Posted November 10, 2013

Did Marc Trestman stick with Jay Cutler too long against the Lions on Sunday?

Chicago Bears, NFC North
Jay Cutler finished a tough afternoon with 250 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Jay Cutler finished a tough afternoon with 250 yards, one touchdown and one interception. (Nam Y. Huh/AP)

Jay Cutler tried to gut it out on Sunday. Would the Bears own sole possession of first place in the NFC North if he hadn’t?

That’s the question Chicago fans — and head coach Marc Trestman — will be left to ponder in the wake of a tough 21-19 loss to Detroit on Sunday. Cutler made an early return from the groin injury he suffered in Week 7 against Washington, only to scuffle through a tough afternoon. He finished 21-of-40 for 250 yards, one touchdown and an INT, but he labored throughout the second half.

Trestman then pulled Cutler (who apparently added an ankle injury to groin and hand woes) in favor of last week’s starter, Josh McCown, for the Bears’ final drive of the game. And McCown promptly drove Chicago down the field for a touchdown. The Bears failed on the two-point conversion attempt.

Cutler started the game hot, hitting on three of his first four passes and capping Chicago’s opening drive with a 34-yard TD pass to Brandon Marshall. From there, though, perhaps aided by the chilly weather, he began to show more and more signs of being less than 100 percent. By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, Cutler was visibly hobbled. After that early Cutler-to-Marshall TD, the Bears mustered all of six additional points before McCown’s late toss, as Cutler struggled to get any velocity on his throws.

There were some questions this week about the need to hurry Cutler back from his injury, after McCown performed well in relief at Washington and then took down the Packers in Green Bay. McCown finished the latter outing 22-of-41 for 272 yards and two touchdowns.

But with Cutler cleared by doctors to return and able to practice all week, the Bears went back to their No. 1 QB. And though McCown was never going to create a controversy against a healthy Cutler, it’s fair to wonder just how ready Cutler was for Sunday.

FOX’s announcing crew of Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa repeatedly wondered aloud throughout the second half if Trestman should make the switch back to McCown. Cutler did manage to drive the Bears into field-goal territory once in the third quarter, but he was just 3-of-9 through the air during that stanza.

Now, the Bears may face trouble ahead. Detroit completed a season sweep of Chicago with the win, meaning that not only did the Lions take a one-game lead on the Bears in the division but also now hold the tiebreaker.

Even more worrisome is Cutler’s ability to bounce back physically. The now 5-4 Bears host Baltimore next week, then embark on a stretch that sees them play four of five away from home. Sunday’s defeat put their backs against the wall a bit, so Trestman cannot afford to hedge on his QB pick going forward.

Will it be Cutler or McCown next Sunday? Hard to say right now … but Chicago probably should have opted for McCown in the second half this week.

17 comments
HugoSLaVia
HugoSLaVia

I'm old. I know it, I look in the mirror. I can't get a job w/ 30-plus years experience. I'm old and I accept it. I'm so old -- I remember when sports "reporters" REPORTED!!! Today's sports world has devolved to a point where it's just questions. This one is so easy as to not even require a column to establish the posit. The answer is clearly yes. Even that dumb.ss salt-and-pepper duo of a.holes on ESPN couldn't possible offer witty, spirited banter on both sides of this issue. 


But they will ...

stabmasterarson21
stabmasterarson21

McCown is playing pretty well so yeah, it's a fair question!

George
George

EPIC FAIL by Trestman for even STARTING cutler, much less leaving him in for the 2nd half when a blind person could see he was too injured to be in there.  Any dummy knows groin injuries are historically easy to re-aggravate, no matter what bs cutler was feeding the coaches and the press.

Now we know how malleable and downright DUMB the so-called "quarterback whisperer" Trestman is.  Looks like Trestman is not one bit more intelligent than Lovie was.   

Barring a Josh McCown season-saving miracle, Bears are DONE for 2013.    Nice goin' Tressman.



dj13e29
dj13e29

If your starting QB is coming off a fairly serious groin injury, the minute you notice that he has aggravated the injury, you pull him, especially considering the fact that your backup has done quite well in his stead. I don't understand the motive to leave him out there. Now you've lost your starter going forward. There's also the fact that Jay was borderline hurting the team. In the 4th quarter, he could hardly run or plant to throw. There was no upside to leaving him out there.

Alt_Med_Runner
Alt_Med_Runner

It was painfully obvious that with every series in the second half Cutler lost more and more power and accuracy due to his inability to plant and have firm footing. At the VERY least he should have come out but the 4th if not after the 1st half. I am not sure why he stayed in as long as he did when he was clearly ailing and not 100%. Prior to game time Trestman made it clear that the QB that was 100% would start. It would make sense to me that if Cutler was less than that at half time then he should have sat. Yes, I saw the Jeffery drop but so what. I also saw Josh go down the field like butter AND have the ability to scramble which Jay lacked the entire day and Detroit knew it. Let's hope the coaching staff is a bit smarter moving forward otherwise it's going to be a long off season. 

KurtMaxwell
KurtMaxwell

Trestman should have pulled Cutler for the whole second half. I thought there were plenty of bad throws caused by the injury. If nothing else, he should have been pulled for his own health. It seems odd that the coaches left him in so long. I think Cutler must have authority over the coaches, and if so the Bears must eliminate the issue - however it needs to get done.

AndrewLynch
AndrewLynch

I read that Cutler was kind of forcing his way back because he was worried that McCown would show him up in this contract year.  Maybe the QB and the coach both rushed.  But I forget where I read it

Anthony38
Anthony38

Forte 17 carries 33 yards so sad

Anthony38
Anthony38

You Chicago people make me sick cutler is a great quarter back did you see the two touchdown passes Alshon Jeffery missed? Does that ring a bell and I'm a lions fan

eddie767
eddie767

So a 4-6 wk injury took 2,b/c Cutler conned the MDs. He then looked bad,so it's the coaches fault? No! It's the MDs and Cutler,since they remember the play offs(knee) and it's a contract yr. If McCown had started and looked bad then insert Cutler,not the other way around.

luvfoozball
luvfoozball

@George STARTING Cutler was perfectly fine decision given Doctor's clearance and Cutler saying he is fine. Sticking with him when he was hobbled was NOT fine.

stabmasterarson21
stabmasterarson21

@George They are indeed, one of the worst injuries you can get that's not serious, if you get what I mean.  And very easy to re-aggravate, sounds like you've had a few too, hah hah.

Alt_Med_Runner
Alt_Med_Runner

@Anthony38  One dropped pass defines the reason they couldn't move the ball. I was clear Cutler was not himself and couldn't make all the passes. He should have sat. Period.