Cutler:Showing He Is In It To Win It
I watched it happen. Ndamukong Suh breaking through the O-line of the Bears and taking Jay Cutler DOWN. This was no ordinary tackle. While Suh did not receive a penalty during the game and is not looking at any fines the day after the game, that hit was insane. Suh grabbed Cutler's left shoulder, pulled him down hard and fast and then basically jumped on top of him.
Now, Cutler is not a small guy. At 6'3", 220 pounds, Cutler can hold his own. But against the monster that is the Lions Ndamukong Suh, I'm not sure anyone can. The guy is fast, strong, huge and angry. Suh plays just millimeters within the boundaries of fair play, walking the line very closely. And after Cutler was mauled, he lay on the field for a few minutes and I think all of Soldier Field, Chicago and Bears fans worldwide held their breath. We remember a start of a season like this last year only to be demolished with the injury to Cutler. So we watched. We waited. We held our collective breath.
And then, the most amazing thing happened. Cutler got up and jogged off the field. All by himself. And after one play by back-up Jason Campbell, Cutler was back in at quarterback. Really? Were we to believe this was for real? He was OK? The TV reports stated that Cutler had bruised ribs and headed into the locker room early for X-rays. When he didn't come out with the team at the end of halftime, I think everyone had the same thought. Oh no. It's over. He's not coming back in. Season done.
And then, just as we all thought it was done, Cutler comes running out of the tunnel and plays their first series of downs. Jay Cutler played, in my mind, one of the biggest games of his career. First of all, Cutler showed a toughness that we as fans have heard about, but have rarely witnessed firsthand. Jogging off the field after that hit was a huge blow to the Lions and an even bigger motivator to the Bears. And coming back in? Even better.
The running plays Cutler made were also spectacular. He took chances. He made me a little afraid but it was exciting and incredibly fun to watch. He made some good passes and was clutch when he needed to be. He did what he needed to do to get the win. It wasn't what I would label a "pretty" game, but Cutler showed toughness, resiliency and a will to win that I'm not sure I have seen before. Nothing made me smile more than the Monday night cameras heading to check on Cutler after the Suh hit and he's joking around with a teammate cracking up. Yea! That's what we've been waiting for. That's what we've been looking to see from Cutler. A little fun, like he's enjoying what's going on on the field.
As a Bears fan, I have always enjoyed watching the Bears beat the Lions. But last night was one for the record books. Last night was the night Cutler showed he is in it to win it. He is not going to get pushed around or taken out. The Bears look like one of the nest teams in the NFL. Hard nosed defense, full of weapons on offense, and now a tough nosed quarterback who's willing to take some chances, take some hits and laugh. Now, I'm getting excited. Go Bears!