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SportsMonday: Cutlery

Jay Cutler continues to rise up. And the national sports media sinks to not necessarily new lows but predictable ones.

Yes, the Seahawks aren't very good. And yes, now Cutler faces the Packers, whose defensive schemes have tormented him in three of four games Cutler has played against them in his two years as a Bear.

But Cutler is far from the inconsistent, untrustworthy quarterback he's portrayed as, even if he did have a bad game against the Packers in the season finale - when he was sacked a half-dozen times.

Despite facing more pressure than any other signal-caller, he has come up big in all the games the Bears had to win in the second half of the season.

Of course, Cutler is also consistent in that he continues to insist on throwing one absolutely terrible red-zone pass per game.

Fortunately, the Seahawks dropped Sunday's potential gift on the goal line and Cutler was solid the rest of the way.

There were still a few throws that seemed close to interceptable, but those were more than outweighed by a dozen beautiful tosses, including two perfect touchdown bombs to Greg Olsen and Kellen Davis.

Like his team, Cutler gets the job done even if he hardly looks pretty doing it.

Last week, for example, ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer took Cutler to task for his imperfect mechanics. Cutler's touchdown pass to Davis featured just what Dilfer attacked him for - he threw the ball off his back foot while back-pedaling. He also floated an ultra-catchable pass about a foot beyond the Seahawk safety's out-stretched paw and into a grateful Davis's soft hands in stride to the end zone.

Moral of the story: Shut up about the mechanics, Trent.

Maybe the problem is that Cutler consistently takes a pass on smiling and mouthing all the cliches the genius higher profile sports reporters apparently want to hear for the millionth time.

Must we be obsessed with "image"? Let's try reality for a change.

Leave the perfect teeth and the content-free quotes to Tom Brady and Peyton Manning - both of whom will be watching the rest of the playoffs on TV.

Meanwhile, Bears fans can revel in the run-up to the absolute best NFL playoff match-up we could have possibly imagined. The Bears host the Packers for a spot in the Super Bowl? Our cup runneth so far over it's like we tried to pour a whole keg in there.

It is well beyond belief that it has come down to this. Come on. Come on!

The stars continue to align.

But it will take more than luck to beat the Packers - though the experts making the Packers a three-point road favorite is a bit much.

Clearly Aaron Rodgers played amazing football against the Falcons. Particularly impressive were his 31 completions in only 36 attempts - and the fact that he led four scoring drives of 80 or more yards.

But the game felt more like a Falcon collapse than a Packer coronation. The team from Green Bay won't be that good again, especially out in the wind and the snow.

And if the Bears advance to the Big Dance?

Well, the only team that has blown the Bears away in the last three months is now out of the picture.

People, they don't just have a great chance to make the Super Bowl. They have a great chance to win it - with Jay Cutler at the helm.

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Comments welcome.

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