Scary to think what might happen without Cutler

By S.C. Zuba
Sports Columnist

Did that really just happen?

The Chicago Bears may have won their fourth game Sunday, Oct. 10, while simultaneously taking sole possession of first place, but in doing so, they exposed a fairly crucial weakness of their football team.

The Bears have no backup quarterback whatsoever. Todd Collins proved he should no longer be in the National Football League. It was embarrassing, to say the least. The Bears managed to score two rushing touchdowns early, but could not get the passing game going at all.

Collins was 6-for-16 for 32 yards with four interceptions. He missed open receivers, threw to receivers who weren’t open and displayed the same type of inept football behavior Bears fans have seen from their quarterback for decades.

If you’re a Bears fan, you should be thanking your lucky stars General Manager Jerry Angelo pulled the right strings and brought Jay Cutler to Chicago. He may throw a lot of picks, but he is an elite NFL quarterback—and he’s going to be here for a while. He just needs to stay healthy.

Fans and media alike harp on Cutler way too much. He is what makes the Bears’ offense work. Does he make poor decisions? Yes, but he makes up for it with his ability and determination.

Collins, on the other hand, was just bad. Not even funny bad, just pathetic bad. It didn’t seem like he wanted to be playing football. The Bears brought in Collins—who was known for his conservative play—to provide a veteran presence under center if Cutler went down. Collins displayed anything but veteran leadership.

To be fair, the play of the Panthers’ quarterbacks wasn’t too much better.

Jimmy Clausen was 9-for-22 for 61 yards with an interception, and when Matt Moore took over for Clausen late in the fourth quarter, he threw two interceptions in 10 attempts. It was just bad all around. Seven interceptions in one game is the definition of bad football.

Maybe I’m being too harsh. The Bears did win, but not having a backup quarterback could prove to be a devastating flaw in the future of this season. It’s no secret the offensive line is struggling—that’s the exact reason Cutler was out for Sunday’s game.

With a struggling offensive line like this, it is completely feasible to think that Cutler could get hurt again—then who takes over? Collins? Caleb Hanie?

It’s scary.

From the Oct. 13-19, 2010 issue

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