Cutler off the mark against Rams

Nearly half of Bears QB's passes were inaccurate

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Michael Bush Bears

Running back Michael Bush gave the Bears an edge early in the game. (Armando L. Sanchez/Tribune photo / September 24, 2012)

The Bears didn't need Jay Cutler to be on his game to win Sunday, and it's a good thing.

Cutler usually is a pretty accurate passer, but his throws frequently were not where they should have been against the Rams. He completed 54.8 percent of his passes, but that doesn't tell the whole story. Breaking down each of Cutler's throws on tape does.

Of his 33 passes, including two that didn't count because of penalties, 14 of them were inaccurate. Three of them still were completed, however.

Brandon Marshall had all three of the receptions of inaccurate passes. Seven of Cutler's 11 throws to Marshall were not accurate.

Five of Cutler's inaccurate passes were high. Three were low. Two were in front of receivers, one was behind and one was short. One was affected by Cutler being hit as he threw, and another appeared to be the result of a miscommunication between Cutler and Devin Hester.

Six of his passes were either screens or dumps, and three of those were even off target.

One of Cutler's inaccurate passes was intercepted, and another, to tight end Kellen Davis, should have been. He missed out on a should-have-been touchdown to Hester with a high throw in the end zone. His longest completion of the day, a 34-yarder to Marshall, was underthrown.

Here is what else a review of the tape showed.

Grading key: Grades are between 0 and 10 with 0 being complete failure and 10 being perfect.


Grade: 3

The best thing Cutler did is he didn't lose the game. He didn't make stupid throws or panic under pressure. But he certainly didn't win the game, either.

His most impressive play might have been his 21-yard run that set up a field goal. His next most impressive play might have been his tackle of Cortland Finnegan after an interception.

Wide receivers

Grade: 4.5

Bears receivers are better than this. Both Marshall and Alshon Jeffery allowed defenders to break up passes they are capable of catching. Jeffery, who normally is as sure-handed as any receiver, also bobbled another pass before hauling it in.

The pass to Hester in the end zone was too high, but Hester should have found a way to catch it after running an outstanding route and freeing himself from Finnegan.

Running backs

Grade: 5

The numbers aren't pretty, but Michael Bush gave the Bears an edge early, as 60 percent of his 55 rushing yards came in the first quarter.

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