Bears Grades: Cutler starts off strong, but Matthews pick stung


Bears Grades: Cutler starts off strong, but Matthews pick stung

For most of the first 56 minutes of the Green Bay game, Jay Cutler was the epitome of efficient, just as coordinator Adam Gase had intended him and the offense to be. Cutler was out-stat’ed by Aaron Rodgers throughout the game, yet because of keeping the offense moving, the Bears led at halftime and trailed by just one after three quarters.

[MORE GRADES: Bears running backs]

As important as the score, Cutler had the confidence and added to the confidence of his teammates. "Jay was lights out,” said tackle Kyle Long. “You can't ask for a more gritty performance by Jay. Getting out of the pocket, making plays with this legs and keeping the ball away from the defense… .

"Jay is aces. That's how he's been, that's how he is.”

Cutler finished with a modest 18 of 36 for 225 yards, a touchdown and an interception, all for a sub-standard passer rating of 67.5, his third-lowest in a complete game over the past three seasons and in fact right at his career average (67.1) for the 12 Green Bay games in his career. Unfortunately that is part of why he is 1-11 for his career against the Packers.

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“I thought Jay did a real good job,” coach John Fox said. “His pocket awareness – he had a couple of scrambles in there that I thought were heads-up plays.”

The interception by Clay Matthews was devastating but more the result of a great trailing play by the Green Bay linebacker. It was still one more turnover than the Bears could afford and the overall did not qualify as a top performance, just one with a different, more in-command feel that so many of Cutler’s in the past, particularly against Green Bay.

Moon's Grade: C-

Bears logo ranked in bottom five of NFL in recent fan poll

USA Today

Bears logo ranked in bottom five of NFL in recent fan poll

The Chicago Bears logo has withstood the test of time. In a sports era full of uniform changes, the Bears have maintained the classic orange 'C' for most of their nearly 100 years in Chicago.

Unfortunately, tradition doesn't equate to popularity.

Chicago's logo ranked 28th in the NFL, according to a recent poll of nearly 1,500 football fans. Only the Redskins (29), Bengals (30), Jets (31) and Browns (32) were worse.

I’m not sure how I feel about the underbite on the “C.” I can see how this would be a polarizing feature of this logo. I wish to an extent that it met up more evenly. I think they could have had the bottom meet up in a more even fashion and still maintained the sharpness, of the “C,” which I like. I don’t mind the point [ON THE BACK SIDE OF THE “C”], without the point it would be super boring. The point actually does add something from a design standpoint that makes it stand out.

Bears fans will take exception with the results. Wins have been hard to come by in recent seasons, but there's still something special about seeing the familiar navy and orange on Sundays in the fall. The 'C' is arguably the biggest part of that. Sure, it's not a complex design overflowing with colors, but it represents a long and storied history. 

It's interesting that each of the bottom five teams have struggled to string together winning seasons. On the flipside, teams like the Saints, Falcons, Rams, Vikings and Eagles rank in the top six. Maybe it's recency bias.

In the NFC North, the Lions rank No. 2 (which is a shocker) and the Packers are No. 20. 

Matt Nagy calls Kevin White a 'great weapon' with a new future

Matt Nagy calls Kevin White a 'great weapon' with a new future

Former first-round pick Kevin White hasn't caught a break -- or a touchdown -- through the first three years of his career. He has more season-ending injuries than 100-yard games and after an offseason focused on upgrades at wide receiver, White's future in Chicago beyond 2018 is very much in doubt.

Ryan Pace declined the fifth-year option in White's rookie contract, making this a prove-it year for the pass-catcher who once resembled a blend of Larry Fitzgerald and Dez Bryant during his time at West Virginia.

He's getting a fresh start from new coach Matt Nagy.

"He is healthy and he's really doing well," Nagy told Danny Kanell and Steve Torre Friday on SiriusXM's Dog Days Sports. "We're trying to keep him at one position right now so he can focus in on that."

White can't take all the blame for his 21 catches, 193 yards and zero scores through 48 possible games. He's only suited up for five. Whether it's bad luck or bad bone density, White hasn't had a legitimate chance to prove, on the field, that he belongs.

Nagy's looking forward, not backward, when it comes to 2015's seventh pick overall.

"That's gone, that's in the past," Nagy said of White's first three years. "This kid has a new future with us."

White won't be handed a job, however.

"He's gotta work for it, he's gotta put in the time and effort to do it," Nagy said. "But he will do that, he's been doing it. He's a great weapon, he's worked really hard. He has great size, good speed. We just want him to play football and not worry about anything else."