In the middle of a contentious week, Jay Cutler was saying there is criticism even when you win.
And this is that.
Cutler started badly, reached mediocrity, then sort of stayed there -- 17 of 31, 183 yards and an interception, finishing with a lousy 58.9 quarterback rating -- sort of stayed in a place that was underwhelming and unconvincing in the Bears’ 23-6 win over the Rams at home.
The offense featured some bad Cutler, some bad receivers, some good Cutler, some good receivers, and a decent running game. The offense has gone from sparkling to awful to White Sox. It’s not explosive the way they talked. It was barely useful. It’s certainly not Super Bowl caliber, not like the defense is.
The Bears smothered the Rams’ rushing game and held St. Louis to 160 yards of offense. The Bears killed a patchwork offensive line to sack Sam Bradford six times and ran back one of their two interceptions for a touchdown.
That matched the offense’s scoring. Ahem.
That matched the offense's scoring in Green Bay. Ahem, indeed.
Cutler and Brandon Marshall seemed to have problems communicating Sunday. Shouldn’t they know each other? Isn’t that why Marshall is here?
Cutler and Earl Bennett, same question.
Thing is, the idea that Cutler started badly was a good thing. We’ve seen Cutler when he’s good, and he can be great. What we needed to see was Cutler respond to adversity, especially after that miserable 28.8 quarterback rating in Green Bay.
Cutler directed one TD drive and scrambled to set up what should’ve been another score, but the passing game that seemed all the rage in the season opener was wonky at best. Consistency seems to be a foreign concept, which fuels anger considering the toys Cutler got in the offseason.
To Cutler’s credit, he took some responsibility for his inconsistent game, more than he seemed to take after that disaster in Green Bay, anyway.
“Every position has to improve, including myself,’’ Cutler said, adding that while the receiver drops were frustrating, “I missed a few throws, too.’’
The public honesty was nice. A big game would be better.
A big game in a big game would be better still.
Hey, look! Monday night in Dallas!