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Emergency QB Caleb Hanie Replaces Todd Collins, Jay Cutler for Chicago Bears

After playing well to close out the season and in Chicago’s playoff win over Seattle, the Jay Cutler many of us were worried about was the one who showed up in the NFC Championship Game. Cutler, who threw for three touchdowns against the Jets and Vikings, and two against the Seahawks in the final four games of the year, went 6/14 for 80 yards and an interception in a little over a half of football against the Packers. He left the field just before halftime with a knee injury but came out to start the second half.

The Bears went three-and-out to start the third quarter, running twice and throwing once. On their next offensive series, Todd Collins entered the game. Collins threw two incompletions before being intercepted on a third down pass. His balls were wobbly and lacked zip, and it was clear he lacked the arm strength to be in the game. After another three-and-out series the next time they had the ball, the Bears decided to make another change at quarterback.

Chicago brought Caleb Hanie in before the third quarter ended, meaning Collins and Cutler were then ineligible to return to the game because of the emergency quarterback rule. Following a few strong runs by Matt Forte, Hanie completed the longest pass of the day for the Bears, a 32-yard completion to Johnny Knox who took the ball down to the one. A Chester Taylor touchdown gave the Bears their first points of the game and brought them to a score away from tying things.

Hanie went undrafted out of Colorado State, but has been with the Bears since 2008. In three seasons in the NFL, he had thrown only 14 passes for 66 yards prior to entering the NFC Championship Game.

Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Jay Cutler Likes Chicago Bears Being an Under the Radar Team

Aside from the Chargers and Falcons, the Chicago Bears had the biggest win of the weekend. The Bears beat the Philadelphia Eagles — a team many considered the best in the NFC — 31-26 on Sunday. Jay Cutler threw for four touchdowns, the defense sacked Mike Vick four times, and forced him to throw his first interception since 2006. Chicago is now leading the NFC North and quietly tied for the second best record in the NFC.

Maybe it’s the low-scoring offense that’s kept this team out of the consciousness for most fans and media members, but that doesn’t seem to bother Jay Cutler. The quarterback told Alex Flanagan of NBC Sports that the Bears “want to fly under the radar. We’re not worried about anybody else.” He added “We don’t want a target on our back. The more we win, people are going to take notice.”

Here’s a video of the report in case you’re interested:

Cutler is exactly right — being under the radar and not talked about as one of the top teams is a good spot to be in for Chicago, but the win over Philly has boosted them into extreme relevancy in the NFL. People have been forced to take notice of the Bears who have one of the top defenses in the league. With games against the Jets and Packers to end the season, they need to rack up the wins now.

DeAngelo Hall Says Jay Cutler ‘Doesn’t Understand the Game of Football’

Jay Cutler seems to have one of those attitudes that gets under people’s skin.  In order to be a successful NFL quarterback, you have to have a certain level of confidence.  Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and Tom Brady certainly possess that quality, but they do a pretty decent job of keeping it under wraps.  Cutler likes to let it show through, with comments like the one he made about his arm being stronger than John Elway’s.  Couple that with the fact that he hasn’t really won anything of significance, and the end result is annoyed opponents and fans.

As cliche as it may sound, what goes around, comes around.  When Cutler was with the Broncos in 2008, he and Eddie Royal hooked up 9 times for 146 yards and a touchdown in Royal’s NFL debut.  The corner covering Royal for much of that game was Hall, when he was a member of the Raiders.  After the game, Cutler took it upon himself to talk a little smack when reporters asked him about the game.  “Eddie Royal beat DeAngelo Hall time after time,” Cutler said. “That’s what happened.”

The tables turned on Sunday when Hall, now a member of the Redskins, intercepted Cutler four times in one game.  Needless to say, Hall hadn’t forgotten the shot Cutler took at him after his tough day two years ago.

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DeAngelo Hall Intercepts Jay Cutler Four Times in Redskins Win

Despite not playing exceptionally well, the Washington Redskins were able to pull off a 17-14 win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday.  A lot of their success is owed to the inability of the Bears to protect quarterback Jay Cutler.  What else is new?

Cutler has taken a beating all season long, and Sunday was no different.  Cutler was sacked four times and intercepted another four, with DeAngelo Hall recording all four interceptions.  Hall took one of the picks 92 yards for a touchdown that gave the Redskins a 17-14 lead when they were in danger of going down two scores.

