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Air Cutler Crashes Again

By George Ofman

Jay Cutler's quarterback rating was a 7.9. The snowfall in Baltimore was twice as much.

It says a lot about the storm. It says even more about Cutler.

He's been a bust! There's no other way to put it.

As much as I've tried to defend Cutler because most of what's around him is a sham, his performance has been worthy of great skepticism. You can only say he needs better receivers, better play-calling and a better offensive line so much. After awhile you have to wonder how this guy was a Pro Bowl quarterback just a year ago.

Was it the high altitude or smoke and mirrors?

While Jerry Angelo did anything but give :ovie Smith a vote of confidence before the game, Cutler continued his march toward ignominy on the field. Three more interceptions gave him a staggering total of 25. The first two were on the Bears first two possessions of the game and it lead to a pair of Raven's touchdowns. It was at this point some Bears fans were hoping for an avalanche. They got it. The Ravens would score 17 more in the span of less than five minutes in the third quarter.

Lovie still might get fired. Cutler won't.

He's the guy the Bears must build around, though it might take a team of paleontologists to unearth some talent - and some coaches.

It's almost hard to fathom Cutler actually could get worse. It's no secret the Bears are undermanned, particularly on offense. You'd like to believe that with a core of better receivers such as Cutler had in Denver, he could thrive and carry this team.

You'd really like to think so. Then again, you start to doubt.

Cutler engineered two fairly impressive drives in the first quarter but sabotaged both with galling picks. Then, in another one of those surreal sequences that has become a trademark of this season's team, a three-and-out went this way: With less than two minutes to go in the half, Cutler is ready to work a screen pass, sees it won't develop and fires the ball to the ground. The clock stops. Matt Forte then takes a handoff, can't find running room and heads out of bounds. The clock stops again. Then Cutler can't find an open receiver and runs for his life, out of bounds. The clock stops yet again. Time to punt and the Ravens still have a minute-and-a-half to work with. This is supposed to be a two-minute drill. And Tiger Woods is abstinent.

You can't blame everything on Cutler but top ten quarterbacks don't have games like this and more often than not. Neither do the QBs rated 11 through 20 or those rated 21 through 30!

Angelo says he'll evaluate everything at the end of the season. One assumes someone will evaluate Angelo, whose job it was to furnish Cutler with more than just hood ornaments for a Volkswagen Beetle.

No matter what Angelo decides, the future of Jay Cutler's possible success rides with his ability to restock the Bears with more ammunition. This means an improved offensive line, upgrades at wide receiver and much better schemes. Which translates into Ron Turner's dismissal and perhaps Lovie's, as well.

Even If Cutler gets what he wants (and Devin Aromashodu won't do), he still might wind up a shade better than mediocre. This is not what the Bears forked up two first-round picks, Kyle Orton and a tidy some of money in Cutler's pocket for.

The real intrigue begins the day after the season finale. I can't wait.


George Ofman is now with WGN radio after a 17-year run with The Score. He also now blogs for ChicagoNow under the banner That's All She Wrote. Comments welcome.

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