Chicago Bears mid-season report card

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Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Jay Cutler  — C+

Okay, I know this will cause a lot of rancor on both sides. When it comes to Cutler and the fans, there are those who will defend him to the death, and those who want him dead.

There were many rumors about the Bears trading Cutler before the season, but ultimately, there was no deal to be made. Most likely, his huge contract was a big reason for that, not his play.

Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears /

Chicago Bears

This season, new offensive coordinator Adam Gase took some of the responsibilities off Cutler’s shoulders. There is more of an emphasis on the running game, and fewer drop backs.

As a result of the new philosophy, Cutler’s turnovers have gone down. Last season, he threw a league-high 18 interceptions. This season, he is on pace for just ten. Fewer pass attempts have resulted in fewer interceptions.

Cutler is still interception-prone, however.

He has thrown interceptions in five of the seven games, but at least the Bears are surviving his interceptions.

Of course, fewer passes also result in fewer touchdown passes.

Cutler threw 28 touchdown passes last season. This season, he is on pace for 20 touchdowns.

The Cutler haters will point out that last season, the Bears averaged 19.9 points per game. This season, with a great offensive mind that is Gase, the scoring has gone up to just 20.2 points per game. Not much of a difference.

The Cutler defenders will say that losing Alshon Jeffery and Eddie Royal for long stretches, and not even having first round draft pick Kevin White at all are part of the reason why Cutler has not scored more. Also, the Bears’ offensive line has been built with patches, with linemen going down every week it seems.

Cutler has shown improvement. There have been more than a few occasions when he has thrown the ball away when receivers were not open. In previous seasons, he would have confidence in his arm to get the ball through the defenders and into his receiver’s hands. A lot of those times, the ball would be intercepted.

Now he will accept that his receivers are not open, and if there is no running alley, he will chuck the ball away. Progress.

In order for Cutler to get a higher grade, he still needs to increase the touchdowns. That is how you win (for those who did not know).

With all the improvement Cutler shows, it has not translated to victories. Yes, there are other factors into getting a win, but ranking 25th in scoring will not lend to winning a lot of games.

Next: The wide receivers, aka the MASH unit