QB Jay Cutler, Free agent
HT: 6-4, WT: 225, Born: 4-29-1983, College: Vanderbilt, Drafted: Round 1, Pick 11
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Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full ADP list]Overall: D Pitta (90), T Williams (91), Jay Cutler (92), F Jackson (93), R Wilson (94)
Position: C Kaepernick (74-QB11), T Romo (85-QB12), Jay Cutler (92 - QB13), R Wilson (94-QB14), P Rivers (99-QB15)
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Cutler needs to stay healthy this season. The offensive line has another year to mature and they improve on their blocking, giving him time to throw and improvise if the receivers are covered. Cutler plays a full 16 games with his best receivers ever and post pro bowl numbers for the first time since coming to Chicago. Cutler was putting up solid numbers when he played last season, and finished QB24 despite missing four games. With a full 16 games, he could put up starter quality numbers.
Another injury keeps Cutler on the sidelines for four or five games. The offensive line takes a step back and canít keep the defense out of the backfield. Cutler returns to 2012 when he spent most of the season running for his life. Without a full season, reduced stats and increased interceptions, Cutler barely qualifies as a backup fantasy QB
With another year of experience, the Chicago offense should take a step forward this year. The offensive line is the best itís been in a while and the rookie right side will begin their second season together. Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery are the best one-two punch that Cutler has ever had and if he can stay healthy, Cutler should really thrive in a Marc Trestman offense. Look for him to finally silence the critics and return to prominence in both the NFL and fantasy circles.
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2013 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Jay Cutler looked sharp in his first full game under Marc Trestman's new offense. He spent much of the game back in shotgun formation, and Chicago sprinkled several 'hurry up' offensive situations to keep the tempo up and keep the defense on the field. While the Bengals didn't look especially tired at the end of the game, it was clearly effective for Cutler as he wasn't sacked the entire game, and his only interception really came because Michaal Bush ran the wrong route early in the 4th quarter. Cutler's first pass over the middle to Martellus Bennett was dropped, and after Chicago went three and out on their opening drive, it looked like it might be a long day for the Bears. However, after a great interception from Charles Tillman, the Bears took over deep in Bengal territory. After completing a key 3rd and 17 pass straight down the right hash mark to Brandon Marshall, Cutler found Bennett in the back of the end zone for a quick touchdown just five minutes into the game. On the play, Cutler put the ball up high and Bennett made a great catch while falling backwards, hanging onto the ball for his first official reception and score as a Bear. However, after that the offense struggled and the Bears went into half time down 14-10. After giving up an 80 yard drive to open the third quarter, Cutler took over again with the Bears down 21-10 from their own 20 yard line. Cutler marched Chicago down the field for a touchdown, making key throws and keeping the ball moving. On a key 3rd and 7, Cutler was flushed out of the pocket on a blitz. He rolled out and looked like he might try to run for the first down. However, as the defense converged, Cutler threw a perfect strike to a wide open Martellus Bennett who turned and rumbled 30 yards down the field for the first down. A few plays later, Cutler found Alshon Jeffery on a deep square in for a gain of 18, giving the Bears 1st and goal from the six. Two Matt Forte carries later, the Bears were back in business. Early in the 4th quarter, Cutler had his only turnover of the game but the Bears got him the ball right back and marched the Bears down the field again for the go-ahead TD. Early in the drive on 3rd and 2, Cutler use his arm strength to float a perfectly thrown ball down the right side of the field to Brandon Marshall. The ball split the two defenders and Marshall caught it in stride, ripping off a big 38 yard gain, his longest pass of the day. Two plays later on 2nd and 20, Cutler couldn't find the open man, and took off up the middle of the field, splitting the defense and sliding just short of the first down for a big 18 yard gain. Two plays later, Matt Forte converted a key 4th and 1, and Cutler completed the comeback on the next play with a 19 yard bullet to Brandon Marshall on the left side of the end zone. The Bengals went three and out after that and Cutler and the Bears ran out the last seven minutes of the quarter to win the game.
