To say I'm surprised that the Chicago Bears looked considerably better with Jay Cutler on the field would be a lie. After all, how many teams wouldn't look better when you insert their starting quarterback? If your team doesn't improve when the starting quarterback is put on the field, suspicion tells me it might be time to get a new starting quarterback. The Chicago Bears don't have to worry about that; they looked like an entirely new beast with Cutler under center.
I guess we've seen this before. If we recall, the Bears were an impressive 7-3 last season prior to Cutler's season-ending injury. Once we Bears fans got a hefty dose of Caleb Hanie --a lot closer to what we Bears fans are used to at quarterback-- we realized just how valuable Jay Cutler is. In the Bears' second preseason game against the Washington Redskins, Cutler showed flashes that all this talk about this offense being electric just might be true --hitting Brandon Marshall for a 41-yard pass on the first play from scrimmage and ending the first drive 4 of 5 for 81 yards. By the time Cutler exited, it was 17-0 in the second quarter.
Despite the offense looking strong (and the defense for that matter), I have to put the big ol' asterisk next to the performance --it's just the lousy preseason. The same way I wrote off last week's dismal performance against the Denver Broncos, so I must do the same for this particular strong performance. While it feels better to see the team do well, the good performance means about as much as the poor performance against Denver --that is to say nothing.
Robert Griffin III looked "rookie-ish," which is to be expected more often than not. In his defense, a strength of the Bears' defense has always been shutting down mobile quarterbacks. The Bears can control quarterbacks like Michael Vick. It's quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Drew Brees that the Bears seem to get torched by almost without fail.
While the win means little, it's always fun to watch the team do well. And though the backup units weren't as dominant, us Bears followers have to be encouraged by what the starters were able to pull off.
Brian is a lifelong Chicago Bears fan, having lived in Illinois his entire life and having followed the NFL throughout.
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