Zimmerman: Jay Cutler is an embarrasment

Oct. 26, 2010, 1:31 a.m.

Chicago Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler has left me feeling like a heroin addict. Watching his psychotic play is detrimental to my health, yet I keep investing in the habit, going as far as drafting not one, not two, but three of his targets to my fantasy team.

But I’ve finally curbed my addiction. I’ve let go of the memories of Cutler as a young quarterback in Denver, shredding defenses with his cannon arm and willingness to thread the ball into the tightest of spaces. I’ve stopped comparing him to a young Brett Favre, which, believe it or not, was once a compliment.

This is because Jay Cutler is really, really bad. He is literally throwing the Bears’ season into a death spiral. His numbers against the Redskins on Sunday, at home, speak for themselves.

They were: 26-40, for 281 yards and one touchdown. Oh, and four interceptions, one of which was run back for a 92-yard touchdown. He should have had five, but he threw one pass so errantly that it smacked a safety square in the helmet and was luckily caught by one of his own linemen.

What’s worse is that he made Washington cornerback DeAngelo Hall, a career underachiever, look like the Messiah. Hall was responsible for all four of Cutler’s interceptions. One, maybe two interceptions were legitimately good reads by Hall. The other two were gift-wrapped.

When are we going to finally accept that the guy who threw 26 interceptions last year actually sucks? Since he became a Bear at the start of last season, the excuses for his abysmal play have been abundant. I bought the “he doesn’t have chemistry with his receivers yet” argument last season. I mean, could we really get on a guy whose most talented receiver went to Abilene Christian? But now, there aren’t any rational explanations.

“He’s in Mike Martz’s system. When you throw the ball 40 times you’re bound to make mistakes!”

Martz may be the ballsiest, most pass-happy offensive coordinator in the league, and his system is a little wild, but he encourages efficiency and truckloads of scoring. Cutler only provides the latter, and it comes in the form of points for the opposing team.

“Playing with reckless abandon is what sets him apart from other quarterbacks. He wins games by taking chances. What a risk taker!”

Yeah, Cutler is a risk taker, but so was Tiger Woods. It’s not always a good thing. What actually separates him from other quarterbacks is his ability to recognize double coverage and still conclude that it is a good idea to throw to his undersized receiver.

Bears fans have to be dumbfounded and ecstatic when they wake up and see that their team still has a winning record. At 4-3, Chicago is tied for first place in what was expected to be a challenging NFC North. Two of those four wins came over Carolina and Detroit, but they are wins nonetheless.

Still, Cutler is posting a passer rating of 88.5, which is hovering right around his career average of 83.9. So a guy throws one pick for every touchdown and he’s still above his career average. Can you possibly believe that he still has star potential?

I don’t. If I did, I wouldn’t dedicate an entire writing space to one player on a team with little meaning to me. But after watching him perform on Sunday, I can conclude that he is responsible for the single worst quarterbacking performance that I have ever witnessed. (For those keeping score, I attend a Pac-10 school. I have seen Cal’s Kevin Riley and UCLA’s Kevin Prince play quarterback. This honor means that Cutler played worse than two of the most dreadful college players in the country. Yikes.)

Cutler’s job should be safe for the remainder of the season considering just how awful the Bears’ backups are, but unless something drastically changes, I am led to believe that NFL squads will drop the “he was picked 11th in the draft, so he must be good!” mentality.

If not, then four-interception games will continue to plague the League and DeAngelo Hall will continue to believe that he can walk on water.

Nobody wants that.

If you have Jay Cutler on your fantasy team, Zach Zimmerman may be interested in making a trade. Send him an offer at [email protected].

Login or create an account

Apply to The Daily’s High School Winter Program

Applications Due Soon