Bears

Brandon Marshall says Jay Cutler was a bad QB who lacked leadership

Brandon Marshall says Jay Cutler was a bad QB who lacked leadership

On a morning when Bears fans are balancing excitement about a Week 2 win over the Broncos with concerns for starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, former Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall appeared on ESPN's First Take and blasted Chicago's previous swing at a franchise passer.

Jay Cutler, who played eight seasons with the Bears and finished his tenure with the team as the franchise record holder in almost every major passing category, ended his time in Chicago with a 51-51 record. He never quite became the franchise savior he was supposed to be. Marshall offered up some reasons why.

"I had to be the company guy with Jay Cutler," Marshall said in response to Stephen A. Smith. "Now I can talk real, Jay Cutler was bad."

Not exactly what Bears fans expected to hear on a victory Monday.

"He can make every throw, he's one of the smartest guys I've ever been around," Marshall said. "But it comes down to this heart right here, and leadership. Galvanizing the team."

Marshall provided examples of what made Cutler frustrating, citing missed throws in practice that led to Cutler blaming his receivers. Marshall said other quarterbacks he played with, like Eli Manning and Russell Wilson, would shoulder the responsibility of similarly failed plays.

He even added that he'd run through a wall for Ryan Fitzpatrick, whom he played with during his time as a Jet. It's pretty clear he wouldn't do that for Cutler.

Marshall's characterization of Cutler shouldn't come as much of a surprise. The shoulder-shrugging gunslinger was hardly ever praised for his passion or leadership skills, and that's probably why he never reached his fullest potential as an NFL quarterback.

It'll be interesting to see if Cutler replies to Marshall's comments. It's more likely, however, that he just won't care.

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Controversial calls played a large part in the Detroit Lions NFC North loss on Monday night

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USA TODAY

Controversial calls played a large part in the Detroit Lions NFC North loss on Monday night

The Green Bay Packers managed to pull off a dramatic comeback victory on Monday night, defeating the Detroit Lions 23-22 on a last-second field goal from Mason Crosby. But after the game, it wasn't Aaron Rodgers usual clutch ways that people were talking about, it was the officiating crew, who had two controversial hands to the face penalty calls against the Lions that all but killed any momentum they had going. 

As you can see in the clip above, both hands to the face calls seemed questionable at best, and downright ludicrous at worst. What makes the calls so tough is the timing. The first hands to the face penalty on Lions DE Trey Flowers came after he sacked Rodgers on third-and-10 and the penalty both took away the sack and provided the Pack with an automatic first down. Later in the drive, Rodgers dropped in a great 35-yard touchdown pass to bring Green Bay within two points 

The second questionable hands to the face call came on third-and-4 and it was the most costly call of the game. The Packers received another automatic first down and ran down the clock—Detroit was out of timeouts—to set up the eventual game-winning, walk-off field goal from Crosby. 

And it didn't take long for many people, everyone from former NFL greats to NFL reporters, to chime in on social media with their thoughts on the officiating that seemingly cost Detroit a crucial win. 

With the Green Bay win, the Lions moved to last-place in the NFC North, while the Bears now sit 2.5 games back of first place heading into their Week 7 matchup against the New Orleans Saints.

NFC North Standings: Bears 2.5 games behind Packers entering Week 7

NFC North Standings: Bears 2.5 games behind Packers entering Week 7

The Green Bay Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers pulled off another incredible (or maybe controversial) victory over the Detroit Lions in Monday night's NFC North slugfest, 23-22, to advance to 5-1 and in sole possession of first place in the NFC North.

It was the worst possible outcome for the Chicago Bears, who could've used a little help from the Lions to keep pace with Green Bay entering Week 7.

Instead, the Bears (3-2) are now 2.5 games behind the Packers ahead of their showdown with the New Orleans Saints Sunday at Soldier Field.

It could be worse for Chicago. Detroit's loss drops their record to 2-2-1 on the season and moves them into the division's cellar. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Vikings had arguably their strongest showing of the season in their 38-20 victory over the Eagles and improved to 4-2 on the year. Their four wins slot them ahead of the Bears for second place in the North even though Chicago currently owns the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Here are the NFC North standings heading into Week 7:

1) Packers (5-1)
2) Vikings (4-2)
3) Bears (3-2)
4) Lions (2-2-1)