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Bears 60-second rant: Cutler's value clearer than ever

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Dan Parr

dparr@pfwmedia.com
Associate editor

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Posted Dec. 06, 2011 @ 10:24 p.m. ET
By Dan Parr

Jay Cutler has his detractors and probably always will.

Some people are bothered by his facial expressions — "Why doesn't he smile more?" — and body language during games. They wonder about his leadership ability, although he appears to have earned his teammates' trust. There have been conversations about whether he's tough enough, or good enough to win a Super Bowl. Of course, any person with a decent amount of common sense knows Cutler is about as tough as they come.

Another debate that we can settle after watching them play without Cutler is just how much he means to the Bears.

They were one of the league's hotter teams, battling their way toward a second straight playoff berth before Cutler, who was playing some of the best football of his career, broke his thumb against the Chargers in Week 11. Two games without Cutler, and two losses, later, it appears the Bears are going to be hard-pressed to win another game this season if Cutler is unable to return before it's over.

The Dolphins, who started the season 0-7 and are now 4-8, and the Texans, who are down to their third-stringer (rookie fifth-round pick T.J. Yates) are winning games despite having lost their top quarterbacks (two, in Houston's case) to injury. Without Cutler, the Bears were incapable of mustering enough points to beat the Tyler Palko-led Chiefs, who topped Chicago 10-3 on Sunday.

The Bears have had their issues on offense at times with Cutler under center this season, but they had never scored fewer than 13 points in a game prior to the loss to Kansas City.

Cutler's name wasn't really being discussed in the MVP conversation, even during his best days this season, but, upon further review, he probably at least deserved a mention.

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