So, Jay Culter was traded to the Bears and now the Packers' rival finally has a real threat at quarterback. It's time to worry, right? This makes the Bears a difficult team to overcome in this division and probably a favorite. We should all be scared of the Bears now.
No, not really.
Why not? He's got a strong arm, better than John Elway, he might say. He is considered a franchise quarterback, still young and full of potential. But he also has an attitude problem, it seems, the kind that started this whole mess. Besides, he hasn't proven anything yet.
But wasn't he supposed to be the next Brett Favre, with a strong arm and a gunslinger mentality? And shouldn't we be nervous knowing the "next Brett Favre" will be wearing a Bears jersey. Well, Brett Favre was fun to watch, but he found a way to win games even with his wreckless play (though, later in his career, he really began to struggle down the stretch). That is why he is considered one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time (despite the controversy of last year, he still deserves credit). What has Cutler done so far to earn that honor?
Simply put: nothing.
One of the knocks on the Packers current franchise quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, was that he couldn't win games. He had a 6-10 record as a starter, which just doesn't cut it, at least by the standards of Packers fans (alright, it is not considered good no matter what). Those defending him point to the lack of defense and the tendency to give up fourth quarter leads. Others don't buy that excuse. So, what about Jay Cutler?
If you think he will be the next great quarterback in the division and the new number 1 among the NFC North (quite the competition he has), you need to reevaluate how you determine great quarterbacks. And in doing so, Aaron Rodgers stock should go up within the new parameters. Let me explain: Jay Cutler, despite the hype around him, has a losing record. 3 years ago, he came into the season and started with a 2-3 record. His first full season, he ended up with a 7-9 record (one game ahead of Rodgers), and then last year he had an 8-8 season, for a grand total of 17 wins and 20 losses. He faded down the stretch and blew a substantial lead he had over the Chargers. He wasn't even considered the best quarterback in his division, as many pointed to how well Phillip Rivers played (by the way, he actually has more than one playoff victory next to his name). Plus, he got a little help in one game from Ed Hochuli, which saved him from another losing season.
Here, then, is what I mean by adjusting the definition of a great quarterback to fit one quarterback while neglecting the next. Jay Cutler is great because he has a strong arm and a lot of hype, and bad defense loss his games. And yet Rodgers is bad because he lost games (it wasn't bad defense) and follows a legend (remember, Jay Cutler was an effort to finally replace John Elway). I'm not saying that everyone excited about Cutler makes this excuse, but the point is that you can't have it both ways. It case you didn't know, Rodgers has a strong arm as well.
But we should be afraid. Cutler is a Bear. Our rivals have a franchise quarterback. Sure, they might. But they still don't have receivers (Cutler can't rely on Brandon Marshall to make big plays for him anymore) and that defense isn't as good as it used to be. I don't think this is an immediate fix. Plus, 2 first rounders, a third, and Kyle Orton? Seems like a lot. When did the Bears become the Vikings?
Oh, wait. The Vikings only have Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels. The Bears now have Jay frickin' Cutler. He's the answer to all their problems (I mean, they did give up four players to aquire him). As long as the Bears don't do anything to hurt his fragile feelings.
Sunday night opening weekend should be an interesting match up now: Cutler vs. Rodgers. Bears versus Packers.
Let the battle begin.