Cutler Out; Are Bears Done?

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Caleb Hanie

Is this guy that much different than Jay Cutler?

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler will miss the rest of the regular season with a broken thumb on his throwing hand. Even through he finished the team’s win over the hapless San Diego Chargers on Sunday, it was determined Cutler will need surgery, forcing the Bears to turn to backup Caleb Hanie.

Green Bay Packers fans no doubt remember Hanie as the third-string quarterback who almost led the Bears back in the NFC Championship game last season after Cutler hurt his vagina and the Packers knocked the completely-ineffective Todd Collins from the game.

Hanie was 13-of-20 for 153 yards in that game, but he’s never started a game in his pro career, much less in the heat of a playoff race. Coach Lovie Smith says the Bears plan to rely on their running game offensively and this is, of course, always a team that’s relied on defense, but will that be enough to get them into the playoffs?

At 7-3, the Bears weren’t going to catch the Packers for the division crown, but they had a legitimate shot at a Wild Card spot. The problem is, so do a lot of other teams. Detroit and New Orleans are also 7-3. Assume New Orleans will win the NFC South and either the Giants or Cowboys, who are both 6-4, will win the NFC East.

That leaves the Bears competing with the Lions, Falcons (6-4), Giants/Cowboys loser, and a number of 4-6 teams for one of two Wild Card spots. The Bears will probably need to win at least three of their final six games.

Their schedule breaks down like this — at Oakland, Kansas City, at Denver, Seattle, at Green Bay, at Minnesota. You can probably see two wins in there somewhere, but who knows if there are any more. A lot of that probably comes down to Hanie.

The good news for the Bears is, Cutler wasn’t exactly setting the world on fire before he went down. He’s been decent, but has only thrown for 2,319 yards, 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

If the Bears make the playoffs, Hanie isn’t going to scare anyone, but then, was Cutler really going to scare anyone? If they can pull off a Wild Card spot and don’t totally fall apart without Cutler, this is still a team I wouldn’t want to face in the playoffs.

Your thoughts?

About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

10 Comments on "Cutler Out; Are Bears Done?"

  1. David

    Am I the only one hoping for a true meltdown here? I’m really hoping that Hanie throws a whole lot of pick 6’s and torpedo’s their season.

    Couldn’t happen to a better team.

    Bear Down! (is what I want to see)

  2. darrin

    Bears were actually playing good football, as much as I hate to admit. Their WR still suck overall, but the defense is solid and Forte is a stud. And why does anyone still kick the damn ball to Hester? But, I think without Cutler the only thing they will be playing for is spoiling the Packers undefeated season come January, which they could do.

  3. Chas

    I hate the Bears more than most, and over the years they continue to surprise. Slow dimm whitted Lovie for whatever reason connects with the group of below average players the Bears continue to collect. I can’t believe I am saying this but the team was better off with Mr. Arm Twitch Vagina. Caleb Pick Six will fill a void, and I do think they will win some games. Can’t wait till their Defense finally gets old and the Bears ship sinks. For now they are average with a glimmer of Hester.

  4. Hacksaw

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  5. guysocke

    I had actually been coming around on Cutler with his play of late, and the Bears were starting to scare me. I don’t think a lot of that changes now with the move to Hanie. Living in Chicago, I saw him play at a surprisingly high level last preseason and thought he also was sufficient in the NFC Championship game last year. I chalk that pick six up to Dom making a great call and BJ making the play versus Hanie making a terrible mistake. Don’t count out the Bears just yet because, I swear, sometimes that team (usually their D and ST) just seems to will themselves to victory. Also, Craig Krenzel was 3-0 as a starter, they won games with Kyle Orton and got to a Super Bowl with Rex Grossman.

  6. your reporting is top notch. love the vagina reference on Cutler…laughed my ass off on that one.

    Yes, I don’t like the Idea of meeting the bears in the playoffs. it’s as thought they muster up some hidden ability in them when they play the Pack.
    But I really enjoy beating them in playoff games.
    and

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