Studs and Duds: Cutler a Major Dud

by | September 13, 2012 at 11:43 PM | General, Sports

By Jordan Raanan, Xfinity.com NFL Columnist

It wasn’t a pretty contest. Not for the Bears or Packers, who won rather handily, 23-10, on Thursday night in Green Bay.

After a promising opener where new wide receiver Brandon Marshall looked impressive working with quarterback Jay Cutler, the Bears looked very much like the same team that couldn’t get the ball to its wide receivers and struggled to protect its QB the previous two seasons. Chicago was a mess offensively. Hence ‘The People’s Dud.’

It wasn’t all the Bears’ ineptitude though. Green Bay’s defense had something to prove after a poor 2011 season and equally disappointing opener. They came to play on Thursday night, and were rewarded in this space for their effort.

You voted on Twitter and Facebook and here are the results:

The People’s Stud
Clay Matthews — The Packers outside linebacker was a rather easy call. His stat line was ridiculous: 3.5 sacks, 7 tackles, 3 tackles for a loss, 4 quarterback hurries and a pass defended. You can’t do much better than that. Matthews was all over the field. He lined up on the outside, inside and dropped in coverage. He beat Bears left tackle J’Marcus Webb (more than a few times), guard Chris Spencer and Chicago’s running backs. He was an equal opportunity dominator. The All-Pro was relentless as the Packers earned their first win of the season.

Raanan’s Stud
Shawn Slocum — Slocum is an unlikely name for sure considering he’s Green Bay’s special teams coordinator. But he gets my nod after noticing the Bears overloading the left side of the Packers’ line on a field goal attempt in the second quarter and calling for a fake. Holder/punter Tim Masthay threw a shovel pass to Tom Crabtree coming across the formation to the right side. Crabtree burst through a huge hole and into the end zone for a 27-yard touchdown that made it 10-0 and changed the game.

The People’s Dud
Jay Cutler — His numbers were bad enough. No matter how awful the Bears’ protection was in the contest, 11-of-27 passing for 126 yards, one touchdown pass and four interceptions is insufficient. To compound matters, Cutler publicly eviscerated Webb walking off the field after one sack and snapped at reporters in his postgame press conference. Overall, it was a horrible effort by the Bears quarterback. Cutler was jittery in the pocket, consistently threw off his back foot and was fortunate he didn’t throw seven interceptions. Several of his wobbly passes were dropped or trapped by Packer defenders.

Raanan’s Dud
Brandon Marshall — This was another fairly easy call. Marshall was invisible most of the game — his first catch came with 7:24 remaining in the game — and finished with two receptions for 24 yards. A blatant dropped touchdown in the third quarter on his first target of the game was the worst part of his dreadful evening.

Jordan Raanan has covered the NFL since 2005. Follow him on Twitter @JordanRaanan, Facebook or email him at jraanan@hotmail.com.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.