1. Jay Cutler might be the secret spawn of former Colts quarterback Jeff George. I'm not even sure this is a joke. Wikipedia tells me George is age 42 and Cutler is 26, so it actually makes sense if you're willing to gloss over some stuff like, oh, DNA testing. They're both from Indiana, and both strong-armed, knuckle-headed, franchise-killing quarterbacks. Bear with me for a second, because I'm going to throw out a theory that's totally made up and 100 percent untrue.

What if, at age 16, a young, cocky, mustachioed Jeff George got a young lady preggers behind an Indiana Tasty Freeze. (If John Cougar Mellancamp songs have taught us anything, it's that short-wearing-hotties in Indiana will hook up with you when you're 16 behind the Tasty Freeze shade tree as long as you can do a credible James Dean impression and you have enough money to buy the chili dogs.) Then, because a love-child would be a disaster for an up-and-coming golden boy athlete like George, Cutler was hidden from George -- sort of like in the Star Wars trilogy, except in this case Darth Vader's kid also has a bad temper and can't read coverages -- so he could go on living his life, never quite figuring out how to make his million-dollar arm overcome his 10-cent brain during his NFL career. And then, years later, the son also rises.


That's the best way I can explain it. I'm calling for TMZ to start pushing this story immediately. In all seriousness, Cutler is either the worst good quarterback of his generation, or the best bad quarterback of his generation, just like George. The resemblance has become too much to ignore. At this point, all he needs is a mustache. Even Brian Billick was pointing it out during the broadcast. (The dumb reads, not the lack of mustache.) Cutler has a complete Howitzer for an arm. It's as strong as anyone's in the league. But he throws off his back foot constantly, he makes clueless reads in double and triple coverage, and he has horrendous body language and mechanics.

Everyone who destroyed Josh McDaniels for shopping Cutler the minute he arrived in Denver should probably pen the coach a handwritten apology. All year the Ravens have been getting picked apart by strong-armed quarterbacks, but this was just dreadful. I know Bears fans think the offensive line is partially to blame this year -- and in fairness, they've had a lot of injuries -- and that Cutler's receivers are horrible, but that is just delaying the inevitable reality. His quarterback rating (after going 10-of-27 for 94 yards and three INTs) was 7.9 against the Ravens. Seriously, I don't know exactly how that formula works, but I'm pretty certain they spot you six points just for having your name spelled correctly on the back of your jersey.2. Speaking of good quarterbacks with a promising future, Joe Flacco finally looked like one again against the Bears. Was his ankle bothering him more than he was willing to admit until recently? I don't know that we'll ever know the answer. Maybe all he needed was a shot of confidence that playing against an NFL junior varsity team like the Detroit Lions can provide. I really think Flacco plays like a different quarterback as soon as he completes two or three throws consecutively. It's like he suddenly remembers how good he can be. The Bears said afterward they expected Flacco to throw mostly out of play action, but he surprised them by just going into five-step drops and picking them apart. His throw to Derrick Mason on the corner route for the touchdown was a thing of beauty. (Although not quite as amazing as Ben Roethlisberger's game-winner against the Packers an hour later, but it was still a beautiful throw.)

It's been an up-and-down year for Flacco to say the least. He didn't quite make the leap Ravens fans hoped he would, but he hasn't regressed either. He's in position to lead this team to the playoffs with two games to go, and when the dust settles, all the talk radio chatter dies down and today's newspaper becomes tomorrow's fish wrap, that's what you ask of your quarterback in the regular season. Get me to the playoffs. Next week should be a brawl, but if Flacco can make enough plays to win the game, he'll have answered a lot of questions about his potential as a player and a leader.

