Cutler for MVP? The chatter's already started

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Cutler for MVP? The chatter's already started

With a huge acknowledging nod to the defense, the Bears are 27-10 in Jay Cutlers last 37 starts, which is predictably creating starts of its own, as in mutterings about Cutler as a possible MVP candidate.

Sports Illustrateds Peter King in todays Monday Morning Quarterback listed among things he liked in week 12:

h. Jay Cutler. If we define "value'' in "Most Valuable Player'' as someone whose loss would totally deflate and screw up his team, then Cutler has to be in the running for the award.

Not to be outdone, Eric Adelson over at Yahoo Sports posited that Cutler deserves serious consideration for the MVP award. (Eric and Peter appear to have just joined the program already in progress and might want to put on the Tennessee red zone and Houston reels just for balance.)

The bases for the awards are simply that the Bears would be have been abysmal without Cutler. Which may be a true testament to how bad Todd Collins and Caleb Hanie were and Jason Campbell was in one game, although Josh McCown was 1-1 in his two starts last season even being sacked seven times in Minnesota.

The problem with that thinking is that the Indianapolis Colts were 2-14 sans Peyton Manning last season. Does anyone really see the Atlanta Falcons at 10-1 with the other McCown (Luke) at quarterback? The Giants even in a Super Bowl discussion behind David Carr?

Not to dismiss the importance of what Cutler has done and is doing with the offense (although the passing offense did rank 30th in the NFL before Campbell ever took a snap). But with the paucity of quality quarterbacks in the NFL, rare is the team that doesnt spiral downward without its No. 1 quarterback. Theyre all borderline MVPs on their teams.

Rangers win riveting goaltending duel over Blackhawks in overtime

Rangers win riveting goaltending duel over Blackhawks in overtime

Antti Raanta stopped all 26 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season and Nick Holden netted the winner as the New York Rangers beat the Blackhawks 1-0 in overtime on Friday night.

The Blackhawks, playing without Jonathan Toews, Brent Seabrook and Corey Crawford, are now 1-2-1 in their last four games. Nevertheless, they remain atop the Western Conference with 38 points.

Scott Darling stopped 36 of 37 shots in the loss.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Two seasons ago Darling and Raanta battled for the Blackhawks’ backup spot. Friday marked their first head-to-head matchup, and it was stellar.

The Blackhawks thought they broke the scoreless tie six minutes into the third period, when Marian Hossa got one past Raanta. But the Rangers challenged for offside and officials agreed, nullifying the goal.

Blackhawks preparing for EPIX all-access look leading up to Winter Classic

Blackhawks preparing for EPIX all-access look leading up to Winter Classic

The 2017 Winter Classic featuring the Blackhawks and Blues is right around the corner.

Players from both sides already squared off in a game of NHL 17 to generate some hype into the game, but nothing compares to behind-the-scenes footage of the two teams leading up to it.

Beginning Dec. 16 at 9 p.m., EPIX will air a one-hour episode each week that provides an all-access look inside the lives of the Blackhawks and Blues, on and off the ice.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

The game will be on Jan. 2 at 12 p.m. on NBC, with the final episode airing Friday, Jan. 6.

Here's a two-minute preview involving the Blackhawks, who are labeled "A Good Bunch of Guys."