With an all-important game on the horizon in Week 17, the Chicago Bears have decided to stick with struggling quarterback Jay Cutler under center. Head coach Marc Trestman made the decision early in the week to avoid any controversy. But there are surely some Bears fans who will want Josh McCown at quarterback after Cutler’s last two weeks.
Since returning from an injured ankle, Cutler has looked up and down at best in the past two weeks. He has four touchdowns and three interceptions in the last two games, and has completed 44 of 66 passes for 487 yards. For some stretches of those two games, Culter has looked solid, but in others he’s looked completely lost.
On Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles the 30-year-old veteran wasn’t great. The Bears lost 54-11 and Cutler didn’t help the team much, throwing an interception and just one touchdown. He also took seven sacks and his interception was a brutal pick-six to Brandon Boykin against a soft zone. He was removed in favor of McCown after that throw.
The problem for Cutler is that his quarterback rating is 88.1 so far this season and McCown’s is 109.0, with 13 touchdowns and just one interception.
Trestman and the Bears have clearly hitched their wagon to Cutler, who will be a free agent after the season. In all likelihood, Cutler will be given the franchise tag this offseason, though he’ll want a long-term, big-money commitment. After a few mediocre years in Chicago, that’s not going to happen.
The Bears will almost certainly give Cutler another year to audition under Trestman after an injury-riddled campaign in 2013.
But will Trestman face criticism for going with Cutler in a winner-take-all matchup for the NFC North title against the Green Bay Packers in Week 17? If the Bears lose, then yes, he most certainly will.