Week 2 - Jay Cutler faced a larger amount of pressure this week than he did against the Bengals, and it showed in his need to scramble and roll to the open field. However, he ultimately was sacked only once and it was his first sack of the season. It was just unfortunate that he was being chased by Jared Allen at the time and he fumbled the ball, giving up a fumble return for a touchdown. The other big adjustment from last week was that Cutler spent a lot more time under center. He was still in the shotgun on passing down and distances, but it wasn't the pure spread offense that the Bears used last week. That was partially due to the wet field conditions as it rained pretty hard before and during the game. By the time Cutler touched the ball for the first time, his team was already down by seven points due to a 105 yard kickoff return by the Vikings. Cutler marched his team down to the one yard line, and hit Martellus Bennett in the left flat on 3rd and goal from the 2 to tie the game before they had played three minutes. Bennett lined up on the left side, but released into the flat as Alshon Jeffery came from the outside over the middle. Bennett was uncovered and Cutler easily flipped him the ball for the score. On the third series of the game, but still in the first quarter, Cutler marched his team down the field again. He opened with a bootleg on a sweep, dumping the ball to Bennett in the flat for a 14 yard catch and run. After a 38 yard reverse to Alshon Jeffery, the Bears were in position to score again. Brandon Marshall lined up in the slot on the right side, and crossed over Jeffery as he cut across the middle. Marshall shed his defender and sprinted into the end zone, where Cutler laid it out perfectly for him to catch it in stride, giving the Bears a 14-7 lead. In the second quarter, after driving to the Minnesota 31, Cutler was flushed from the pocket and sacked by Allen, giving up the fumble and the lead. On the next series, Cutler led the Bears down to the Minnesota 1 yard line. But instead of pounding the ball in with the run, the Bears tried to get cute and throw a pass out of the jumbo formation. Cutler tried to force the ball into Steve Maneri in the middle of the end zone, but it was tipped at the line, tipped again by Maneri and intercepted for a touchback. At the end of the 1st half, with the game tied at 21, Cutler again led the Bears down deep into Minnesota territory with a 16 yard completion to Earl Bennett and a big 31 yard bomb to Marshall who was pushed out of bounds at the two yard line. However, the Bears couldn't punch it in and had to settle for a field goal, but were still leading 24-21 at the half. The Bears began the fourth quarter tied at 24, but Cutler's first pass was picked off when he failed to recognize the safety coming over to cover Brandon Marshall after he broke into the open field down the right side of the field. The next drive ended in a fumble by Matt Forte and by the time that Cutler took over for the final series of the game, the Bears were down by six points with six minutes to go. Cutler led his team on their second 4th quarter comeback in two weeks, in the pouring rain making solid throws and balancing it with quick swing passes to Matt forte. On third and goal from the 16 with 10 seconds to go, Cutler again found Martellus Bennett on the left side when the corner bit on the crossing route from Earl Bennett on the outside. Martellus was open, and Cutler hit him on the outside shoulder. The defender slipped and was screened by Earl Bennett and by the time he recovered, Martellus was in the end zone for the game winning score. It wasn't a perfect performance from Cutler, but he showed good composure and leadership to bring his team back from a potential loss for the second week in a row.
Week 3 - Yes it wasnít smart. Yes he should have slid. But Jay Cutler knew his team has lost complete momentum after being up 24-3 in the second quarter. Mid-way through the 4th quarter, the Bears were clinging to a 27-24 lead on 3rd and 10 from their own 26. Cutler dropped back and the pocket collapsed as it had been the entire second half. He stepped up and found daylight down the left side of the field so he took off for the first down. But as he passed the first down marker, instead of sliding to safety, Cutler lowered his shoulder as Robert Golden came in for the tackle and just leveled him. Golden lay on his back for a second, unsure of what happened and Cutler stood up and marched back to the huddle. Two plays later Cutler hit Brandon Marshall down the left side of the field for a big 41 yard gain. Cutler put the ball perfectly on Marshallís outside shoulder and Marshall made a great leaping catch. Two plays after that, Cutler hit Earl Bennett on a deep post on the left side of the end zone. The play was initially ruled incomplete, but after the Bears challenged it, the replayed showed Bennett got both feet down and make the catch that sealed the game for the Bears. Those two passes accounted for 68 of Cutlerís 159 yards passing and his only TD. Due to the relentless pass rush from the Steelers, Cutler was forced to get rid of the ball quickly. In the opening quarter, he was releasing the ball less than two seconds after the snap, showing great timing with his receivers. Every time he tried to hold the ball for a bigger play, he had to step up or scramble to avoid the outside pressure. He frequently checked down or threw short passes to Matt Forte or Martellus Bennett. Cutler was also sacked twice after being sacked only once in his first 85 passing attempts. While it wasnít a great statistical game, Chicago fans should be very happy with Jayís performance. He did what needed to be done to win the game, and when things began to fall apart, he stepped up instead of melting down like he has in the past.
