Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is ready to get back on the field after his five-interception performance last Thursday night in a 10-6 loss to the 49ers. For the season, Cutler has thrown a league-high 17 interceptions for the 4-5 Bears. He has completed 62 percent of his passes for 2,353 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Cutler is a gunslinger who is not afraid to use his cannon of an arm to put the ball in tight spots. Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said on Thursday that he watched a play from the Bears-Cardinals game on Nov. 8 which highlighted Cutler's talents.
"He's got a rocket for an arm and he tries to fit every throw in there. That's where some of the turnovers have come on offense for them," McDermott said. "I think against the Arizona Cardinals we looked at a play (Wednesday) where he's got a guy 50 yards down the field and the defense starts to relax and he lasers one right in there."
Cutler said that there's a "fine line" between being a risk-taker who is aggressive and one who hurts his team's chances of winning.
"You've got to be able to toe that line and know in certain situations there's going to be times where you're just going to check it down or throw it away," Cutler said. "At certain times, you're going to have to put a ball in there. You're going to have to make a tough throw. That's what separates the good quarterbacks from the great quarterbacks. They're able to make those decisions and make them quickly."
Here's a look at his interceptions from the 49ers game, which shows that not all of the blame falls on Cutler's shoulders:
2nd Quarter, 3rd-and-1 at SF 1 - Out of the I-formation, Cutler takes the handoff and fakes the handoff to Matt Forte. Pressure forced Cutler to throw off of his back foot into a sea of 49ers defenders and nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin picked it off.
2nd Quarter, 1st-and-10 at SF 49 - One play after a 37-yard reception to Forte, the Bears line up in the off-set I. Cutler faked the handoff to Adrian Peterson and threw it down the right sideline for Devin Hester. Hester slipped and fell down and Tarell Brown was able to pick it off.
3rd Quarter, 3rd-and-4 at SF 43 - Out of the shotgun, Hester ran a square in and was coming across the middle when he nearly ran into the referee. That broke Hester's stride and Cutler threw it to where he expected Hester to be. Needless to say, Dashon Goldson was there instead.
4th Quarter, 3rd-and-7 at SF 47 - Cutler was in the shotgun. Center Olin Kreutz snapped a ground ball, which Cutler recovered. Cutler picked it up, stepped up in the pocket and saw Kellen Davis in one-on-one coverage. Cutler fired the ball, but safety Mark Roman had great position and picked off the ball. Cutler was looking for a pass interference call on Roman.
4th Quarter, 2nd-and-10 at SF 12 - Final play of the game, Cutler took the snap in the shotgun and stepped up in the pocket with pressure surrounding him. Cutler tried to force the ball in the back of the end zone for tight end Greg Olsen. However, there was a wall of four 49ers defenders waiting for either Olsen or Earl Bennett to get the pass attempt and former Eagle Michael Lewis sealed the win with the interception.
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 10:30 a.m., November 20