Jay Cutler executed a by-design conservative game plan extremely effectively – zero turnovers for the first time this season – and delivered individual leadership moments that left teammates very impressed.
Cutler completed 22 of 33 passes for 211 yards, highlighted by a 21-yard touchdown to Alshon Jeffery shortly before halftime, which was an emotional turning point, topped only by his four-yard touchdown run to put the Bears ahead 20-13 midway through the fourth quarter.
Cutler lowered his head and went directly into Minnesota safety Harrison Smith, who met him at the goal line but could not prevent the score. “That’s what you want from a quarterback,” Jeffery said. “He played his [butt] off. In the end he gave it up for the team. He put it all on the line and scored the touchdown.”
Cutler appeared to be slightly woozy after the impact, but, “Do I remember it?” Cutler said, smiling. “Yeah, I remember it. Me on ‘22’ [Harrison]. I don’t know; he might’ve won that one… .
“I instantly regretted it. I’m thinking the shortest distance is a straight line. I knew the situation and wanted to get a score. It was me on him and ultimately we got the touchdown so I can’t regret it too much.”
[SHOP BEARS: Get your Bears gear right here]
The effort was not lost on teammates: “Another ballsy effort by Jay,” said tackle Kyle Long. “Tremendous job finishing there at the goal line. Speaks to the kind of person he is and the kind of player he is."
Cutler’s fundamentals cut into some production opportunities. Throwing off his back foot caused a second-quarter underthrow of a wide-open Marquess Wilson, for example.
But his overall was solid, generally mistake-free and had the Bears in position to win late in the fourth quarter.
Moon's Grade: A-