Week 4 - Cutler struggled the entire game for the Bears. He was under pressure from a relentless Detroit front four, and the Lions mixed in run and pass blitzing to keep him off guard. Cutler became unsure of himself, and frequently forced the ball into coverage, held the ball too long resulting in a sack, or checked down to a receiver short of the first down. This resulted in a very lopsided game in favor of the Lions, and a terrible 1 for 13 3rd down conversion rate for the Bears. On his first interception, the safety had a clear view of Cutler as he looked Alshon Jeffery across the middle of the field. When Cutler released the ball, he broke on it and made a great play to come up with the pick. In the second quarter, Cutler again tried to force the ball to Jeffery down the right side of the field Ė floating a pass that he threw off his back foot. The ball was underthrown and the defender had plenty of time to get over and make the pick. This began to create uncertainty in Cutlerís mind and you could see him start to hold the ball longer. The pressure intensified and he was forced to scramble and check down to receivers well short of the first down. It also resulted in three sacks for the game when he had only been sacked three times total in the previous three games. In the second half, Cutler began to push the ball more than throw it, and it frequently sailed over the head of his intended receiver. This was the case with his third interception where he was scrambling for his life on 3rd and 18. He threw the ball over the middle and when it sailed too high, he was picked off again. On the next series, when the Bears took over deep in their own territory, Cutler hesitated to throw the ball, allowing Ndamukong Suh to power around the end, come in and punch the ball out as he took Cutler to the ground. The Lions recovered and the game was pretty much over when they walked it into the end zone for the touchdown. Cutler padded his stats with a couple garbage time touchdowns, but this was more due to Detroit allowing the Bears to dink and dunk their way down the field. Cutler may have finished with over 300 yards passing and two scores, but the Lions held him in check for the entire game.
Week 5 - From a fantasy prospective, Jay Cutler had a fantastic game. However, itís important to note that a big chunk of his yards game in garbage time, especially the final three minutes of the game when the Bears were down by 16 points. At the end of the second half, with the Bears down 20-7, Cutler completed two passes to Alshon Jeffery for 36 yards and one to Martellus Bennett for 14 that basically padded his first half passing total by 50 yards while the Saints were just looking to prevent a big play. With three minutes to go and the Bears down by 16, Cutler went five for five, racking up another 103 yards, including a two yard TD pass to Brandon Marshall near the left side of the end zone. It didnít make up for the huge hole that Chicago dug for themselves in the first and second quarter though. In the first quarter, Cutler completed just three passes in the first quarter Ė and two of them were on third and long, well short of the first down. In the second quarter, Cutler settled down a bit and began to take what the defense was giving him. His touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery was a crossing pattern on the goal line, where Jeffery was supposed to scrape off the defender leaving Earl Bennett open for the score. However, the defenders got tangled up and Jeffery was wide open. Cutler quickly recognized the mistake and threw a perfect pass to Jeffery where he was able to go up and come down with the score. In the third quarter, on their opening possession, Cutler drove the Bears down to 1st and goal from the nine yard line. But three incomplete passes, including one that was nearly picked off stalled the drive and the Bears had to settle for a field goal. The next time he took over, Cutler was standing on his own one yard line down by 13 points. He marched the Bears down the field, well into New Orleans territory, but the drive stalled and on a critical 4th down play, he hit Earl Bennett on a great square out pass where Bennett took his eyes off the ball and it hit him in the facemask and fell incomplete. It was a perfect throw by Cutler and it would have kept the drive moving when Chicago really needed it. Opportunities were limited in the second half, and Cutler had just three real offensive series to work with before he took over again with just 21 seconds to play, down by 8 points. He padded his stats and gave Alshon Jeffery the single game record with a 21 yard garbage time catch to end the game and give Chicago their second loss.
