Jay Cutler: He Is Who We Thought He Was
|Jay Cutler, the kinder, more diabetic version of Brett Farve.|
When the Bears traded for young quarterback Jay Cutler, the hope -- if not expectation -- was that Cutler would bring his high level of play to Chicago, giving the Bears their best quarterback since Sid Luckman. Well, just as quickly and suddenly as the Bears acquired Cutler, the enthusiasm about him turned to frustration.
In 2009, he led the NFL in interceptions, and so-called Bears fans and so-called football pundits began pronouncing the acquisition a failure. In truth, though, Cutler has been who we thought he'd be: A pretty good quarterback very much in the mold of Brett Farve (amazing accuracy and strength, good scrambling abilities, and plenty of turnovers).
If we consider 2009 a transition year, then we realize his passer rating (and his likely Approximate Value) reflect that very hiccup. By 2010, he has not only an improve offensive scheme (under Mike Martz), but also a significantly improved rapport with the receivers.
Jay Cutler's pattern of ~88.0 passer ratings indeed pauses only in 2009. Though the Bears lead the league in surrendering sacks this year, we can -- nay must -- take heart in Cutler's career best passer rating despite it.
At the same time, a near 90.0 passer rating and a ~12 AV makes Cutler pretty close to the Second Coming of Brett Farve. It's not Peyton Manning (Career ~95.0 rating, ~17 AV per year), but with a good-to-great defense, it's more than enough and precisely what the Chicago Bears need..