One of Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress’ standard lines is that he wants his players to “make the routine plays routinely,” meaning he’s concerned more with consistency of performance as much as the actual standard of performance.
When the Chicago Bears paid a heavy price to acquire QB Jay Cutler this past offseason, the expected standard performance from the Bears QB position and entire offense went sky-high. But the consistency factor hasn’t matched those expectations.
In Cutler’s 1st regular season game as a Bear, he threw 4 INTs in a 21-15 loss at Green Bay. But the QB with a powerful arm followed up that letdown performance with 3 straight games of 100+ passer ratings, which led to 3 straight wins. Since then, however, he hasn’t gotten back in the 100s in terms of passer rating, coming close just twice, and he leads the NFL in INTs with 25.
The point is Chicago hasn’t been able to count on Cutler – he’s been great at times and not great at times.
But given Cutler’s volatility, the Vikings shouldn’t be counting on Cutler either. That is to say, they shouldn’t count on him having a bad game, not when he’s got redemption on his mind and not when he’s playing at home.
Cutler has thrown just 5 of his 25 INTs at home and he’s thrown 11 of his 19 TD passes at Soldier Field. He also won his first 3 games at home and if he can find that early-season, home-game form, the Bears will have a chance to attack the Vikings pass defense, which is ranked 16th in passing yards allowed and has given up 22 passing TDs.
The Vikings had their way with Cutler at Mall of America Field about a month ago, sacking him 4 times and intercepting him twice. A repeat of that performance will put the Vikings in great position to capture their 12th win and come one step closer to securing the NFC’s #2 seed.
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