Week 6 - For the second week in a row, Jay Cutler finished the game without throwing an interception. The difference between last week and this week though was that the offensive line didnít allow a sack and Cutler faced very little pressure throughout the game. It allowed him to work the soft spots of the defense better and gave him time to set up big plays down the field. Cutler opened the game a little tentative, looking to get Brandon Marshall involved early after his favorite targets spent the early part of the week complaining about his lack of targets against the Saints. After an early interception gave Chicago the ball deep in New York territory, Cutler was looking to go for the opening kill shot to Marshall with the first snap. However, he was double covered and Cutler had to scramble for a short gain. After two running plays were stopped short of the first down marker, the Bears went for it on 4th and 2. Cutler targeted Marshall who was running a short crossing route where he scraped across the back of the defensive line. But Cutler looked tentative and tossed the ball more than threw it. The ball ended up behind Marshall and he was only able to get one hand on it, and the ball fell incomplete. On their second series, Cutler targeted Marshall deep down the left side of the field. Marshall out-jumped the defender, making a catch and giving the bears a big 20 yard gain to open the drive. Cutler marched his team down the field, chewing up the clock and got them into the end zone on a perfect throw to Brandon Marshall as he cut across the middle early in the second quarter. On their third possession of the first half, Cutler marched them down the field again, hitting Marshall on a short stick route on 1st and goal from the three yard line for his second passing TD. Their third offensive possession fell short of the end zone as the half ended, and the Bears had to settle for a field goal. However, Cutler completed a couple key passes to Martellus Bennett and Brandon Marshall before overthrowing Earl Bennett in the end zone just before the half ended. In the third quarter, the Chicago offense had plenty of opportunities and Cutler just missed on a couple deep passes to Alshon Jeffery where he was open and had a step but Cutler either just overthrew him or Jeffery wasnít able to locate the ball. If any of those passes would have connected, it would have resulted in a big play that would have sealed the game for Chicago. Cutler also finished the game with three carries for 20 yards. None were designed runs, but Cutler was able to take advantage of a lapse in the defense when he was under pressure to scramble for a short gain. His best run was on 3rd in 3 early in the third quarter, where Cutler was under pressure, stepped up and then took off up the middle, sliding after a nine yard gain. He took a little hit on the head at the end of the slide though, and the referees tacked on another 15 yards for the late hit. It was a solid if not spectacular performance that gave Chicago just enough to win the game.
Week 7 - Jay Struggled early in the first quarter, and had a hard time connecting with anyone on his team, even Brandon Marshall. In the second quarter, he threw a pass down the left side of the field to Alshon Jeffery that sailed a bit but Jeffery was able to use his size to get his hands on the ball. However, he juggled it a bit and the defender was able to come in and knock it up, where Brian Orakpo was able to come down with it and return it 29 yards for the touchdown. While the pass wasnít exactly on target, it was hardly a pick that can be blamed completely on Cutler. In the second quarter, on their sixth possession of the game, Cutler dropped back for a pass as the pocket collapsed. He was sacked for the first time all day and while the play didnít look it was particularly harsh, Cutler ended up tearing his groin muscle and he had to be helped off the field. The current estimate is that he will miss at least four weeks, and maybe more. The Bears have a bye week next week but their next two games are critical division games against Green Bay and Detroit. The timing of this could not be worse.
Week 10 - Jay Cutler started the game strong, showing no signs that the groin injury he sustained a few weeks ago was having any impact on him. After just missing Alshon Jeffery on a short square out on the opening drive, Cutler hit Brandon Marshall on three consecutive passes for 17 yards, 12 yards and a 32 yard Touchdown. The touchdown as a nice play where the offensive line gave Cutler plenty of time, and he allowed Marshall to go deep down the left side of the field, breaking for the middle near the end zone. Cutler hit him over the middle and it was a strong opening statement to Detroit that he was healthy and ready to play. The Lions responded by turning up the heat, knocking Cutler around on every series after that, and hitting him every chance that they could, sometimes even drawing a flag. On the next series on 3rd and 7, Cutler dropped back and was sacked. However, the Lions grabbed his facemask and jerked his head to the side as they pulled him down, drawing a 15 yard penalty and extending the drive. But the Lions continued to play aggressive and the drive was ended just three plays later. On the next series, the Bears were driving deep into Detroit territory, but they were stopped twice on short runs needing just a yard for the first down. Cutler drove the Bears down to the goal line on the next series, but on second and goal from the four, the ball was tipped as Cutler tried to pass it to Martellus Bennett and the Lions came down with the interception and the touchback. In the second half, the Lions came after Cutler with a vengeance, and he was visibly struggling with his mobility. The Lions continued to pound him on every play, and by the end of the 4th quarter, Cutlerís passes were more and more off target. He was eventually pulled for the final series of the game for what the Bears called an ankle injury. Cutler has a high-ankle sprain and heís listed as Ďweek to weekí now.
Week 15 - Jay Cutler returned to the starting lineup for the Bears, and despite completing eight of his first nine passes, the Bears were losing 3-0, and his one incompletion was an interception in the end zone. In the second quarter, the wind was blowing from a different direction and Cutlerís passes began to sail. He overthrew Brandon Marshall a few times, including one where Marshall tipped it to a defender and it was returned by Cleveland for a touchdown. But with less than two minutes to play in the second quarter, and the Bears losing 10-3, Cutler seemed to wake up and rally his team. He escaped the Cleveland blitz and took off up the right side of the field for a 12 yard gain before going out of bounds. On the next play, he connected with Brandon Marshall on a 41 yard bomb down the right side of the field, where Marshall made the catch, and was able to stiff-arm the defender for another eight yard gain. Two plays later, Cutler hit Marshall along the goal line for a five yard touchdown just before the half. In the third quarter, Cutler had only four completions for minimal gains, but in the fourth quarter, Cutler led the Bears on three consecutive touchdown drives, including a beautiful 45 yard touchdown bomb to Alshon Jeffery where he was double covered, but was able to out-jump the defenders and a short 5 yard touchdown pass to Earl Bennett where he was covered pretty well but Cutler as able to thread the needle into him for the short scoring drive. It was a solid end after a rocky start and the Bears came away with a much-needed win.
