Posts tagged ‘Chicago Bears’

February 1, 2011

A Historic Performance by a Bears’ QB

by Jeeves

Lost in all the hoopla and hubbub and questioning of manhood concerning Jay Cutler was a rather curious decision by the Bears’ coaching staff. After Cutler limped off the field and before Caleb Hanie made his surprisingly strong playoff debut, Todd Collins was put into the game. This represented quite the moment in history. The second Collins put his feet on the field, he officially became the worst quarterback in the history of football to play in the playoffs. Coming from a bitter Bears’ fan, I realize this may sound like hyperbole, but I assure you, by certain measures, it is not.

Thanks to the wonderful play index feature at pro-football-reference.com, I was able to do a quick search which led me to the unprecedented nature of Collins’ appearance. After looking up his stats for the season: 27 pass attempts, 10 completions, 0 TD, 5 INT, and a stunning 5.9 passer rating, I was able to come up with an interesting search. I wanted to find out, first and foremost, has any quarterback compiled a worse regular season. So using 27 pass attempts as a minimum, I searched for any QB’s with a worse passer rating (I realize passer rating is a flawed statistic, but it’s decent for a quick and dirty comparison like this). I only found two superior (inferior?) seasons of suckitude since 1977:

Joe Reed – GS 1, G 3, 13/40 150 yds, 0 TD 4 INT, Rating 5.2

Randy Hedberg – GS 4, G 7, 25/90 244 yds, 0 TD 10 INT, Rating 0.0

Hedberg’s season is really a testament to putridity. Look at that line again, 0 TD, 10 INT. I don’t know if the zero rating is more impressive or the fact that he started 4 games. Hedberg was actually 1st on the depth chart to begin the 1977 season, so it’s not as though he arose to the position via injury, though I will discount it some due to the fact that his performance was for the second year Tampa Buccaneers. I think the 0.0 QB rating takes the cake. I’ll frame it this way, if you were to throw nothing but incomplete passes, the lowest rating possible is a 36.

These other two gentlemen didn’t make an appearance in the playoffs, which explains in part why they saw the field as much as they did. Collins, number 3 on that list, did see the field in the playoffs, making him the worst player to ever play QB in the playoffs, quite the dubious honor.

As poorly as this reflects on Todd Collins, I think it actually reflects more poorly on the man who put him onto the field, Lovie Smith. Is there any justification for him being higher on the depth chart than Caleb Hanie? Even if Caleb stunk up the joint when he came in at the end of the 3rd, it still wouldn’t justify Lovie basically punting on the 3rd quarter by putting in Collins. Lovie has compiled a pretty decent record in Chicago, there’s no denying that, but it does beg the question, how much better would the Bears be if he wasn’t constantly asleep behind the wheel?

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January 25, 2011

The Unintended Result from Cutler’s Knee

by Jeeves

As many of us are aware, the NFL faces a potential labor stoppage this off-season. The thought of missing out on any games next year is truly terrifying, but there is the very real possibility that this thing doe not get resolved any time soon. Apparently it’s a lot harder to divvy up billions and billions of dollars than you would think.

One of the biggest issues that will be negotiated is an expansion of the regular season from 16 games to 18 games. The  owners are all for it as more games equals more ticket and, down the line, more TV revenue. The players are against it for two reasons. One is that the players want their salaries to grow by, at least, the same percentage as the season. In their view, (and I think rightfully so) their current contracts were negotiated for a 16 game season, thus they should be paid more for an 18 game season. The other reason is the toll that an additional two games will have on the players’ bodies. This is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly as it seems qualitatively that teams are filling up their IR more and more each year. Just look at the Saints running back depth chart or even the Packers.

This brings me to my main point. I think it all the public outrage over Cutler’s knee the players have hurt their position with regards to collective bargaining. One of their main arguing points for either more money or for a status quo with regards to the length of the season is the amount of additional punishment the players would incur. Unfortunately, the flurry of tweets and immediate armchair analysis made the players association  look far from united in that regard. All the current and former player’s blatherings about Cutler makes it sound like they would do anything to stay on the field, no matter the costs to their body. It’s football after all, they have to do what they need to for their team. Plus they’re super bad-ass and would play gladly play on torn MCL’s if given the chance. While I’m sure that it won’t have a massive effect on negotiations, the deluge of thoughts along these lines can only serve to help the owners.  Hopefully, it doesn’t come back to bite the players in the butt, but if it does we’ve at least learned that they’ll play through the pain.

