CHICAGO (AP) — The Bears' offense appears to be back in sync, even if the same might not be true of quarterback Jay Cutler and his offensive coordinator.
Cutler played one of his most impressive games as an NFL quarterback Monday night in beating the Cowboys 34-18, connecting on 18-of-24 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns.
Even after posting his third-highest career passer rating (140.1), a lot of the postgame attention was again focused on Cutler's sideline behavior.
Cutler at one point sat down on the bench after he'd obviously been irritated by confusion on the field regarding a play call the previous series. When offensive coordinator Mike Tice sat down next to him and began talking, Cutler stood up and walked away.
"I don't have to sit by him the whole game, do I?" Cutler said afterward. Then he accused media members of trying to sell newspapers and asked, "What are we looking for here?"
Told it appeared he'd snubbed his coach, Cutler said, "Just because I walk off and go and get water it doesn't mean much."
WR Brandon Marshall played it with a tongue in cheek when asked about it.
"Jay frustrated? No. Jay's never frustrated or mad," Marshall said. "That's part of the game. We wanted to have a lot of rhythm coming into this football game. It took a quarter to get there."
Two weeks ago, Cutler shoved OLT J'Marcus Webb following some shoddy blocking, and after that 23-10 loss to the Packers he criticized the play of the team but indicated his own play had been both good and bad.
It's not the first time Cutler has been at odds with his offensive coordinator. Last year, he was caught by TV microphones cursing at former offensive coordinator Mike Martz. There had also been reports Cutler did not get along with former offensive coordinator Ron Turner.
It's possible the situation between Cutler and Tice quickly blew over because Cutler also credited Tice's play calling for a second half when the Bears offense gained 238 yards. They finished 7-of-12 on third-down conversions (58 percent) and got both WR Devin Hester and TE Kellen Davis more involved in the passing game.
"I thought Mike did a great job of dialing those plays up," Cutler said of Tice.
Coach Lovie Smith pointed to the blocking of Webb as a key. Against Green Bay, Webb had been trying to block Clay Matthews, who had 2½ sacks. In Dallas, Webb wound up against DeMarcus Ware, and Ware had just one sack.
"Going into the game playing against a player like DeMarcus Ware you've got to have a plan to ... I mean .. great pass rushers you have to get an offensive tackle some help with him. So that was the plan," Smith said. "DeMarcus, you know, it's not like we were chipping (double-teaming) every time. I thought our line did a good job when they were in one-on-one situations with him."
The Bears also got their running game moving again with the return of running back Matt Forté from an ankle sprain. Forté aggravated the sprain on his first carry for 11 yards, but got it re-taped and returned to finish the game.
"I guess I needed a little more tape on there," Forte said. "When you run the ball, you've got to run between all those big bodies and you're going to get rolled up."
The Bears play at Jacksonville on Sunday.
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