The Chicago Bears are 1-6 on the season – with little to be excited about moving forward. With the Bears 0-3 in prime time games, still dissipated by injuries and struggling to score touchdowns – the team desperately needs a spark.
That spark came Monday afternoon with the announcement of quarterback Jay Cutler being cleared to play against the Vikings.
The 11-year pro has been sidelined due to a thumb injury he sustained against the Eagles in week two and has missed five games since his injury.
Cutler has had plenty of time to nurse that thumb back to full strength and with a week until the Monday night showdown against the Vikings on Halloween night, he should be close to being fully healthy.
Nobody wanted to see third-string quarterback Matt Barkley, who threw two interceptions in his Bears debut, play against a Vikings defense that has been dominant through the first seven weeks of the season. The defense in terms of points allowed, takeaways and sacks have been compared to the historic 85 Bears’ defense.
Cutler is 7-5 against the Vikings in a Bears’ uniform, so needless to say Bears’ fans are going to have more confidence with Cutler being on the field than Barkley.
The Bears desperately need some fire power – currently ranked dead last in the league in points per game (15.9). The offense needed someone who is willing to take shots down the field. Cutler in the seven quarters he has played this season has shown that he is willing to do just that.
In week’s one and two Alshon Jeffery had his most productive games of the season, putting up 105 yards against the Texans and 96 yards against the Eagles. Jeffery is still without a touchdown this season, and with Cutler under center, you can bet he is going to target Jeffery early and often and especially in the red zone.
Cutler also is able to move the ball with his feet, something we haven’t seen all season from other Bears quarterbacks. Another element that can be added to an offense that is still trying to find any way to get into the end zone.
Yes, Cutler does throw untimely interceptions, but at this point in the season, what is there to lose? He will throw the ball into one-on-one coverage hoping for Jeffery to come down with that 50-50 ball or draw a pass interference call. If Cutler gets picked at least he switched field position.
With nine games left in the season, the Bears need to find ways to keep their fans interested, especially with the Blackhawks just starting their season, the Bulls starting their season on Thursday and the Cubs in the World Series.
Offense sells tickets and with the way the Bears have been playing there are going to be a lot of those tickets left and plenty of empty seats at Soldier Field.
Love him or hate him, Cutler is the best option for the Bears to win more than one game this season and gives the fans a reason to keep on watching.