January 24, 2011

Despite Bevy of Hungry Packer Fans, Roasted Bear Meat Goes to Waste

by npiller88

human is on the picnic menu

Blake Montpetit, a rabid Packers fan, ROASTED a giant BEAR at his bar in Minnesota for the Bears-Packers NFC Championship game yesterday. If it wasn’t for those pesky “local health officials,” maybe the patrons could have enjoyed a nice slab of bear meat fresh off the pork rotisserie. Yikes.

January 23, 2011

Defending Jay Cutler

by Jeeves

Full disclosure: I am from Chicago and am indeed a Bears fan. I think it is important to get all biases out front and center

Update: Turns out Cutler has a torn MCL, so I suppose I was correct.

Update 2: The official prognosis is a grade 2 MCL tear which takes 3-4 weeks to heal. Also it should be noted that a tear and sprain for all intents and purposes are synonymous when dealing with the MCL, per here.

The above picture is from the front page of Yahoo! Sports’ NFL section and is a large motivating factor for this post. I realize that Cutler didn’t play a great game today; his deep ball was off and the pressure limited his performance on shorter routes. He missed Hester a couple times though he did make a nice pass to Knox, but that’s not why I’m writing.

The excessive hyperbole and complete vilification of Cutler for being forced out of the game is absurd. I realize and understand that part of sports writing is to capture the emotion of the moment and the feelings of the fan, but I think it’s clear that the ensuing clusterf*** (or Cutlerf****, if you will) is going to move beyond the means of any reasonable literary device. Steve Bartman (rightly or wrongly) is one of the most hated ‘characters’ in  Chicago. Fans were so angry, so enraged at him, that the governor recommended he go into the witness protection program. Naturally, Yahoo! equates the Bartman situation to Cutler having an, at best, sprained MCL, at worst, torn MCL.

It just strikes me as absurd that this amount of vitriol is coming out when the extent of the injury hasn’t even been determined. It strikes me as doubly absurd when you question Cutler’s toughness, as Kerry Rhodes of the Arizona Cardinals did, because this requires you to also forget every other game that he has played for the Bears. Cutler has been the picture of resolve in his short time in Chicago. He has been sacked 87 times and hit countless other occasions in just 31 regular season games due to a horrendous, porous offensive line. Up until today, save for his concussion against the Giants, he got up, dusted himself off and went back to work. You would think that such continual perseverance would buy the guy the benefit of the doubt. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think he’s even complained about the line and how often he’s been hit let alone sulk his way off the field because of it.

If you really, really think about it; separate out the emotion and the magnitude of today’s loss, and ask yourself, what is more likely?: “Jay Cutler was legitimately hurt and unable to plant while throwing the football, thus rendering him useless” or “Jay Cutler is a gutless wimp who quit on his team during the biggest game of the season even though he had absorbed countless hits this season and never asked out of a previous game.” I don’t understand how you can reconcile Cutler as gutless while completely ignoring his body of work/toughness up until now.

I realize the rebuttals to this line of thinking would go something like, “Yeah, but he wasn’t even limping after he came out!” Right. Ligament damage, though, isn’t necessarily crippling during low impact movements. I have a friend who has torn multiple ligaments in both knees on multiple occasions. Prior to surgery he was able to walk around no problem. Granted he was moving around slowly, much like Cutler, I’ll add, but he looked totally fine until being faced with the task of climbing stairs. It’s dynamic movements like pushing upwards and forwards or planting to throw a football where the lack of stability in the knee comes into play; so the fact that he could pace the sideline shouldn’t be used as an indictment of his character or his toughness.

Jay Cutler may come off as brash or whiny. He may not have charmed the media with his interactions or endeared himself to Bears’ fans with his interceptions, but the one thing I could always say without reservation is that, at least, Cutler is tough as nails. No matter what the others may say, I will still continue to consider Cutler one tough S.O.B.