3. Lardarius Webb's injury is very bad news -- if it's as bad as everyone suspects. Coach John Harbaugh said after the game he was "not optimistic" about the injury, and coming from someone who plays it as close to the vest on injuries as Harbaugh does, that suggests to me that there is no way Webb plays next week, or even the following week against Oakland. Ray Lewis went so far as to say it looks like Webb will be out of the rest of the year. And if you believe he's a franchise corner, there is no sense in risking putting him out there again -- at least until you get deep in the playoffs. "We'll get an MRI, and we'll see for sure," Harbuagh said. "What a great job he's done. What a heck of a player he's been, and if he can play for us the rest of the way, we're all going to breathe a sigh of relief. If he can't, we're going to have to overcome it." What's left unsaid is how much Webb's presence changed the Ravens' defense the past few games. He's aggressive, fast, strong and fearless. I'd even argue that, as ugly as it looked earlier in the year, Webb and Domonique Foxworth have been playing pretty good football lately. It's a shame he didn't get to play more earlier in the year, because the Ravens probably could have beaten Minnesota at the very least with him in the lineup.

4. Demetrius Williams has, two weeks in a row, reminded everyone that he could actually be a pretty decent NFL wide receiver if he could ever stay healthy and earn the trust of the coaching staff. Cam Cameron said after the game that Williams has been playing better in practice recently, but he was still not playing quite well enough to overtake Mark Clayton and Kelley Washington. That's understandable, to be honest. Some players just aren't great practice players. For whatever reason, they can't put it all together when the intensity isn't ratcheted up. It seems like Williams might be one of those guys. He made an outstanding play on the 32-yard touchdown from Flacco in the third quarter, going up between two defenders, fighting off a pass interference penalty, and still coming down with the ball.

"Every time the ball goes up in the air, the quarterbacks are expecting us to come down with it, or nobody come down with it," Williams said. "It's just about attacking the ball. I guess these last few weeks I've been focusing more on just trying to attack the ball."

Who knows what the Ravens are going to do in the offseason to address their wide-receiver issues. But for now, this late in the year, to finally have their faith in Williams rewarded after all this time, is like going through an old pair of pants and finding a roll of $100 bills.

5. I'm going to use this final point to hit on a number of things. Todd Heap was probably overrated at one point during his career, but remarkably, he's probably a little underrated right now. Cam Cameron can't stop praising the season he's having every time you talk to the Ravens offensive coordinator, but he always points out how much it has to do with Heap's blocking. This week, we saw that he can still line up out wide and be a threat. He ran a great post route and Flacco threw a great ball on his first touchdown. ... Speaking of Cameron, the fun mad scientist was back this week. Using Heap as a wide receiver, handing it to Ray Rice on an end around, using Troy Smith in the red zone as a quarterback. It was nice to see some creativity sprinkled back into the Ravens' attack. ... Domonique Foxworth made a really nice read early in the game, jumping a route and intercepting Cutler, helping his team take a 7-0 lead. Foxworth has taken a lot of heat this year, mostly because of the big contract he signed, but there is still a lot of good football to be played in his Ravens career. The team is really going to need him to play well with Webb likely out for the foreseeable future. Cutler is lucky Foxworth didn't have four picks, because he could have, and sheepishly said as much in the locker room after the game. ... Special teams are still a troublesome aspect for this team. Long snapper Matt Katula needs to work out some kinks because he has been sailing a few snaps on field goals lately. The punt return for a touchdown was bad tackling and bad contain on lane assignments running down the field. Baltimore just can't afford to keep giving up plays like that. ... As tough as it is to not have Ed Reed out there, Tom Zbikowski has played pretty darn well the past few weeks. He's physical, he doesn't get lost in coverage, and he's not afraid to deliver a blow. It has helped the Ravens run defense a lot.

6. (Bonus!) The Ravens truly do control their own destiny now. As wacky as this season has been, all they need to do is win the next two games and they're in the playoffs. Can they make any noise once they get there? Who knows. It's even a little presumptuous to think about that right now. What we do know is, once again, the Ravens have a classic showdown with the Steelers next week. If you're a real Ravens fan, you should be happy Ben Roethlisberger found a way to pull a rabbit out of a hat yet again and beat the Packers because now this game really means something for both teams. And that's the way it should be. If you're a playoff team, you should be able to beat your rival on the road when the stakes are truly high. That's the reason we love the NFL. And if the Ravens can't do that, maybe they don't deserve to be in the playoffs. Next week's game just got that much more juice, and that's the way it should be.