After seven straight games with passer rating of 88.0 or better, Jay Cutler had a game not good enough for a team entertaining playoff thoughts, even with major mitigating personnel factors.
Missing receivers Alshon Jeffery and Eddie Royal in addition to running back Matt Forte, Cutler operated an offense that started three tight ends and Marquess Wilson on the outside. Cutler finished with 18-for-32 passing for 265 yards and a rating of 70.4, in part because of zero touchdown passes for the first time this season, and because of one costly interception. Cutler also lost a fumble on a strip-sack by rush-linebacker Von Miller.
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The game marked only the second time Cutler has committed two turnovers in a game this season but they were game-altering.
Cutler had been nearly picked off when he threw behind tight end Zach Miller and nearly into the hands of safety T.J. Ward in the second quarter. He was not as lucky when he threw toward Wilson and was picked off underneath by linebacker Danny Trevathan, who had zero interceptions on the season.
[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]
“We had a good shot,” Cutler said. “We had Q [Wilson] going down the middle. I probably need to put it a little bit higher. The linebacker undercut it. He made a good play but I can give him a better ball though.”
Cutler was able to bring the offense to life with an 18-yard scramble that was supplemented by an unnecessary roughness penalty on Ward. The drive ended, however, when Cutler appeared indecisive on a fourth-and-goal and failed to get a strong throw targeted properly for what could have been a game-tying possession.
Moon's Grade: C-
We'd been circling this news all week, and now it's getting closer to reality: late Saturday night, Adam Schefter reported that QB Mitch Trubisky will be under center for the Bears' matchup with the Saints this Sunday:
Trubisky was a full participant in practice from Wednesday to Friday of last week, but had still been listed as questionable up to this point. He returns after dislocating his left shoulder in Week 4 against the Vikings and missing the team's Week 5 loss to the Raiders.
The news comes at a crucial juncture of the season for the Bears, who are currently 3-2 and in third place in the NFC North.
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When the Bears announced their 2019 schedule, we decided to have some puppies reveal the opponents. Now, we have taken it a step further. We have a puppy that will make weekly picks for the Bears games.
It is Week 7!
Walter's choices in Week 7 are a chance to go to Mardi Gras or a celebration of St. Patrick's day in Chicago. Bears fans should be excited about his decision in Week 7... and now we're all looking forward to St. Patrick's Day again!
The 12-week old dachshund was hand-selected by the scouts at NBC Sports Chicago and hails from One Tail at a Time rescue. He came from a shelter in Alabama and was transported to Chicago. At just 7 weeks old and without his mom, he beat a deadly virus and spent some time in the doggie ER, where he healed and became strong again.
Now, Walter is ready to rumble between the well-manicured lines of Sweetness Field. He is NOW adoptable via onetail.org and has two adorable sisters named Martha and Millie, who are already adopted.
Walter will pick the games throughout the NFL season, including the playoffs and we hope that his nose follows the scent to the Bears every week, all the way to that magical game in Miami in February. Narrated by Jason Benetti, play-by-play announcer for the White Sox.
It is time for Puppy Pick ‘Em presented by Nissan.
To learn more: www.onetail.org