Bears quarterback Jay Cutler turned in a brave performance in Monday night’s loss to the Lions, toughing it out and playing well despite being under constant pressure behind Chicago’s leaky offensive line. But Cutler acknowledges that the pressure is getting into his head.
“Physically, it’s not that big of a deal,” Cutler said. “Mentally, it just speeds up my clock. It just makes me uneasy in the pocket. You take your eyes from downfield and you kind of check to see what’s going on in front of you, so [it’s more] psychologically and mentally [challenging] than anything. I don’t want to take the sack. I’m just trying to get rid of the ball as fast as possible.”
On Monday, the Lions routinely got pressure on Cutler without even blitzing: Detroit’s front four outplayed Chicago’s offensive line all night long. The Bears are responding to Monday night’s loss by shaking up their starting lineup, but the problems with the Bears’ pass protection aren’t going to be fixed that easily. Everyone thought going into the season that the Bears’ offensive line was going to stink, and everyone was right.
So Cutler will keep feeling uneasy. And if he keeps playing the way he did in a lost cause at Detroit, no one can question his toughness.