Welcome to Chicago, Marc Trestman, your judgement is officially being questioned by every Bears fan and analyst in the country. He’s truly become a Chicago team coach. We’ve given Trestman the benefit of the doubt up to this point because he has given us reason to – but the decision to leave Jay Cutler in the game given the way he looked, has to have you seriously questioning him now. I thought Cutler could have used one more week off to recover, given the Bears’ new-found hope in the division with the injury to Aaron Rogers. But when he was cleared and the decision was made that Cutler would start, I trusted that the team would never put their quarterback back in there if he wasn’t completely right. But against all medical odds, he appeared ready to go. So, sure. Of course. Start your starting quarterback. When healthy, he gives you the best chance to win. And the game started out well. Cutler looked great on the first drive, leading them to a touchdown and a 7-0 lead. But it was downhill from there. Cutler couldn’t move in the pocket, he wasn’t stepping into his throws, he wasn’t accurate – bottom line – he just wasn’t himself. Surely the coaching staff saw what we saw, right? He was hit on almost every play. He would come up holding his groin, he wasn’t moving well. We all saw it clear as day on TV. So how on earth is the decision not made to pull him for a back up who has already proven to be completely competent in this offense, and proved enough, albeit too little too late, in this game.
I understand they were in the game, and I give Cutler credit for giving them a chance to win in spite of the pain he was in. People who have questioned his toughness may finally shut up. The defense played much better, the protection was solid, the receivers looked great. All of this somehow blurred the coaching staff’s vision of Cutler limping back to the huddle after every play. But the worst part is the report that Cutler went to the sidelines and asked if he looked okay because he was in pain and didn’t feel right. He asked if he should be taken out and the coaching staff said no. Cutler put his trust in them completely, said, “hey, listen, I’ll keep going if you think I’m okay” and they left him out there. Eventually he left the game with a “sprained ankle”, but lets be honest, nobody believed that. And now don’t be surprised if he misses extended time going into the final, all important, last leg of the season. So the Bears lose. They could have started McCown, still lost, but at least have a fully recovered, healthy Cutler for the rest of the year. But he comes back early, they lose and now may not have him going forward because he came back before he was ready. What were the Bears’ coaches and trainers seeing that we couldn’t see?
So where are we going forward? The Bears have lost the season series to the Lions, so, a tie doesn’t do them any good. I believe they can win some games with McCown, but I’m afraid it won’t be enough to dig them out of the divisional hole they are in. They’d need to count on another fluke injury to someone on Detroit or them losing a couple winnable games. Because all of that said, they still had opportunities to win this game. If there is no holding call on Matt Slausen, Matt Forte has a touchdown and the Bears are in the lead. Bad penalty at a bad time. And had the Bears won this game, the Cutler question wouldn’t be quite as burning, but it does have us questioning the Bears brass that we finally started to trust after years of feeding us “Rex is our quarterback” garbage. Tretman did come out this morning and said after looking at the tape, he should have taken Cutler out a series earlier, but come on, it should have been well before then. He was in pain from the 2nd quarter on. We take our relationship with the Bears seriously here in Chicago, and this morning we’re feeling jaded. Saying I’m sorry won’t bring the win back, but it will make it a bit easier to crawl back in bed with them next Sunday.