Hall tied an NFL record with the four picks.  The feat has been accomplished by 18 other players, with Deltha O’Neal being the last to do it when he was with the Broncos in 2001.

So the story continues for the Bears.  They look like a team with a decent amount of talent and potential that just can’t protect it’s quarterback.  I can’t imagine Cutler has been treating his offensive line to a lot of dinners after games this season.  In fact, they should probably be showering him in gifts as often as they can.

Photo: Nam Y. Huh/AP Photo

Jay Cutler Is Taking a Beating This Year

Two weeks ago we wrote about Bears quarterback Jay Cutler getting sacked nine times in the first half by the Giants on Sunday Night Football. Cutler left that game with a concussion and missed the team’s following game, a win over the Panthers. He returned on Sunday in week six and found himself in a familiar position — knocked on his butt because of the crappy offensive line and poor protection schemes.

Cutler was sacked six times in a 23-20 loss at home to the Seahawks. He went 17/39 for 290 yards but the team was 0-for-12 on 3rd down conversions, an indication of the pressure Seattle brought. Cutler was brought down three times in the 3rd quarter alone. The first sack resulted in a safety, while the second and third took them out of field goal range. Lawyer Milloy had the third sack of the third quarter and said the team was “licking its chops” after seeing what the Giants did to Cutler.

So how can this be explained? We’ve said all along that Mike Martz’s offensive system leaves the quarterback unprotected, but Jay Cutler is sharing some of the blame: “It’s on me,” Cutler said. “It’s on the offensive line, it’s on the receivers. … I’ve got to get the ball out quicker.”

The Bears have allowed 27 sacks on the season (Cutler’s taken 23 of them), and they lead the NFL in that department. Part of it may be on Jay, but a lot has to do with the offensive line and the scheme. They may have the worst line in the league; they can’t protect Cutler and they’re not running it well either. Yet somehow this team is 4-2 while the Chargers are 2-4.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Jay Cutler Leaves with Concussion After Being Sacked Nine Times in First Half

Sunday night was not Jay Cutler’s game. The Bears quarterback was sacked nine times in the first half by the Giants. Niiiiiine times. Ed Rooney thinks that’s a lot. To put things into perspective, the Bears ran 27 offensive plays in the first half. Seven were runs and the remaining 20 were passes. Cutler was sacked nine out of the 20 times he went back to pass. That’s 45% of the time.

Some of the sacks were due to poor blocking, some to not having enough protection to counter a blitz, and some were due to Jay Cutler holding onto the ball too long. The last sack of the half — the one that knocked Cutler out — can probably be placed in the third category. Defensive back Aaron Ross got a hold of Cutler and brought him to the ground, with Cutler’s head getting jammed straight to the turf. Just imagine the picture below about two nanoseconds later.

After halftime, Todd Collins came out for Chicago because Cutler had suffered a concussion. Collins may have led the Redskins to a miracle playoff run in 2007 but I wouldn’t count on a repeat if I were a Bears fan. Cutler probably will miss week five’s game against Carolina and could wind up returning for a week six contest with the Seahawks and his team holding a 3-2 record.

The one consistency with Mike Martz teams is for all the stats they rack up, his quarterbacks generally throw the most interceptions in the league and take the most sacks. Sunday night’s debacle was costly for Chicago. I don’t believe I’ve seen a more one-sided performance by a pass rush since the Giants abused the Eagles’ line to the tune of 12 sacks back in 2007.

Photo Credit: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Jay Cutler Does Something Right

Although he did little outside of breaking the hearts of Bears fans last season as their starting quarterback, it appears Jay Cutler may have something to brag about.  If Perez Hilton’s sources are well-informed and Jay Cutler is dating Kristin Cavallari, she’s just been transformed into one of Steve’s smokin’ hot sports girlfriends.

We can only assume Cavallari is not much of a football fan, and certainly not a Chicago Bears fan.  Otherwise, there really would be nothing to like after last season’s performance.  Who knows, maybe he’ll turn it around in his second season.  He’s still not worth $100 million, but I have no other choice than to give him a pat on the back if these rumors hold true.

KRISTIN CAVALLARI PICTURES

Source:
Kristin Cavallari and Jay Cutler May Be Dating zOMFG! [The Big Lead via Perez Hilton]