the Bears passing game has a long ways to go before they can be considered a top offensive attack.

This week it may be Jason Campbell leading the charge, but once Cutler returns, Mike Tice needs to find a way to jump start the Bears passing game, even if it's a controlled efficient style similar to the 49ers' approach.

Preps recruiting: Illini add another 2017 piece

Preps recruiting: Illini add another 2017 piece

Illinois and head coach Lovie Smith added another piece to the Fighting Illini Class of 2017 late last night when Prospect two-star ranked offensive tackle Alex Palczewski (6-foot-6, 270 pounds) gave Illinois his verbal commitment.

"I felt extremely comfortable at Illinois," Palczewski told Orange and Blue News publisher Doug Buschon last night. "I know with Coach Lovie Smith there, that program is going to go sky high. We're going to win."

Palczewski, who flew under most recruiting radar screens missed his entire 2015 junior season because of an injury is now the 20th known verbal commitment in the Illinois Class of 2017 and the ninth known in-state commitment. 

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