Week 16 - Jay Cutler broke Sid Luckmanís record for career passing yards as a Chicago Bear quarterback. Aside from that, it was a terrible game, and Cutler was pulled in the 4th quarter after throwing a pick six that put Philadelphia up 47 Ė 11. Even worse for the Bears, Cutler has more rushing yards in the first half (15) than Matt Forte did (8). Cutlerís long run came on 3rd and 10 with less than 20 seconds to play. The defense was applying pressure, and he stepped up into the pocket and took off up the middle, sliding/diving for the first down and receiving a very generous spot from the officials. Cutler was also sacked three times in the first half, and all at key moments of the game. His first came on the third play of the game for Chicago, where Matt Forte tried to block Trent Cole, but was unable to slow him down and he got to Cutler before he could even get set. Mid-way through the second quarter, when the game was still 21-0 in favor of Philadelphia, Cutler drove the Bears down into the Red zone. But he took back-to-back sacks, driving them back 18 yards and on 3rd and 28, he just threw up a jump ball to Brandon Marshall in the end zone, despite the fact that Marshall was double covered. It killed their best scoring drive of the game to that point and pushed them out of field goal range. On his fourth snap of the second half, Cutler faced 3rd and 7, had plenty of time but the defensive coverage was perfect and rather than get rid of the ball, Cutler took his fourth sack of the game, fumbled and nearly caused a turnover. The Bears recovered and punted, down 33-3 at that point. Cutlerís only TD pass to a Bear came with one second left on the clock in the third quarter. After a delay of game penalty gave Chicago 1st and goal from the six yard line, he found Brandon Marshall on the left side of the end zone on a perfectly timed pass for the meaningless touchdown. The ball was in the air before Marshall even turned around and he was able to locate it and haul it in. Cutler hit Earl Bennett on a slant for the 2 point conversion to put the Bears only 22 points down as the 4th quarter began. After the Eagles scored again, Cutler faced 2nd and 8 at mid field. Cutler locked on to Earl Bennett from the minute the ball was snapped, and when he tried to throw to Bennett on the out route, the Eagles jumped the route and returned it for a touchdown. At that point, the game was completely out of hand and Cutler was pulled to prepare him for next week.
Week 17 - Cutler had a very quiet game, but showed why the Bears need to retain him for next season as their starting quarterback. Cutler made some solid throws, and effortlessly pushed the ball deep down both sides of the fields, targeting Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall on deep downfield passes. He hit Marshall on a 37 yard bomb in the first quarter, where Cutler put the ball perfectly for Marshall to go and get. Marshall out-jumped the defender and came down with a big gain. A few plays later, Cutler hit Matt Forte on a short inside-out route and he took it in for the early score. Cutlerís first pass of the third quarter actually came on the second drive Ė a 67 yard bomb to Alshon Jeffery working down the side of the field. Jeffery was wide open and Cutler put the ball on him perfectly. Jeffery slowed down to protect the ball after fumbling in the second quarter and it just prevented him from going into the end zone for the score. On the first play in the fourth quarter, Cutler faced 3rd and goal from the 5. The Packers blitzed and Cutler lofted a perfect pass toward Brandon Marshall in the right corner of the end zone. Marshall made a great catch, but the ball was placed where only he was able to reach it. It was a clear sign that the chemistry between the two players still exists and can pay huge dividends when the pressure is on. Later in the quarter, on a critical 3rd and 17, Cutler saw Alshon Jeffery working one on one and uncorked another bomb down his side of the field. Jeffery was well defended, and although the ball hit him in the hands, he wasnít able to come up with it and the drive stalled. Had he made the catch, the game would have been over and the Bears would have basically been able to run out the clock. With 30 second left and Chicago needing a score, Cutler hit Martellus Bennett on a 15 yard crossing route. Two plays later he hit Marshall on another crossing route over the middle. Marshall was wide open and went down to get the pass, but he simply dropped the ball and the Bears faced 3rd and 10 with just nine seconds to go. Cutler cranked out the desperation pass to the end zone, but it was a little short and the Packers were able to come up with the interception, ending the game and Chicagoís playoff hopes.